Change your 'change game' and become a game changer for, a change.
Hi there, read or not, your decision,
This post is loooooong, but do yourself a massive favour, read every word.
Ready, steady, GO! Habits. They, improve, rule, run or even wreck, our lives.
Think of the last time you made a commitment to change something in your life (New Year Resolutions come to mind) - and how easy it was to, 'make a commitment' to 'lay out' a plan.
Now, forward a couple of weeks. Where's that commitment now?
Gone, I'll bet. Am I right? Yeeeesssss!
Motivation melted away. Willpower worn out.
(Almost certainly by this month, August, in any year).
This is 'cause the mind- set you used to, think of the plan, was not the same mind -set you had when you actually, didn't or couldn't bother implementing the thing.
OK, OK, you may have got through the first week, or even two, but I guarantee after that, you needed to keep pushing yourself just to even remember the freakin' resylootion, right?
When you have to keep pushing yourself to do something, it gets, real boring, real quick. Really!!!!
It takes discipline to keep doing something you don't really feel like doing. But that's the BRICK WALL of new habit forming .
Don't give in yet though, 'cause there's the, mini- habit.
This approach, rejuvenates and recharges, the whole game of starting and achieving changes in your life.
Deadly serious, not jokin' in any way about this. Because, I promise, there's a great deal of science to back this up. Won't bore you with that right now, this post is already a monster. (Not intentionally).
What if it was easier to start and stick with something you struggled with in the past than it was to not start it?
Brilliant if there was a way, right? Right.
Well, there is.
You see, starting the doing, is always the bit that trips people up. Isn't it?
Dieting for example. More and more people want/need to lose that fat, more and more often.
I, once-upon-a-time, struggled to start writing posts for this blog.
I used to think that I could just tell myself that all I have to do, is start writing and the rest will take care of itself. I was of course wrong.
I think we both know that approach rarely works long-term.
Because there were times that I just didn't want to bloody start. So I didn't.
Most of us have been in that place.
To form new habits, (lasting change), it's the consistency that does it.
So, if I decide to create a new habit, and promise myself that no matter what, I'll stick to it for 30 days.
Let's say I promise myself to write 500 words every day, for 30 days.
I know that, for the first couple of days, I'll be motivated to 'stick to the plan'.
Then when the motivation dwindles, which it always does, I then use determination and willpower to keep going.
However, after a week or so, I'm almost guaranteed to miss a day. And once I miss one day, I'm pretty much guaranteed to miss another or two, or three..........
That's the biggest problem with forming new habits. If you're not consistent, the habit doesn't stick.
(Only around 1200 words to go in this 'post with the most').
BUT, mini-habits, solve this problem.
The first problem is starting, right?
Problem with the old approach, was/is that, if I knew I had to stick to a quota of 500 words a day, I'd automatically feel resistance to starting.
500 words, although not that much, still creates resistance.
That resistance is where the old/usual approach breaks down.
Sure, you can use motivation and willpower, in the beginning, to get started.
But as I said, those two things get, real old, real quick.
BUT. BUT. BUT. BUT.
You CAN overcome this by; creating daily mini -habits (tasks) where there's little resistance. A little resistance is much easier to overcome. It's even possible to get yerself to the point where there's NO RESITANCE and you actually look forward to the challenge.
When there's little resistance to starting something, you'll more than likely start it.
It makes 'things' do-able. Any 'thing'!
Wanna write, a blog post, email, letter, book?
Let's go back to my 500 word daily writing action plan: 500 words doesn't seem like much, and in the beginning, it's not.
But after a couple of weeks or so, when you have little motivation left, those 500 words DO seem like a lot, and it's so easy to, miss today, and start again tomorrow.
(The only do-able way to solve this problem, is make the commitment to write fifty words a day rather than making a commitment to write five hundred words a day. When you do this, you'll notice that there's little resistance to you starting to write fifty words. That's little resistance). ( ... to ... ) is fifty two words. Wanna' check?
Even if, on any one day, you had a thumping headache you can still sit down to crank out your daily goal of writing just, 50 words.
It'll take you 2-5 minutes.
Anyone can do that.
That's a mini- habit in action, solving the problem, makin' ya feel good.
It's actually easier to write those 50 words, than it is NOT to write them.
Because if you make that commitment, and no matter how you feel (tired, headache, whatever) and you can't motivate yourself to write 50 lousy words, then you're essentially saying that you're a miserable, no -name, loser.
Pride won't let you fail at something so ridiculously small, that takes less than 5 minutes to do.
That, dear reader, is real power.
#No matter how you feel.
#No matter what time you have.
#No matter, any piggin' thing.
You cannot fail to sit down for 2-5 minutes a day to write a paragraph, 50 words, can you?
Time you had a, coffee, tea, beer, kick the cat, break?
You may now be thinking: "But Phil, 50 words is nothing. I won't get much work done at all only writing 50 words, will I?"
