Act As If
If you're a human you've probably at some point in your life wanted to change some of your behaviors or habits. And if you are a human you've probably also found that to be a challenging thing to do.
Today's blog post is about a simple yet effective trick we can play on ourselves to get us to act differently and over time develop new habits.
The trick is called "act as if."
How it works:
This trick is almost laughably simple, but I've seen people use it to change habits they have had for years.
First, you identify the behavior that you want to change. As an example, lets say you want to start eating healthier foods.
When it comes time to eat, you remind yourself to act as if you were a person who eats healthy.
You don't need to lie to yourself and repeat a mantra like "I eat healthy. I eat healthy." You simply pretend like you are a person who eats healthy foods, for just that one meal.
When the waiter asks if you want a side of fries or a side salad, you just do what a healthy eater would do and order the salad. Remember, the trick is just to act as if you were that person.
When the next meal comes around, do the same thing. At the grocery store, remind yourself to act as if you were a healthy eater - would a healthy eater get chips and soda? No! So put them down and keep pretending you're a healthy eater.
What makes it work
The reason this strategy works is because anyone can pretend to be a certain way for a short period of time.
I don't care if you've never eaten a vegetable in your life, you can pretend you love vegetables for one meal.
All too often people say "I'll start tomorrow" or "I want to eat healthier but..."
Or people go the opposite route and repeat "positive affirmations" to themselves but deep down they know they are lying. And then they feel guilty ever time they act in a way that goes against their made up self image.
This approach is different. All you have to do is act as if you were the way you want to be. In the beginning it's fun.
But over time you stop acting. You just become that person.
What habit or behavior do you want to change? What kind of person are you going to act as so that you replace that behavior with a better one?
I wish you the best of luck and a happy new year!
This strategy works in the present moment. You say