What do habits and money have in common? And why should you care? In this episode, you’ll learn new ways of seeing habits. You’ll also understand how to use them to create even more balance in your life (without working harder…..)
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! Subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
The other day I was putting on moisturizer and I decided to also add a drop of really pretty blue essential oil to the moisturizer.
It’s funny because when I add this oil, the deep creases between my eyes fades.
This is such a small thing.
Most days I don’t bother adding it since it’s an extra step.
But think about the cumulative effect of this oil.
If I use it on occasion and my wrinkles get better, what would happen if I used it every day?
This made me think about the cumulative effect of habits.
And I wanted to share with you a book I read about this called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardey.
In the book, he talks about what happens when habits are done again and again over a large period of time.
Why is it called the Compound Effect?
The book is by Darren Hardy and it’s a fascinating topic.
He talks about habits like they’re money.
Just like interest can compound in the bank and you get more than what you put in, so can habits. Like my anti-wrinkling oil.
Why am I so excited about this?
One of my favorite quotes that I teach to my kids (and yes they roll their eyes — but they’re listening!) has been attributed to Albert Einstein.
He’s been quoted as saying “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world….”
And if compounded interest is the 8th wonder, imagine how powerful this is when it comes to your habits.
Why is the Compound Effect so Powerful?
The reason why the compound effect is so powerful is because it allows for exponential growth.
You literally earn interest….on your interest!! That’s why it’s the 8th wonder of the world.
You put the money in the bank and you don’t just make interest on the money you put in there. You get interest. And then you make money on the money you put in AND the interest.
And if you let it sit tight, it grows and grows till one day you take a peek at your account and almost pass out when you see how high the number is.
Imagine if you could do this with all areas in your life, too.
And you can.
Because habits are just like this.
You have to work hard at first. You’ve got to earn that money you put in the bank.
But give it enough time and you can sit tight and that money will make you money.
Isn’t that exciting?
I know I’m probably the only non-accountant who gets excited over compound interest, but Albert Einstein did, too. And so did the author of this book.
And maybe at the end of this podcast, so will you.
Because it’s a freebie. And we all want life to be easy so we can sit back and have life work FOR us instead of always working so hard for it.
It’s Always Working
I wanted to share my favorite concept of the book, and it’s something I’ve never thought of before.
There I was, listening to the book on my walk and I had the quote I’m about to tell you. It gave me the shivers when I heard it. I literally stopped and emailed myself the quote right after I heard it.
“The compound effect is always working and it’s always taking you somewhere. The question is, where?”-Darren Hardy
Let’s repeat that:
“The compound effect is always working and it’s always taking you somewhere. The question is, where?”
The compound effect is ALWAYS working.
That means it’s working for you if you have good habits, And it’s also working at compounding the bad habits.
An Example of It ALWAYS working
This is the scary part of the podcast. But let’s go there.
Let’s look at a bad habit.
Let’s use our afternoon candy habit.
I used to do this every day at work. At about 1:30pm, I’d really wanted some chocolate.
There’s nothing wrong with this but let’s pretend I would eat a LOT Of candy. I usually did 1 or 2 tiny pieces which isn’t a big deal. But let’s pretend I ate a whole chocolate bar.
You can see where this is leading, right?
The compound effect is always working.
So what happens? What does compounding look like for a bad habit?
Well, maybe it would look like now I have a taste for very sweet candy. And a lot of it.
So on weekends I also eat candy. I’m now someone who regularly eats lots of sweets. Maybe I even joke to my friends about my sweet tooth.
It also looks likes a sugar crash later in the day. And you know that’s a cycle. After I eat sugar and have a sugar crash, what do I reach for so I get more energy?
Yup. More sugar.
Pretty soon, my overall energy is down because my body is so busy processing all this sugar in my bloodstream and dealing with the ups and downs.
So after years of this, I’m not the healthiest person. My energy is always fluctuating. I eat a lot of sugar all the time. And worst of all, since I’m tired so much my life isn’t filled with joy.
This is scary, isn’t it?
Our habits are always compounding, whether for good or for bad.
Good Habits Lead to Other Good Habits
Let’s talk about good habits now since that other news was a downer.
I don’t do this, but let’s say every day you texted your spouse and told him or her how much you loved them or appreciated something about them.
It’s just what you did while you drink your tea. You spent two seconds and send that text.
How do you think your marriage would be at the end of a year. At the end of 10 years? Each text on its own is nice, but cumulatively, you created a beautiful relationship.
The cumulative effect is always working.
Either for the good or for the bad…..let’s make it good!
Example of a Habit Growing
Let’s take another example of a habit that can compound for good.
I know a lot of people listening to this podcast have kids. Maybe you have teens there are lots of shouting matches in your home. What if before every time you want to shout, you take two deep breaths?
Sure, sometimes you’ll forget. Or you’ll take those breaths and still yell.
But imagine the compound effect of that small breathing habit?
You’ll probably stop yelling so much
Your relationship will improve
You’ll be less stressed out
You’ll be happier
You’ll use this same skill in a stressful work meeting
See why I get so excited over the compound effect?
What Habit are You Working On?
I challenge you. Don’t just listen to this podcast. I want you to act on it.
What habit are you already working on or would you like to work on?
I want you to GO after it! I have a free course that I’ll have linked to this episode and in the class, I talk about habits.
I have a beautiful sheet for tracking your habits. I use it all the time. I color it in every time I do work on organizing my electronic files.
And it feels amazing to acknowledge when you’ve done a habit.
So listen to the training. Download the workbook and print out the habit tracker.
And enjoy not just the effect of doing your habit, but the compound effect of doing that habit over time.
It’s going to blow your mind.
Next time you think your little habit isn’t having an effect, remember this episode. Those little habits add up, just like money, and they compound and grow into other good habits.
Let me know what habit you’re working on — we’ll talk about it in the Facebook group and if you need support and encouragement, the group is standing by and ready to help you.