⚡ What a steam engine train can teach you about building better habits

Email sent: Jul 22, 2020 10:34am

Hey Shockers,

Happy Wednesday! We hope you're having a great week!

When it comes to building better habits, one of the most common mistakes is giving up far too early. You're not going to transform your habits in just a few days. 

We get it. In an age where we can order anything online and often get it the same day, we aren't exactly conditioned to be patient. 

But for building long term habits, having patience is a must.

In his excellent book The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, Hardy uses the example of a steam engine train to show just how your efforts now can pay off. 

At a standstill, it takes very little to keep it from moving forward—a one-inch block of wood placed under the front wheel will do the job. It takes an incredible amount of steam to get the pistons to move and cause a series of connections that get the wheels to budge. It's a slow process.
But once the train starts rolling, the wheels get into a rhythm. If the pressure remains consistent, the train gains momentum, and watch out! At 55 miles an hour, that train can crash through a five-foot, steel-reinforced concrete wall and keep ongoing. Envisioning your success as an unstoppable locomotive may help you stay enthusiastic about getting into your own rhythm.

It's a slow process!

Here's another example. Water is water up until the one-degree difference between it turns into steam.

It takes a while for the water to heat up, but once it reaches a certain point, it transforms completely. Your habits are the same way.

Working out a few times a week may not help you lose weight this week, but if you continue to put in the effort and eat well, you're going to succeed. 

There's no need to become discouraged or 'beat yourself up' when you don't see results immediately.

From weight loss to quitting smoking, it's going to take some time. The more you can focus on taking baby steps, the quicker the momentum is going to build. It may take a bit to start moving, but once you gain speed, it's almost impossible to slow down.  

Don't give up when you're moments away from launch.

-Team Pavlok

P.S. Need help with sticking to your habits and goals? Pavlok can help. 

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