At So Just Be, we’re always looking for ways to boost our productivity, get more things done and live happier, healthier lives. Our days are generally filled with never-ending ‘to-do’ lists, shifting priorities and a constant need for a large glass of wine. Any short-cut or hack we can find to make our lives easier and adopt some positive habits is very welcome indeed!
We all know that trying to make any kind of change to our lives takes commitment, hard work and determination. The problem is that trying to build new habits can often feel like an uphill struggle. The big changes we want to make to ourselves can often seem impossible, so we put them off and wait for the ‘right time’. The truth is that there is no ‘right time’. If you want to make a positive change then there is no reason we can’t start now. The only question is, how can we fit these desired changes into our busy lives?
In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the power of building mini-habits. When you try and transform your life and go ‘all in’, you can end up setting yourself up for failure. However, if you split your goals up into small, achievable steps, you give yourself the power to make clear, consistent and immediate changes to form new habits.
The power behind setting up mini-habits comes from the fact that they are easier to start and therefore much easier to stick to. For instance, if you want to get fit, it’s probably much easier and more palatable to start getting fit by incorporating a 10 minute walk into your day, rather than a 40 minute session at the gym. Psychologically, choosing to incorporate a small step towards your goal into your day will help to build your confidence and help you to feel like you’re taking action towards achieving your goal.
Our brains are wired to repeat actions that we enjoy, therefore if we continue achieving our mini-habit, we’ll start to feel successful and empowered and that buzz of positivity will make us want to do more and achieve more. To begin with, make sure that your mini-habit is something small enough that it will easily fit into your day and is something that you can achieve even when your energy is feeling low. Once you have achieved your goal on a daily basis for a few weeks you can then think about opportunities for increasing the time you spend on it.
Be Clear and Specific with Yourself
Being vague with yourself on when you’re going to do your daily habit will only help your subconscious to find reasons to avoid doing it. Make sure that you schedule a specific time of day to undertake your new habit on a daily basis. Say to yourself, “I’m going to go for a walk in the park at 2pm” and then do it.
It doesn’t matter that you might go for a walk at a different time tomorrow. What matters is that you give yourself a specific time to do your habit every day and you stick to it. Make life as easy and as flexible as possible but do commit to doing your habit at a certain time every day, otherwise, “I’m too busy right now so I’ll do it in half an hour” can easily end up becoming, “It’s too late now, I’ll do it tomorrow”.
It can also help you to stay motivated if you surround yourself with some visual cues. If you want to get fit, keep some trainers by your desk. If you want to read more, keep your current book within handy reach. Keep your goals in sight and make it easy for yourself to achieve your daily habit.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Keeping a log of your daily progress will help to fuel your motivation and keep track of your achievements. The more positive entries you see, the less reasons you will find for skipping your habit. Habit tracking will help you to stay focused and inspired and will give you a bit of “oomph” on the days when you feel that you just can’t be arsed.
Holding yourself accountable for your actions will give you a sense of confidence and control over your habits. The act of writing down and logging your progress can also be expanded to chronicle your moods on the days when you achieve your goals easily and the times when you struggle. This can help you to identify patterns for any ‘skip days’ that may occur and help you to discover the reasons that may lie behind them.
We hope that our mini guide to starting mini-habits helps you to begin achieving your goals today. Remember, it’s often a small step forward that can put you on the road to great success. Make time for the little things, slot easy goals into your life wherever you can and you’ll feel like you’re winning before you know it. You can do anything you put your mind to and it’s okay to start small, in fact it’s probably the biggest gift you can give yourself.