Ok, we’re starting with the most important small change you can make in your life—learning to celebrate. Celebration is the key to quickly and reliably building any habit.
The skill of celebrating will make all the other things you learn in this course stick. It will make you a happier person. It will make you sexier and more powerful.
I’m not talking VIP birthday bash-level celebration, although that would be great and totally fine. It’s really more about personal, meaningful, emotional, I-did-it kind of celebration.
In my life
One of the most important things I learned from my mom is the ability to celebrate anything. She, being a preschool teacher, knew the magical power celebration has on encouraging behavior in kids and adults alike. Growing up, we would celebrate all kinds of things—winning at cards, cleaning up, straight As, getting through a dentist appointment, etc.
Celebration was cultivated in me as a child, but as a I grew into an adult, I slowly celebrated less and less. Cynicism and grown-upness crept in.
Then, a few years ago, I took a training called Tiny Habits by Dr. BJ Fogg, an industry leader in behavior design. Through this training, I was reminded of the value of celebration and how powerful it can be when used to form healthy habits.
I believe it’s easier and better to celebrate the positive things and then see them grow than it is to punish the negative things and try to make them die.
How you do it
It can really be anything that lets you know “you did it.” I’ve often said things like, “Yes!” “Way to be, Joe!” or given myself a thumbs-up. The key is to remember to do it every time and with emotion. It can be quiet, it can be loud. Just make sure it has positive emotions behind it.
The benefit to you
As you celebrate the positive habits you’re building in your life, you’ll acquire these habits much more quickly. You’ll also start to notice that life is more enjoyable, that you smile more, and that you have a generally better attitude.
Usually, as we’re learning new behaviors, we see ourselves getting better at them over time compared to where we were yesterday or the week before. This progress is rewarding, and we get small micro-shots of dopamine that keep us going and let us know that this behavior is something we should keep doing.
However, during my Tiny Habits training, I learned that celebration is the key to forming habits as quickly as possible. It causes a quick shot of dopamine that hijacks your brain into thinking it’s made significant progress on something.
Potent, intentional celebration jam-packs lots of this dopamine reward into one shot.
What you’ll learn tomorrow: Contrast showers
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