• Rebecca Washuta

Why One Good Habit Leads to Another

Do you ever find that some days are super productive, where you get everything done and feel really accomplished, while others its' hard to work up the motivation to do anything? Have you noticed that on the days where you start off on the right foot (wake up on time, have a healthy breakfast, etc.) the rest of the day seems to go well, compared to the days where you're behind from the beginning (hit snooze, wake up late, etc.)? The truth is one good habit really can lead to another and this phenomenon is known as the Domino Effect. The Domino Effect is the idea that when you make a change to one behavior it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in similar behaviors as well.

This explains why days that start off productive end up being really good days. When you wake up early, you have time to make your bed, make a healthy breakfast, take the stairs when you get to work, feel energized throughout the day, and get all the things on your to-do list done.

The Domino Effect can work in the opposite way as well, which can hinder you from developing good habits. On days where you wake up late, immediately start scrolling through social media, don’t have time for breakfast, etc. the rest of the day may not go as planned.

A successful day is a chain reaction of good habits. The positive feelings you get when accomplishing something, even something small, can lead to you wanting to get more done. This chain reaction explains how behaviors are interconnected. When you change one habit in your daily life, it will lead to other changes. This is where I start with all of my clients - just one habit. You'd be amazed at the impact this can have. Here are some tips on how to incorporate the Domino Effect to see positive changes in your life:

Start Early

Starting your morning off right can set the tone for how the rest of the day will go. Something small like making your bed, completing a skin care routine, or taking a refreshing shower can get you motivated to engage in other positive behaviors that overtime can turn into habits. If your mornings are rushed and you start off feeling frazzled, this can have rippling effects that negatively impact your whole day.

Start Small

We all struggle with procrastination and it can feel even more difficult to get started when the task at hand is overwhelming. Focusing on small victories helps build long term habits, so think about how you can break the task down. For example, if you want to start reading everyday for a half hour, you can scale that goal down to reading one page. More often than not, the hardest part is just getting over the hump to get started, so once you open the book and read the first paragraph, it will be easier to keep going. By making the new desired behaviors realistic and achievable you're more likely to reach your goals.

Progress Over Perfection

Too often people set unrealistic goals and aim for perfection, which is why they quit soon after they've started. The pressure to accomplish something perfectly usually leads to giving up. Making slow progress toward your goal, and celebrating the small wins is the best way to stick with it and be successful. In order to properly see the Domino Effect with habits in your life, it’s important to be flexible and give yourself grace. Some days will be better than others but as long as you're inching forward you're on the right track.