You and I are creatures of habits. It’s amazing how many decisions are made in our daily lives without thinking. Some studies even show that subconscious habit makes up 40% of our daily actions! Therefore, in order to keep that ‘40%’ full of healthy actions we’ll discuss how to change unhealthy habits with “mini habits”.
One misconception about habits is that they take a lot of effort to build, but I disagree. Nature shows us that a small snowball rolling downhill will eventually get bigger and stronger with enough momentum. The snowball doesn’t require much “effort” once it gets going. In the same way, we’ll use effortless mini habits to build daily momentum towards our goals.
There’s a saying that goes “success is built upon success”. Fortunately this quote never mentions how big the success has to be! Think of a mini-habit as a daily task towards your goal that’s SO simple that it’s hard not to do it every day. For instance:
- If your goal is to improve your gym consistency, start a mini habit of driving past your local gym on the way home each day (nothing more!)
- If you want to build a strong core, start a mini habit of simply laying in sit-up position on the ground for a few seconds (yep! that’s it!)
- If you want to drink more water each day, start a mini habit of simply filling up a water bottle (I didn’t even say you had to drink it!)
“Great! But isn’t this a little TOO simple…what’s the catch?”
Mini habits are designed to get you comfortable with taking the first step towards your new goal (a healthier habit).
Therefore, these too-easy-not-to-do mini-habits simply serve as your “daily bare minimum” accomplishment for the day. However, I assure you it won’t be long before you naturally feel compelled to do more simply because you “might as well”. You’ll figure:
- “I’m already driving by the gym each day (mini habit accomplished), I might as well go inside on the treadmill for a couple minutes”
- “I’m already down here in sit-up position (mini habit accomplished), I might as well do a couple”
- “I’ve already filled my water bottle (mini habit accomplished), I might as well drink some”
Remember: the “mini habit accomplished” is your main goal, anything else is an extra bonus.
Furthermore, I would seriously recommend making your momentum visible by utilizing a journal or checklist calendar. Keeping track of your progress this way is a great way to see your “success building upon itself”. Seeing your daily momentum gives yourself a satisfying sense of accomplishment every day. The longer your daily “success streak” gets, the more you’ll want to keep it alive.
And boom – you’ve just created discipline without even realizing it.
Let’s get that snowball rollin B-)
- New habits are best acquired through daily momentum
- Daily momentum is best sustained through simple, mini habits
- A mini-habit (baby step) is something that’s “too-easy-not-to-do“
- Keep track of your daily progress in a journal or calendar checklist