Slow Habits Create Powerful Success

I was flipping through youtube the recently. Sometimes I like to watch funny videos, other times I like to find great scenes from movies, other times I like to find inspirational speeches. I came across this one clip about some self help guru talking about the importance of setting habits, and creating actions that you do every day that can drastically improve your life over time. He was saying that most people’s biggest complaint is that they’d like to start a new habit, but they can’t find the time or the energy to add something else to their otherwise busy day.

Like a friend of mine that used to date a personal trainer. She was saying that when people want to start an exercise program, they think they need to exercise three hours a day in order to see any results. And it’s true to an extent, meaning that if you go to the gym, and seek out the most cut and physically perfect people there, they’re either extremely genetically gifted, or they spend a great deal of time there.

But she was saying that most of them, if they were honest, would admit that when they first started out, it wasn’t like that. It was just a simple decision to do something small every day that will push them towards their goal. And they would most likely admit, as she tells her clients, that when you start small, it’s the best way to create long substantial results.

Which reminds me of a speech I was listening to one night at toastmasters. This guy was talking about reading the newspaper. English was his second language, and he wanted to read the newspaper every day to increase his vocabulary and his comprehension. So he had wanted to make it a habit to read every day. He said that was very important to him. And since he was up giving a speech, and his English was near flawless, it was pretty clear to everyone that he’d succeeded in his goal. When asked about how he tackled such a big goal, he said that when you want to choose to do something, and make this a habit, the easiest way is to attach it somehow to something that you are already doing.

For example he would have a newspaper there on his table every morning. So every morning he would tell himself, every time you sit down, you will remember to read this. And every time you wake up, you will remember to read this. And every time before you fall asleep, you will ask yourself if you read this or not.

And people asked him how long it took, and he said it only took a few days of reminding himself to make this a habit. I’ve read other place that say it takes about twenty one days to make something habit, and other people have told me they were able to achieve success in shorter lengths of time.

And that is exactly what my friend  recommends when she takes on new clients. Start slow. Build up slowly. Like the guy at the toastmaster club, just read one article every day, and you will improve. And my friend retains a lot of customers that way. Other trainers try to get people to jump into time and work intensive workouts right away. I guess he is afraid he will lose clients if they don’t feel they are getting instant results really quickly. Other clients tend to stay longer when they start slow and slowly build and build.

So I think that youtube is a great resource, for many reasons besides just entertainment. And even some of the entertainment is pretty inspiring, to say the least. It’s something that I try to do on a regular basis. I guess you could say that it is a habit of mine.