A few years back I wrote a post called, 1 Sit-up Per Day Could Change Your Life. Recently I read a book called Mini Habits, which talks about this same concept. Basically the premise is this…we often try to create new habits (diet, exercise, reading, writing, etc.) through sheer willpower. The problem though is often our willpower is not strong enough, consistently enough, so we give up.
So mini habits are goals which the author calls “stupid small”. He changed his whole life through a commitment to do 1 push up per day. 1 push-up is so easy to do…even when you don’t feel like it…so no willpower is really needed. But an amazing thing happens while you’re down there doing your one push-up. You’ll likely go ahead and do a few more. After all you’re already on the floor and in the proper position. Now remember the goal was just one. There is no obligation to do more, but if you feel like it you can.
This same approach can be taken for any new habit you want to form. Break it down to such a super small (stupid) goal that you can’t help but take the 1 minute per day or so that it might take. Again your only obligation is to meet the mini habit…if you do more it’s a bonus!
The reason I’m posting this, is I read the book as a part of preparation for a series we did at the church I pastor and it really impacted me. I really want to be consistent in my blogging and was for years. However, after years of blogging on a daily basis I began to burn out on it. So then I decided on a daily topic type of approach but that didn’t work either. So mini habits are my latest way to try to get back into it.
The plan is this. Write 50 words per day. That’s it! Basically that is 2-3 sentences usually. If I write more than that then great. If I don’t that’s ok, because I’ve met my goal. I’ll just keep writing 50 words per day until I feel a post is complete, then I’ll post it. In this way the pressure to produce something daily or X number of times per week will be taken away.
To show you how this works, I wrote this post over a 5-day period. Included in that were 2 days of shoveling snow that completely wore me out. To be honest, I’m was so sore I didn’t want to write but then I remembered…”It’s only 50 words! You can do that even with sore muscles and a pounding headache”. Funny thing is, on one of those days I wrote most of this post. That just shows that often the motivation is just taking the first step.
So what mini habits can you start? One push-up per day? One bible verse per day? Take a 50 step walk? Write or read 50 words per day? Put a penny into your savings account? Again make the goal stupid small so that you’ll see success every day and I think you’ll be pleased with the results!
Would love to hear your thoughts on mini habits or any questions you might have. Also, if you’re inspired to start a mini habit, post it on here so we can help encourage you along. I also downloaded an app for my phone called, “Habit Streak” that prompts me each day to do my mini habits and keeps a record of how many days in a row I’ve been successful and gives me other reports on my progress.