If you’ve ever used a hose before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; water is trickling out because of a kink in the bent hose, and after straightening it out, the pressure is at full capacity and water gushes out.
Unbending the hose is something we can also do to stick with good habits.
Motivation can fire us up and get us to stick with something new for a few days, or even a few weeks, but eventually, using pure motivation to get us to stick with something is like water trying to force its way through a bent hose.
Instead we can unbend the hose, or create an environment that makes it as easy as possible to maintain our good habits.
Here’s a very simple example and practical example with exercise.
I can’t think of a time when I put on my gym clothes and then decided after putting them on, “ehhhh I’m actually going to not go to the gym.”
The decision to not go or not go, that internal debate, happens in my head before I put my gym clothes on. And once they go on, boom, I’ve mentally committed to going.
So if I want to exercise every morning, I could wake up and count on motivation to get me to put my gym clothes on every day (bent hose).
Or I could go to sleep in my gym clothes and wake up ready to exercise right away (unbend the hose).
At the end of the day, we are all products of our environment, and unbending the hose can help us more easily reach our goals, whatever they might be.