Why do we find it so hard to change? Because we set the bar too high, replies Luca Mazzucchelli, whose The 1% method has just been published in France*. We set ourselves such ambitious goals that we put all the chances on our side to fail… To these too radical upheavals which raise powerful resistance, the Italian psychologist prefers the strategy of small steps: one micro-change after another. Because according to him, modifying 1% of our habits over time is enough to move the lines in depth. We explain the method to you.
The fundamentals of the 1% method
1) Our life is made ofhabits (get up at 7 a.m., watch television in the evening, take the elevator to the office rather than the stairs, etc.). On average, their introduction has taken place over the past five years. SO “in 5 years you will be the result of the habits you decide to adopt today“, concludes the psychologist. Hence the interest of stopping for a moment on those that we would like to modify, or even abandon.
2) “It is not character that builds habits, but habits that eventually build character.“ In other words: we are what we do. So by changing our habits, we act on the way we see ourselves and it then becomes possible to get closer to what we want to become.
3) Corollary of this observation: the changes we wish to make to our existence must make sense for us, to correspond to our own values and not to those of our partner, mother or best friend! Along the same lines, Luca Muzzacchelli strongly recommends choose challenges that we are sure to win : no need to register for a climbing course for those who suffer from vertigo. It is better to choose an activity for which we already have some provisions: aquatraining for those who love water, yoga for those who love gymnastics and flexibility… Indeed, new habits will be all the more easily accepted that they will be rewarding.
How to set up the 1% method?
1) I define the new habit that I want to introduce into my life because it makes sense to me.
Example : I have the plan to adopt a healthier lifestyle. To achieve this, I start with these objectives: reduce smoking (to stop it in the more or less long term) and take care of myself by practicing regular physical activity.
The secret : I’m not setting the bar too high by deciding to quit smoking and lose 5 kilos in preparation for the Paris marathon next year. My goal remains realistic and full of common sense.
2) I set up three “simple, feasible and interesting” actionsaccording to Luca Muzzacchelli.
Examples: I drink a big glass of water every morning before breakfast (it’s a healthy habit, great for hydration, has an appetite suppressant effect) + I walk 10 minutes a day after work to keep myself air and get my body moving + I cut out two cigarettes a day, the ones I will miss the least.
If I find it’s too much for me – I manage to walk for 5 minutes and remove only one cigarette – I return to the level that remains comfortable. “Above all, during the first phase, it is much more important to maintain your position than to increase the intensity”insists the Italian psychologist.
The secret : once the habit is established, you will undoubtedly have Want to go further : walk a few more minutes, quit one more cigarette and drink water more regularly throughout the day. You can also adopt the three habits successively: the first (drink water), then the second (walk 10 minutes) when the previous one is already well established and finally the third (remove two cigarettes) when the first two have changed. Routine.
3) I condition myself to act
Examples: I put my glass of water on the bedside table before going to bed so that I only have to drink it when I wake up. At the time of lighting the cigarette that I removed, I connect to a stimulating app for five minutes (a little memory game, learning a language or a cooking recipe). When I leave my job to do my 10-minute walk, I listen to music that I like. And at the end of the week, I add up all my steps.
The secret : these “signals” create a favorable environment that encourages install these new behaviors over time.
4) I surround myself with the right people
“A common mistake is to think that you can do everything on your own during the process of forming a habit.“, emphasizes the Italian psychologist. However, The support of those around you is very importantprovided however that he takes a positive view of our new resolutions!
Example : I make a list of the people I meet the most and I analyze the type of influence they exert on me. From there, I make sure to attend more diligently those who are most in line with my new objectives. I see this friend who smokes a lot and hates sports a little less and I call this friend more often who loves cooking healthy meals and walking in the forest.
The secret : It’s not about turning your back on people who don’t think like you, but rather about make your job easier. Without even knowing it, the friend who has already adopted a healthy lifestyle encourages you to persevere.
5) I regularly do milestones
Example : on a diary or on a smartphone, I write down my actions for the week (two cigarettes eliminated on Monday + two cigarettes on Tuesday + one cigarette on Wednesday, 1,000 steps on Monday + 1,100 steps on Tuesday + 900 steps on Wednesday).
The secret : “Everything we measure grows more easily“, indicates Luca Muzzacchelli, Austrian study in support. The fact of quantify the actions taken makes you want to continue (hence the importance of being precise).
6) I take advantage of the benefits acquired
Examples: I realize that I want to walk longer in nature, I spontaneously eat a little less sugar, I end up going to see a professional to cut out even more cigarettes, etc.
The secret : put together, these new habits create a virtuous circle. You haven’t become someone else. Simply, you are more in accordance with your desires and your values.
We apply the rule of three
Scattered like so many small pebbles, these three tips can help you on the path to change.
1. Identify your values
It is not always easy to identify what really matters to you and which you would like to get closer to. To achieve this, Luca Mazzuchelli suggests three questions:
– What would I like people to say about me after my death?
-What would I do if I had a year left to live?
-Who would I call if I had five minutes to live and what would I say?
2. Listen to positive emotions
What is true for you is not true for your friend or your neighbor. For example, you may know that your health would benefit if you quit smoking, but the goal seems unthinkable to you at the moment. Does it make you sad? Useless to insist. This is not the habit you need to change just yet. Conversely, the idea of eating more fruits and vegetables reminds you of good recipes from your childhood and makes you want to come back to them? It is this emotion – positive, connected to beautiful memories and a deep desire – that you must follow to define your 1%.
3. Develop self-indulgence
You haven’t done your 10 minutes of daily gymnastics for two mornings in a row, as you promised yourself, and you feel your motivation dropping. Don’t beat yourself up with “I knew I wouldn’t make it, I give up“. As Luca Muzzacchelli points out, stumbling is not a failure, just a step on the path you are taking: “it’s all perfectly natural and doesn’t make you a failure, but just a testament to the fact that you’re a human being, too.“Clearly, what makes the difference between successful people and others, adds the psychologist, is not the fact that they fall – everyone falls – it is that they get up.
*The 1% method. Luca Muzzachelli. Albin Michael
Read also :
⋙ How to gain self-confidence? Advice from a hypnotherapist to achieve this
⋙ Dare to be yourself: Louise Chabat tells how she freed herself from injunctions to perfection
⋙ Should we stop “thinking positive”? A hypnotherapist explains how to change your outlook on things