Wake up early? I feel smug. Survive an exercise class? Smug. Bike in winter? Smug. Try a new recipe (particularly a vegetable-focused one)? Smug. W- and I joke about smugness – a playful take on (self-)satisfaction, for me – as one of my key motivators.
This smugness is deliberate. I like celebrating the little wins. Habit changes are easier when they become part of your identity. The more I take these new habits into myself, the more I reframe myself as the kind of person who does these things habitually, the easier it becomes to maintain that behaviour. Smugness is part of that. It’s about telling yourself, “Aha! I am the sort of person who can make this change.”
Pat yourself on the back every so often. Cheer your own self on. That might make it easier. As long as you’re light-hearted about it and don’t actually become convinced of your own superiority, you should be all right. Then you can keep stretching yourself by inching your smugness threshold higher.