When it comes to making habit changes, we often focus on the magnitude of change. We carry the attitude of ‘ I will make any sacrifice of any size if it gets me what I want.’ The all or nothing approach can work for some people, but you must ask yourself this: ‘if major changes with large effects worked for my personality, why have I not been able to attain the result that I am after?’
Answering that question should open your eyes to the reality that extreme changes don’t lead to ideal long-term outcomes. The exception to this would be when someone goes through a high impact life event (sickness, loss, etc.) that immediately changes that person’s path.
For the rest of us, ‘repeatability’ is much more important than magnitude. If you are currently eating a standard (North) American diet of fast food, processed food, and sugary beverages, switching to a Carnivore, Keto, or Plant-Based diet is going to give you a great reward. For a little while. After the honeymoon phase, you’re going to relapse and then believe you are too weak to sustain healthy changes. But what if you instead focused on small, repeatable habits. Perhaps you can aim to cook your dinner five nights per week instead of eating out. You could switch soda for some other naturally sweetened carbonated beverage. Or you could begin walking 3-5 days per week.
Here is the real key to success: make a small commitment. Prove to yourself that you can stick to that small commitment. Move onto the next little commitment. Repeat until your entire life has turned around.
High magnitude change is for the desperate. And the desperate are rarely sound decision-makers. Focus on small, repeatable habit changes, combine that with patience, and you’ll win the game.