Keep your habits small – use “stupid small” goals. That will keep your brain from stopping you. “I will do 1 pushup a day” instead of “I will go to the gym every day and exercise for an hour.” “I will meditate for 1 minute a day” is better than “I will meditate twice a day for 45 minutes each time.”
Willpower should only used to force yourself to create habits, and the smaller the habit the less willpower you will need. The pull to do the thing becomes stronger than the resistance to doing it.
Is your current strategy working? If it is, keep doing it! But if it isn’t, and it hasn’t over and over and over again, change your freaking strategy. It’s not your fault those past strategies didn’t work, but you are responsible to recognize that and change your approach. Try creating some stupid small mini habits and see where they take you.
“To make changes last, you need to stop fighting against your brain.”
Which would you rather have, intentions or results? The biggest intention means nothing if you don’t actually do anything about it.
A little every day is better than doing a huge amount once and then never again.
“Every great accomplishment rests on the foundation of what came before it; when you trace it back, you’ll see one small step that started it all.”
I marked this book on Goodreads as “read” on June 3, 2017. Rereading it now, and his “golden pushup” story is a bit different from mine. When I first started with mini habits, there was none of this “I just did one, so I can keep going for the next 30 minutes.” There was only “I just did one, so I’m literally done for the day.”
Which was a good thing – I took it super literally. If I said I would do one minute of meditation, I did exactly one minute of meditation. At least for the first few days. I’m now on a 26 day streak at about 20 minutes each morning.
It’s really ok to start stupid small and stay there for a while.
Hey look, a blog post by Stephen about his One Pushup Challenge.
This reminded me of Bill Murray and baby steps:
Habits work because they create and strengthen neural pathways. The more you do something, the “stronger” the pathway becomes. It’s like water – the more it flows through the same area, the more it digs a path, which makes it easier and easier to follow the same path. And again, and again, and again.
Therefore, mini-habits work because they start off the creation of the pathway. And the more you do them, the deeper the path becomes. Eventually, the water of your behavior happens without you even thinking about it – and you feel “weird” if you don’t do it.