I know you want to change your life, I know you want to have that healthy life, I know you want it to be so sustainable that you don’t have to start all over again, that you’re not always in that refresh and reboot period. And I know that sometimes you ask yourself the question, “Do I give it one more shot, or do I just lay on the couch and binge watch TV for the rest of my natural born life?” Girl get off the couch because these micro habits are going help you create that momentum and stay in momentum.
Micro Habits Lead To Consistency
What are micro habits? They are tiny little habits that you create that are repeatable. Like all habits, they are the glue, the foundation for any successful and lasting change. They are going to help you create continuous momentum. That’s one of the few things I can guarantee is that if you take it slow, you do these small incremental steps, success is yours.
Think about a snowstorm. Here in New England we have snowstorms, and we don’t get 30 inches of snow in an hour, we get an inch of snow an hour, so that amount over 30 hours, that amount over a few days, that builds up to snow. Five years ago, six years ago we hit 100 inches of snow. That 100 inches of snow didn’t happen overnight; it took a month for us to get to a hundred inches of snow.
It’s these little things that add up over time that is going to give you the results that you want, and the results come from consistency.
Let it be easy
Why do you want these incremental changes? It’s easier to start. I hear a lot of excuses when it comes to starting now. “In order to get healthy and fit maybe I need to get a gym membership, so that means I have to shop around, so that pushes my starting working out off.” Or “I have to get new sneakers.” Or, “I have to wait till Monday because I can’t go to the grocery store till Saturday or Sunday, blah, blah, blah, blah. When you pick a small change, you can start it right now.
Let’s just make it simple. I’m going to use my real example – I wanted to get back into meditation; I lost the habit and now I want to get back. I can set this big goal like meditating for 20 minutes, but instead I’m starting small. I used to be up to 20/30 minutes, but you know what, let me own where I am right now. Five minutes. I’ve been doing it and it feels great.
For you the big goal might be following the Whole30” or doing Paleo or Keto. That’s a lot of change all at once, so then you crash and burn. So, you start small – maybe it’s you saying to yourself, “I’m going to drink one less cup of coffee,” or “Maybe I’m going to drink one more glass of water.” They key is to start small.
Here’s the kicker. Five minutes passes by quickly and I think to myself, ” Oh, five minutes have already passed. Maybe I should up it.” Nope. I’ve only been doing it for three days; I’m not going to push myself. I’m going to say stick with it, five minutes for 30 days, and if I can sustain that then I can take the leap.
Start Simply. Simply Start.
The other thing I like about micro habits is they are fearless, painless really. I don’t have to rearrange my whole life when I make small goals. It’s not badass but it’s more than you’re doing right now. It’s those incremental steps. Start simple; it’s that simple.
When I was trying to start small with my food my weakness was DaVinci syrups. I used to always have it in my coffee, it was heavenly. My favorite was the gingerbread — yum, yum gimme some year-round. But I was trying to cut back on my sugar intake and they do make it sugar-free, but I wanted to cut back on my Splenda intake, too,but it wasn’t an overnight thing. I have two cups of coffee per day so I started just having it in every other cup. Then, I turned to having it every other day, to only on the weekends, just on Sunday, and eventually it was once a month. I haven’t had DaVinci’s in about three or four years. Now, am I sugar-free? No. Will I ever be sugar-free? Hell no. But I made a small step in the direction I wanted to go.
That’s where I want you to start. When you take these little small baby steps you don’t have to think about all the things. You can go nice and small and feel more in control. You’ll feel that you can manage things way better and with less stress.
Half-assed but motivated
The final piece to micro habits is to stay motivated. You have to keep the motivation going. Motivation dwindles down just like willpower when you’re trying to do “all the things.” There is an episode of The Simpsons, (if you don’t know, he works at a nuclear power plant) and Homer Simpson’s boss says, “I’m sick of you guys half-assing it around here. We’re going to start using our whole ass.” Here is where I want you to half-ass it, here is where I want you to take off the ‘all the things’ hat and say, “What is 50%? Here is my list of 100%, what would get me 50%?” And do that. And if you feel like you’re stumbling with that 50%, scale it back.
I’m an A++ personality, and the best thing I heard was… I always want the A+, who doesn’t? I want to be the gold star, the teacher’s pet. But what if instead I went for the B+? It’s still passing, it’s still pretty outstanding, but it’s not stressing me out, it’s not making me cuckoo for cocoa puffs. It’s keeping me on pace, it’s keeping me sane.
What I want to do is give you a little structure for you to start kind of making this on for yourself. I want this to be actionable for you. The big thing is you’ve got to make a choice. What is it that you want to change? It could be several things, just brainstorm, just sit down and write it all down. Then figure out what are the challenges around that?
A simple thing to start with is water. I’ve been giving you the example of meditation, but I want to give you something a lot of my clients come to me about. They often say that they want to drink more water. One of the big things I tell people about water is habits sometimes need triggers. The trigger could be maybe you drink a glass of water when you first get up, maybe you drink a glass of water when you first get to work, maybe you drink a glass of water before lunch, maybe you drink a glass of water before dinner. But you find some interval, something you do on a regular basis that you will always do that will remind you to drink the water. You could also set alarms on your phone to drink the water.
But that’s how it all starts, it’s those little habits. If you’re ready to embrace the new you, create some micro habits. Then drop me a comment. I want to know what’s your new micro habit. I look forward to hearing about it.