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 it is off to work in her home office. Crystal is the kind of person that 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 in her day 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 huge 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–both good and bad–have compounding effects, which means 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 every day 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 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, certainly, you need much more time than two minutes to improve your health benefits; but adding an extra two minutes to your current running/walking workout is negligible. Adding another two minutes the next week you probably still won’t notice. However, if you. Keep increasing your time by two minutes and soon enough you’ll be running/walking longer distances.
Adding these small increments of time is sustainable and harmless whereas thinking you can run/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; just do a bit of soul-searching to decide where you want to focus or what specifically 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.
Create a tiny habit to drink more water or to eat more fruits and vegetables daily. Plan to have fresh fruits, vegetables, and bottled water handy. Within a few weeks, your body will be craving 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 out my walking clothes, shoes, visor, and sunglasses next to the bed. In the morning, there is no thinking, I jump up, put on my clothes, sneakers and hit the road.
You have many types of relationships to choose from here. There is the relationship with yourself, spouse or partner, family, friends, colleagues, clients, community, and world.
Create a tiny habit to reconnect with yourself each morning and throughout the day. You could spend 2 minutes focusing on your breath. It helps you focus and stay present to what you are doing. When I was 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 to spend 10 minutes reconnecting with your spouse/partner at the end of the day. After awhile you will find yourself looking forward to that time of connecting and your relationship will get stronger.
Think of a relationship you want to improve and create your own tiny habit to implement.
Create firm business hours–especially if you work from home. Nobody wants their work to leak into their personal time.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? When you can use it you get more done. Studies show that the brain responds better to short sessions with a break away from your work. Try it so you can complete projects or meet deadlines faster.
The Pomodoro Technique is as simple as using a kitchen timer to block off 25-minute increments where you focus on a task until the timer rings. Take a 5-minute break. Get up walk around, refresh your tea, use the restroom, and then reset the timer for the next 25-minute session.
These are just a few ideas; you’re only limited by your own creativity and by what aspect of your life you need to focus on and want to improve.
You can build a big new habit by implementing tiny habits every day.
MOTIVATION Is What Gets You Started.
HABIT Is What Keeps You Going.
Want more help with productivity? Check out this Free Productivity Challenge http://nancyhelps.me/Productivity Challenge offered by Connie Ragen Green, a mentor of mine. I am currently in the challenge and it is making a big difference for me in my personal and professional life.
Nancy Dadami is a Feng Shui Master by trade, an Artist at heart, and a Teacher from her Soul. She teaches open-minded people to unlock their potential and tap into their Inner Magnificence to live a life of purpose and meaning.