“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” – H. G. Wells
How many times have you set a goal for yourself, only to give up or screw up within a few days? (I raise my hand). It happens to all of us, right? Change is hard. The brain’s wiring is hard to overcome.
We get ourselves fired up and charge into the fight, only to fizzle out within days or hours. How do we overcome this cycle? I asked this question, searching for the answers and finally found the answer a few years ago. The answer is this: Create “stupid small” habits.
These habits are mentioned in Stephen Guise’s book: Mini Habits. You can find it online for $5.99. In his book, Stephen explains what “stupid small” means and why creating these stupid small habits are so effective. Imagine an exercise program consisting of one pushup. Imagine writing 50 words a day. Imagine creating a habit where you are only required to read 2 pages in a book or even 1 page if 2 is too much. You see the pattern here.
The beauty of these mini habits is they don’t require a lot of motivation and only tap minute levels of your willpower, which science has shown to be finite. Interestingly, they have also found that willpower can be exercised like a muscle and the more we train our willpower, the stronger it gets. Persistence is key. If you screw up today, you get back on the horse again tomorrow.
If for some reason you continue missing days or “screwing up” reduce your requirements even more. Ultimately, the goal of these mini habits is to create the ability to do something you want to do every day or every week and stick with it until it becomes second-nature. Once your internal wiring accepts the new habit, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to keep it going. The next step in this process is the bonus work you’ll get each time you use your newly formed habit. Think about reading a page in a book. If you are reading a great story, it’ll be hard to just read one page, right? The same goes for writing 50 words or doing 1 pushup. Each of these habits is so minimal, it would be easy to add to them. Just realize your only requirement is the mini habit you created. The bonus work you do is cool and will add dramatically to your self-esteem, but they are not required. Only the mini habit is. This is really important to remember: Only the mini habit is required. The bonus stuff you do is bonus stuff.
If you want to build some new habits get this book. I am not an affiliate of Amazon or Stephen Guise. I just like to pass on life-changing books that come into my life. It has had a huge effect on me and I hope it helps you attain your goals.
- I’m leading a book discussion today at a monthly meetup
- I’m healing from a hurt back (so workouts are minimum and low intensity)
- I’m continuing to work on my non-fiction book
- I’m learning a new game called Masters of Orion 2 (introduced by a buddy of mine)
- I am cooking some meals that will keep me satiated during my intermittent fasting
- I am going to finish a book I’ve been working on this week, called Armor
- I will be moving back into the non-fiction reading arena by starting a book by Immanuel Kant
I hope each of you has a terrific week!
Until next time…