Posted: 28 Jan 2013 08:47 AM PST
By Leo Babauta
One of the things I’ve learned in my last 7 years of creating new habits is the power of compound habit interest.
It sounds really obvious when you say it, but if you do something small repeatedly, the benefits accrue greatly over time. It’s obvious, but not everyone puts it into practice.
It’s like putting a little extra cash into an index investment fund … let’s say you put in just $5/day (less than you spend at Starbucks perhaps) … at the end of 20 years, you’d have almost $70,000 if you could make just 6 percent interest, and closer to $90,000 if you could make 8 percent. Change that to just $8/day, and you’re now talking about $140,000 or so. It adds up greatly over time.
The same principle applies to habits.
Let’s take a few examples:
Adding little amounts over time makes a huge difference. And the benefits aren’t just the small amounts added up — there’s interest accrued as well. Running a little each day not only allowed me to run better, but I got stress relief from the running, which helped me to quit smoking. I lost weight. I felt better throughout the day. I started eating healthier.
The benefits from a small amount of investment paid off in huge dividends.
Ways to Build Up Habit Investments
If you repeat something regularly, just doing a small amount each time, it adds up hugely over time. Some ways to do that:
You get the picture.
Less-than-great Habit Investments
The habits in the last section are usually seen as good things to build up, but they’re not the only things people put into their habit banks. A few other ones that aren’t seen as good:
These are just a few examples, but it’s worth thinking about what you’re building up over time. What we repeatedly do grows into who we are.
How to Create Habit Investments
It’s a fairly simple process that you can repeat with various types of habit investments:
A few warnings:
What Will You Put Into Your Bank?
You’re making daily deposits, tiny investments in who you are. What do you want to invest in?
You can invest in something that will make you live a happy, healthy life with meaning … or it can be a life of distraction and bad health. It doesn’t take a Warren Buffett decide which is a better investment.
|You are subscribed to email updates from zenhabits |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|