How are your New Year’s resolutions going? I hope really well! It’s about this time in January that we miss a day, or become overwhelmed, and just give in and give up. Don’t give up!
When you have a big goal, break it down into a tiny habit. You want to write a book? Then your tiny habit is “write one sentence every day.” Do you want to exercise everyday? One friend’s tiny habit is putting on her running shoes and standing outside her front door. She made it so easy, she couldn’t fail. She usually runs a mile or two but one particular day she had gotten up late, had a big project due that day, and remembered at 11:00 pm that she hadn’t exercised. It was really, really easy for her to put on her shoes, and stand outside her front door, so she could keep her exercise habit in place. She didn’t feel defeated at all. She had a better morning the next day and was able to have a better workout.
The Power of Habit teaches the Habit Loop. The brain seeks for a cue to start a behavior, then does the routine, and then you reward yourself.
My cue for exercise is to put on my clothes first thing, then I do “temptation bundling” so I can endure the routine, which is listen to conference talks or an audible book, and then my reward is to shower. I feel so good in the shower! So accomplished! More about my Peace Practice here.
Atomic Habits author James Clear says don’t miss a day of your tiny habits. I didn’t want to do my regular routine on Sunday, because of my religious beliefs of keeping the Sabbath day holy. When I talked to my husband about this, he said for him, “Sunday was Noneday,” and he didn’t do his regular habits, but then started up again on Monday. James Clear says, “You can miss one day but you can’t miss two.”
You will be amazed at how your life will slowly shift as you begin and keep tiny habits in your life. It’s a compounding effect and these tiny habits will start to shape your life unconsciously where you don’t have to use your precious willpower to decide every morning to exercise, or make your bed or study your scriptures. The rhythm of your mornings will set you up for success for the rest of your day. Happy New Year!