Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why creating a new habit is like giving birth

In case you haven't noticed already, I tend to be a bit analytical. :) Almost to the point of obsession, in fact! Today I was thinking about how new habits are developed - and why some of us tend to give up on things as soon as we experience some level of failure. I've also noticed that, in my own experience, when we push through those failures, we will ultimately succeed.

For those of you who have given birth, you know that when you're having a baby, each time you push, the baby comes down a little, and then slides back up a little. But thanks to the wonderful nurses and doctor instructing us to "push!", each push moves the baby that much further down the birth canal, and ultimately out into the world. Imagine what would happen if, after the first push, you threw your arms up and said "well, I guess this baby is never coming out then!", and gave up! How ridiculous would that be?

I like to think of new habits developing in much the same way. You can't expect a new habit to be successful the very first time you try it. You will invariably "slide back" a little each time. But if you can be your own coach, and tell yourself to "push!", the next time you will succeed a little more, and a little more, until ultimately you have accomplished your goal.

So the next time you are trying to create change in your life, and have a setback, think of this analogy. :) Hopefully it will encourage you to try, try again! :)

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent analogy! I have such a ridiculously hard time establishing new habits on purpose. I write goals, to-do lists, plan things out, and promptly drop the ball!