I’ve been researching habits – how to change habits, how we make new habits, and why it’s so dang hard. My favorite book so far is called Mini Habits by Stephen Guise. He shares his personal story of wanting to get in shape and exercise regularly, but not finding the motivation. Instead of committing to five days/week at the gym for 60 min workouts, he challenged himself to do just one push up per day. He calls this a mini habit.
The idea is that the “mini habit” is so stupid easy (his words) that you can’t NOT do it. It’s a teeny tiny version of your bigger goal, but it sets your brain up for making a habit. You feel successful at the end of the day because you followed through (never mind how easy it was). It’s really interesting. So I’m trying it.
ANXIETY & MEDITATION
I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for . . . . well, seems like forever. I guess since I was a teenager. It comes and goes, but lately the anxiety has been taking a nice grip on me so I’d like to incorporate a daily habit of meditation. I know there are amazing benefits to daily meditation, especially for those that struggle with anxiety, but I’ve never made it a priority or habit. While I’d like to commit to daily meditation for 30 minutes, I know it’s not realistic just yet. I’d try it once and the next day avoid it because it seemed too long. So I’m going to try Stephen’s idea to make it a tiny commitment. My mini habit for meditation is to simply close my eyes, breathe in deeply, and exhale deeply. If it leads to another breath or five minutes of breathing, great. If not, I did my mini habit.
The other habit I want to begin is sketching five days per week. Like any skill, daily practice is how we improve. I often don’t know what to sketch or I want to find a photo to reference and I make the task so big that I never start. My mini habit for sketching is to sketch a small apple five days per week. Yup, the same thing every day. Again, if it leads to more, wonderful. If not, I completed my mini habit.
Stupid easy habit forming. I’m in. Have you ever tried anything like this? What do you think about mini habits? Diana