— Mark Twain
“If you look at a thing, the very fact of your looking changes it…if you think about yourself, that very fact changes you.”
— Robert Penn Warren
Another important aspect of successfully getting into a habit is measurement. What we measure, we improve. (Or “What gets measured gets done.”) For example, we know that when people weigh themselves every single day, they lose more weight than if they weigh themselves just once a week. This is because measurement drives awareness of behavior. For example, if you record everything you eat in a food journal, you’ll be much more aware of what you eat than if you weren’t diligently noticing and recording your food intake.
In this day and age, tracking or measuring our progress is easy. It’s so easy that we can sometimes get so caught up in the measurement of things that we spend more time playing with our recording devices than we do establishing our habits. Google the terms “quantified self” or “Health 2.0″ or “body-hacking” and you’ll find a huge amount of information about how people measure their every thought and every move. I like the apps Way of Life and TracknShare to track new habits, and I record my gratitude practice using this online gratitude journal. If you find these techy ways to measure your progress fun, go for it. Otherwise, a piece of paper taped to the fridge will work!
What To Do Today
Task #1: Use the page in your workbook called “Measure Your Progress” to set up a tracking system.
Task #2: Try out your “Better Than Nothing” gratitude practice again. Does it feel rewarding? Remember that you will eventually come to avoid what feels bad, and pursue what feels good. Keep your habit feeling good.