“The recommended sequence is to first stop doing the destructive activity, then embark on making the good and desired activity part of your life.”
– Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Remember, there are only four ways to change your life. You can either:
1. Start something.
2. Quit something.
3. Do more of something.
4. Do less of something.
But did you know the sequence also matters regarding which “life changing” activity you do? That’s important because you can do all the right things, but if you do them in the wrong order, you may as well not even do them.
For example, back when I had a $500 a day cocaine addiction it would not have mattered if I started doing something positive like meditating, exercising or reading good books.
Starting something or doing more or less of something would not have helped. I just needed to Quit Something. Until I quit using nothing else would have helped.
That’s an extreme example, I know. So let’s bring it to a more normal situation.
Let’s say you want to stop experiencing the stress of not having enough money. And let’s say you spend $6,500 each month but your income is only $6,400.
It’s not much, but you have a habit of living beyond your means. This constant stretch will no doubt add unnecessary financial pressure to your life.
You could focus on #3 “Doing more of something” and work more hours.
Let’s say you do that and you bump your monthly income up to $7,400. If you spend $7,500 you’re stuck with the same problem and stress.
It’d be better to focus on #2 “Start something,” like say a budget. Or on #3 “Do less of something,” like eating out or going to Starbucks.
The point here is that before you decide to start a new habit or make a life change ask yourself what would be the most important thing to do now.
Step back and assess your situation from a higher perspective. Then choose the habits and actions that will have the greatest impact on your life right now. Timing and sequence matter.