SMALL HABITS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Imagine this. It’s 6 months from now and things are going really great for you. You wake up nearly every morning ready to take on the day. You can do this, you just need to learn small habits to change your life.
Everyday chores like doing the dishes, putting the toys away, washing your face every night and reading before going to sleep come to you with ease. Your body feels loose, tension free and you can’t stop but smiling. All of this because you made a commitment of doing 1 push up a day.
ONE PUSH UP ALONE IS NOT GOING TO DO THIS, BUT HEAR ME OUT...
Now don’t worry, I’m not going to sit here and tell you all you need to do is to commit to performing 1 push up a day for 6 months and everything will fall into place, but I will tell you that it can impact your future.This is where the idea of small habits to change your life, or as Stephen Guides (LINK) call them, mini habits, saves the day.
In his book, he explains how our bodies don’t particularly enjoy starting new things. In fact, when given the choice, your body/brain will choose what is the easiest effort, or the path of least resistance. That’s why it always seems so much easier to feel shame and guilt for not working out again, than it is to get up and go to the gym 4 times a week for an hour a day.
PLUS IF YOU'RE ANYTHING LIKE ME, YOU'RE PROBABLY A TAD BIT LAZY
I don’t mean lazy where you don’t do things for yourself. I mean lazy in the terms of if you had a choice between sitting outside and playing soccer outside, you’d choose sitting. It’s that simple.
THAT'S WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE INTRODUCING SMALL HABITS INTO YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
The concept is quite simple. For each new habit you want to add to your life, start off small. If your end goal is to be able to go to the gym 5 times a week, you won’t be starting with a 15 minute work out 5 times a week, you’ll start with driving to the gym 5 times a week (preferably on the same days each week).
YOU'RE TRAINING YOUR BRAIN
You’re not only training your brain to get in the groove of driving to the gym, you’re training it to expect a reward when you do so.
A reward of dopamine.
You’re also setting yourself up for success. If you think about, if you’re going to put the effort in and drive to the gym, you're most likely going to go inside and step on a treadmill or list a weight - maybe even both. I mean you’re there already, you want to get healthier and lose some weight and you know that exercising is going to get you there. The best part? If all you do is drive to the gym, you have successfully achieved what you were aiming for.
YOU MUST CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS, OR THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK
That means every time you drive to the gym, you are going to wiggle your butt, give yourself a high five and CONGRATULATE yourself on committing to your goal. One step at a time.
On the days where you really don’t feel like doing it, I challenge you to take a moment, a deep breath and choose if you are going to commit to your goal today, or if you are going to not. Both answers are OK, but if ditching this habit becomes, well habit - you’re going to have to take a good hard look at yourself and have a pep talk. Don’t leave it up to motivation a lone.
WHILE I'M ON THE TOPIC OF MOTIVATION
I think there is something that a lot of us don’t realize when it comes to motivation, and that it’s BULL. Yup, I said it. Motivation is b*llshit. At least, everyday euphoric “I got this” motivation.
No way, but I will tell you what I do have, and that cultivated motivation.
CULTIVATED MOTIVATION IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMMIT TO A HABIT, AND THEN SEE👀 EVIDENCE OF YOUR PROGRESS
Our bodies love evidence. It’s a way for us to see, concretely, that we are making progress towards our goal - and the only way to do it, is to make progress towards our goal. That’s a bit of a catch 22 isn’t it?
How are you supposed to gather evidence required above, if you’re not feeling motivated to get into action. Well, you’re not. What you need to do instead of thinking “I can’t workout until I have motivation to do so” you need to reframe it to something along the lines of “When I work out, I get motivated to keep with it, and that in turn will motivate me to get started”.
In other words, I want you to talk yourself into it. Appeal the logical brain. Tell it that you want to get healthier, that going to the gym will help you do so, and even when you’re tired and not 100%, driving to the gym will help make going to the gym easier on you. Sweet talk yourself, sauve sauve.
Believe me - there is no way I used to wake up at 5am, and go to the gym after years of being a night owl based off motivation alone.
THE OBSTACLE REALLY IS THE WAY
9.9/10 the thing that you really don’t want to do, is the thing you need to do to get you where you want to be. Even if that place is just driving to the gym. When you’re faced with really not wanting to complete your new habit for the day, here is what I want you to do:
- Take one BIG breath in for 4 counts, and out for 4 counts. Repeat 10 times and just focus on breathing. Once you’re done, open your eyes and see how you feel. Most commonly, a little more centered and grounded, with a lot more calm.
The one thing that I realized during this time of pandemic quarantine is that you have to choose what you want. It’s not just going to come to you. The motivation you desire isn’t just going to pop up overnight. We are in an unprecedented times where we are at home and by ourselves.
We have the knowledge to do things right now, that will help us thrive in the future. Believe me, I’ve been in a place where I cannot implement. It is scary and it is terrifying. However, the tiny bit of control that you do have, needs to be recognized and put to good use.
SMALL HABITS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
My challenge to you - pick on a small habit and commit to it and overtime, see how that small habit turns into 10 minutes on the stair-master, to a full fledged 60 minute gym session.
DON'T FORGET THIS HELPFUL HINT:
When choosing small habits to change your life, choose only one habit at a time. Focus on building it consistently for at least one month, and then add another. This is for real, you need to focus your attention to make these habits your new normal.
Looking for tips on what habits to include in your life. Click here to read my radical self care article here now!