Using Tiny Habits to Change Your Life
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You’ve tried everything, every diet, every exercise challenge, and they just don’t work. Okay, let’s be honest, you don’t work them. But what if you tried just one small thing instead of a full blown diet change, or a 1-hour gym workout?
The idea of making small, incremental changes to improve our lives is not a new one. In fact, it’s been around for a while. I first came across the idea of “tiny habits” in BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits: The small habits that change everything. People are always talking about getting a new habit, or changing their habits, but Fogg shows how tiny habits, such as the “One Push-up” concept can help us succeed with habit changes.
I used the tiny habits concept without even realizing it back when I was writing screenplays. Being a writer, the hardest thing to do is sit your butt in the chair and write. But once you get started, it’s like a fire has been lit. So my tiny habit: Write one sentence a day. 99% of the time that one sentence ended up being 1500 words at a minimum. But I had to give myself a reason to sit down without feeling overwhelmed.
The same goes for blogging, just one article title with the first subheading, and BOOM! I had a full article written.
In this article, we’ll look at ten ways you can use tiny habits to change your life and your eating habits.
- Start with a tiny habit
The first step to using tiny habits is to start small. Pick a habit that is easy to do, and commit to doing it every day. For example, if you want to start a regular exercise routine, start with something simple like doing ten jumping jacks every morning. Once you’ve successfully done that for a week or two, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise.
- Connect your tiny habit to an existing habit
One of the keys to making a new habit stick is to connect it to an existing habit. For example, if you want to start flossing your teeth every day, connect it to brushing your teeth. Every time you brush your teeth, make a point of flossing a few teeth as well. Over time, flossing will become a natural part of your daily routine.
- Celebrate your successes
One of the things that makes tiny habits so effective is that they are easy to achieve. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every time you successfully complete your tiny habit, take a moment to acknowledge your achievement. This positive reinforcement will help motivate you to continue.
- Make it a part of your daily routine
To really make a habit stick, it’s important to make it a part of your daily routine. Set a specific time each day for your tiny habit, and make it a non-negotiable part of your day. For example, if you want to start meditating every day, set aside ten minutes each morning to do so.
- Use triggers
Another way to make a new habit stick is to use triggers. A trigger is something that reminds you to do your tiny habit. For example, if you want to start drinking more water, place a glass of water on your desk every morning as a reminder to drink more water throughout the day.
- Track your progress
Tracking your progress is an important part of making a new habit stick. Keep a record of each time you successfully complete your tiny habit. This will help you see the progress you are making, and will also help you identify any patterns or trends that might be hindering your success.
- Start small and build momentum
When it comes to building new habits, starting small is key. Focus on one tiny habit at a time, and don’t try to take on too much too quickly. As you successfully build one habit, you will gain momentum and confidence to take on bigger challenges.
- Make it a group activity
Making your tiny habit a group activity can be a fun and effective way to make it stick. Find a friend or family member who shares your goal, and commit to doing your tiny habit together. This will provide accountability and support, and can make the habit more enjoyable.
- Be flexible
One of the great things about tiny habits is that they are easy to modify. If you find that your tiny habit isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Maybe you need to change the time of day you do your habit, or maybe you need to adjust the habit itself. Be flexible, and be willing to experiment until you find what works for you.
- Don’t give up
Finally, the most important thing when it comes to using tiny habits to change your life is to not give up. Building new habits takes time and effort, and there will be times when you stumble or fall off track. But it’s important to remember that setbacks are a normal part of the process. If you miss a day or two of your tiny habit, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just get back on track and keep moving forward.
In conclusion, tiny habits are a simple and effective way to make lasting changes in your life. By starting small, connecting your new habit to an existing one, celebrating your successes, making it a part of your daily routine, using triggers, tracking your progress, building momentum, making it a group activity, being flexible, and not giving up, you can successfully build new habits that will improve your life in countless ways. So why not pick a tiny habit to start with today and see where it takes you?