Well, absolutely you will.
Decide, now, to go write 50 words then come back here.
I bet you wrote more than 50 words.
I bet you thought that you could write hundreds of words, maybe even thousands.
Why is that? Once you start, it becomes difficult to stop, right?
Yes the trick is, make a commitment to write, JUST 50 words, do JUST 1 press up, read JUST 1 page.
You must not think, "Oh, I'll sit down and, crank out 500 words, do 50 press ups, read two chapters today."
If you think that, you've lost the game before ya' even start.
It's all about consistency.
You can crank out 500 words when you're up for it, but what about when you're not? Then, you won't do anything.
You might, wrongly, think, "I'll write 500 today, but tomorrow, if I don't feel up for it, I'll just do the 50 words.
Don't even think it.
(That's the, absolutely sure-fire way to fail at this, new habit, change, become- a -better -me, get- a- better- life, thing).
You MUST ALWAYS go in with the intention to do the smallest possible step. Whatever it is.
Make it bigger, at any other time, and you'll start to feel:
For example, make the goal to write 50 words, do one press up, read one page a day, for the just 7 days. If you do more, great. If you don't do more, that's also great. But don't, don't, bleedin' well don't, make the mistake of telling yourself that you HAVE to do more.
The objective is: 50 words a day. 1 press up a day. 1 page a day.
No matter what, you ONLY have to, write 50 words, do 1 press up, read 1 page.
It sorta, well definitely, works, for anything.
#Do just one sit up. (If it's an exercise goal). Don't make the mistake of creating a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day. That's waaay too much.
#Read 1 page of a book every day for 30 days. Don't make the goal to read 2 chapters of a book a day. That's waaay too much.
# Write fifty words in that long email you promised to send. Don't make the goal to write the thing all in one go. That'll be waaaay too much.
Instead/always make it a goal to:
# Read JUST ONE page of a book a day.
# Do just ONE sit-up a day.
# Write ONE paragraph a day.
Anything more, and you'll feel resistance.
The objective is to plan something so small that it's impossible to NOT do it.
I know from experience that, once you start, you won't stop.
# You won't write just 50 words.
#You won't do just one sit up.
#You won't read just 1 page.
You'll do a lot more than that, AND, on the days that you prob'ly don't feel like doing anything, guess what?
You will still be able to write 50 words, or read 1 page of a book, or do 1 sit-up. AND/ BUT more often than not, you will STILL do a lot more. Even if you didn't feel like doing anything at all that day.
Sooooo what if you don't do more, who cares? You still met your daily quota.
That's VITALLY important. We're forming habits here.
New habits require, CONSISTENCY. Mini-habits make that do-able
When creating these new habits, only do three at a time. Add more over time, but don't get yourself into a position where there's resistance. Resistance is what stops people from starting.
What you're after, is the start.
That's ALL you have to do.
Remember, make it so bloody small that NOT doing it will be harder than actually doing it and you'll feel like a wimp. (That's 'cause you have been). Sooooo.......it's.
#1 page of a book.
#1 Sit up.
#50 words (1 paragraph).
#10 runnin' on the spot things.
With new habits you want to form, I guarantee that the killer is the NOT starting. But the starting becomes much easier if it's a mini-habit and ALWAYS leads to consistent forward progress.
# Try reading 1 page of that book (99% of the time you'll read a lot more)
# Try doing just 1 sit up. Uh?
# Try ONLY writing 50 words. Bet ya' can't. Yeh go prove me wrong.
You'll prob'ly do a whole lot more.
Remember, though: NEVER , NEVER, NEVER, go in with the intention to do more than the smallest step. If you do, you'll create resistance, and it's the resistance that stops you/me/people from even starting.
Focus on just 3 habits first, for 7 days, to see how you get on.
Use a calendar to mark off your completed tasks. Then see it fill up quicker than any other time you've tried to stick to your goals.
Just seeing that calendar fill up is, usually, great motivation to keep going. As I said though, you won't have any problem sticking to your daily mini-tasks, because well, there'll be almost zero resistance since the tasks are so ridiculously small.
TIP: The more ridiculously small and stupid? your task is, the more laughable it is, that's EXACTLY what you're after. You want little or NO resistance to actually starting
Try it for 7 days.
Pick 3 tasks.
Read 1 page of book a day for 7 days.
Write 50 words a day for 7 days.
Do 1 sit-up a day for 7 days.
Try it, you'll be amazed at the results at the end of the week.
I've written much more than I intended here but I wanted to make absolutely certain that you have all the info you need to make this work for you.
It takes much longer to explain than it is to actually do.
Reading and doing the above, might just/should/will help get you to start and maintain change in your life.
Warmly, as always,
Thought Master and Mentor
P. S. Now, take another, longer, break. Then, come back and take notes that make it all clear in your mind. It'll be worth it.