Crystal wakes up in the morning, her mind racing with a list of the tasks she wants to accomplish that day. She checks her email and social media while she waits for her coffee to brew. Then she is off to work in her home office. Crystal is the kind of person who doesn’t think about her routines or habits.
She wishes she was more productive and healthier. She knows some of her habits are getting in the way of the life she desires. She thinks, “If I could just organize my time, I would fit everything in.” Crystal knows she should exercise regularly to be healthier, but she doesn’t have time for that.
Do you have routines or habits that stop you from living the life you want?
Take a moment and think about your routines and habits. What could you accomplish in a week, a month, or even a year if you created tiny habits today and kept building on them over time?
Trying to make massive changes all at once usually leads to overwhelm or failure because it is hard to make big changes all at once. However, by taking small steps with tiny habits toward a bigger goal, you realize it is doable, sustainable, and a path to success.
Habits of all kinds—good and bad—have compounding effects, meaning the more you do something, the greater the results.
The more often you lace up those sneakers and get out there, the sooner you’ll achieve better heart health, more energy, and greater motivation to stick with your new habit.
Likewise, the more frequently you eat processed food, drink alcohol, smoke, skip exercising, or partake in other unhealthy habits, the more health problems you’ll have over time.
What is a Tiny Habit?
Tiny habits are those small actions we take daily without thinking about them. Brushing your teeth, checking your email, washing your face, and making your bed. Some of our habits we were taught as kids, and others we taught ourselves.
Tiny habits are also quick and easy, sometimes taking less than two minutes; therefore, we don’t even notice them taking up any time out of our day.
Try adding a new tiny habit for 2 minutes a day. In the sneaker example above, you need much more time than two minutes to improve your health benefits, but adding an extra two minutes to your current running or walking workout is negligible.
Adding another two minutes next week, you probably still won’t notice. However, if you keep increasing your time by two minutes, soon enough, you’ll be running or walking longer distances.
Adding these small increments of time is sustainable and harmless, whereas thinking you can run or walk a 26.2-mile marathon when your current training is only 30 minutes long is simply foolish.
Every single area of your life can be improved with the help of tiny habits; do a bit of soul-searching to decide where you want to focus or what needs improving.
Having a goal in mind will lead you in the right direction, and these tiny habits will build the processes necessary to reach those goals.
Health and Habits
Create a tiny habit of drinking more water or eating more fruits and vegetables daily. Plan to have fresh fruits, vegetables, and bottled water handy.
Within a few weeks, your body will crave more water, and preparing produce with meals will become second nature.
You can also create a tiny habit to get more movement. It takes me 2 minutes to lay my walking clothes, shoes, visor, and sunglasses beside the bed.
In the morning, there is no thinking; I jump up, put on my clothes, sneakers ,and hit the road.
Relationships and Habits
You have many types of relationships to choose from here. There is the relationship with yourself, your spouse or partner, family, friends, colleagues, clients, the community, and the world.
Create a tiny habit of reconnecting with yourself each morning and throughout the day. You could spend two minutes focusing on your breath.
It helps you focus and stay present in what you are doing. As a high school principal, I would go into the restroom stall (the only place people would not interrupt me) and breathe for 2 minutes to keep me focused and present.
If you have more time, create a tiny habit of spending 10 minutes reconnecting with your spouse or partner at the end of the day. After a while, you will find yourself looking forward to that time.
I am participating in this free Action Habits Challenge by Connie Ragen Green. I make small changes and get big results. Connie guides you step-by-step to create new habits. It works for me, and I know it can work for you, too.
MOTIVATION Is What Gets You Started.