“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it thousands of time.” is a quote attributed to Mark Twain. I think many of us feel the same way about the goals we set for ourselves whether in our personal or professional lives .
We get excited and enthusiastic. We tell ourselves that this time we’ll find the will power and the discipline to make it happen. We start, we keep it going for a short stretch of time but soon enough the going gets tough again, the motivation disappears, the enthusiasm wanes and we are back to where we started. Lather, rinse, repeat.
This gets pretty demoralizing. We begin to doubt ourselves and our ability to change and improve. It seems like everybody else besides us is getting in shape or making a success of their new business venture.
The good news is you don’t have to be stuck, there is a better way to acquire new habits and once you understand the process you can apply it to any area of life you choose to work on. It’s a very powerful technique called mini habits or tiny habits. These are very tiny steps that you can take in the direction of your goal. In facts it’s so tiny, it almost feels ridiculous that something like that could even make a difference.
Would flossing one tooth, or doing one push up or writing a couple of words really take you where you want to go? But surprisingly the answer to all of the above is an enthusiastic yes! Once you get started it’s easier to keep going. Once something becomes a habit you won’t have to continue overcoming resistance and procrastination. And it’s much easier to keep showing up if you know ahead of time that the task you are being asked to perform for it to be considered a success is very very tiny. It’s a win win situation.
So all you need to do is chose a tiny action you are going to take, attach it to something you already do anyway (that’s called an anchor), do your action and then congratulate yourself on mission accomplished. This wasn’t scary or overwhelming was it? Keep at it and watch yourself being transformed. If you need more information or inspiration check out minihabits.com. Your goals setting and achieving will never be the same.