I made a post some time ago about making incremental changes. In essence, your chances of making successful changes increase if you make the change in small increments as opposed to making large sweeping changes. I have found this to be true many times over.
Most recently I discovered tiny habits by BJ Fogg. He breaks down the reasons for why incremental change works; and the crux of the matter is effort. Smaller changes generally require less effort, and that makes us more likely to make the effort. If the effort gets too great, it becomes too much and we fail to perform.
I have applied this to a number of aspects of my life. For instance, exercise, meditation and study were all implemented using this method. Over this coming year, using incremental change/tiny habits I expect to see more exercise and more study added to this list, and I incrementally increase the amount of both that I do daily.
And here I want to talk about two things that incremental change can affect. The first is savings and spending. Don’t try to change it all at once. I try to save all I can and I have become good at that, saving is now an integral part of my life. However I am less successful with decreasing my spending. I still spend too much and often it is food related. But over time I have started to focus on reducing the amount of DoorDash that we consume.
The second aspect I want to discuss is that of study. We have mentioned before how FI blogs are half finance and half lifestyle design. The study for me, is lifestyle design. For the travel that Cat and I have in mind, we need to learn a number of languages; Spanish being the main one, but additionally a working knowledge of German and French would be useful. Using the tiny habits principle I am adding language learning to achieve that goal of being able to speak (to some degree) these languages in the next few years.
So using these small incremental changes, I can slowly achieve my goals, Doesn’t matter if we are talking about study or savings or controlling spending, making these small changes, making small habits gives me a much higher probability of success.