January 7, 2019
Since 40% of our behaviours are habits, developing a good set of financial habits is a foundational element to financial success.
Since you already have an existing set of habits - some good, some bad - this helps explain why changing habits is so difficult. You have to shift sometimes long established existing behaviours.
Habits and our identity
Our habits also provide evidence for who we are - our identity. The more we exhibit a particular behaviour or habit, the more evidence we have for a particular belief. As an example, suppose you have a regular habit of going shopping and spending all your spare cash on buying stuff (your habit).
The frustration you feel at constantly running out of money creates a dangerous feeling of helplessness and you begin to believe you are just rubbish with money (your identity).
With this (negative) sense of identity, you begin to feel powerless to muster much resistance. You continue the behaviour (more shopping). You gain more evidence for your belief ("I'm rubbish with money"). The identity grows stronger. And so the cycle goes on.
This is why every habit counts - even non-financial ones.
Building new positive habits to replace the existing bad ones helps you accumulate new evidence to reverse the unhelpful beliefs you have about your identity. You don’t have to be perfect – you just need to start with small steps.
In the habits session with Olly (our confidential, non-judgemental chatbot), he will show the science of how and why habits are triggered and how to master the good ones and do less of the bad ones.