Do you still remember the resolutions that you had set early this year? The goals and target that you plan to achieve? I would like to share the book that I found is useful to achieve our target by taking small steps every day and eventually build up our progress and success in the end. The book is called Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results Book by Stephen Guise.
Stephen Guise uses his own example to illustrate how he uses mini habits to achieve his goal in career and physical health. Example one push up a day, write 50 words per day and more. He describe the mini habit is a stupid small activity that you can carry out not matter what everyday.
I would share the benefits of mini habits, how to start the mini habit and the 8 rules for mini habit.
The benefits of mini habit
First, we need to understand our brain has two parts, one is called prefrontal cortex and another is called basal ganglia. For prefrontal cortex, it helps us with cognitive and complex thinking but it requires a lot of willpower to do it. Basal ganglia in charge of movement coordination, repetition and more. By repeating our mini habit ,the daily repetition helps us to strengthen our willpower and in the long run, once we are used to it, we no longer need any motivation for it. The average time of habit to form is 66 days, by repeating the mini habit, our habit will form. For example, if we choose to read 2 pages everyday, after 66 days, we read 132 pages, one year can achieve 724 pages. It is almost equivalent to one to two books!
Although the mini habit is a very small and easy step, if you feel like doing more, you can do even more. Example you can write more than 50 words if you like to. In the long run, the accumulated results are more than expected.
We would feel achievement after we complete the mini habit each time and this helps to improve our confidence to carry on.
Here are the steps to start our mini habit.
1st: Select our own mini habit.
Define our own target, for example if i wish to have a healthy body, i can set one day one push up. If I wish to improve my career, I can try to spend 3 minutes per day revising english.
We can set a goal, and from there to define the mini habit to carry out. We can try the mini habit for a week and monitor from there. If the mini habit that we set is too high, we need to readjust and make it friendly for us. The keypoint here is the mini habit should be able to easily repeat everyday no matter the conditions.
2nd: Use the why drill on each mini habit
Ask ourselves why we must carry out this mini habit in this hour this time? Why do we need to carry out this mini habit instead? The more “why” we ask ourselves, the more we feel determined to our mini habit. This is helpful as in long run, a lot of inner voices would raise up to confuse us.
3rd: Define our habit cues
Find out the time to carry out this mini habit. Example right after we wake up and do one push up. It can be environmental cues too, for example, when we lie down on our bed, we can read two pages of a book before going to sleep.
4th: Create a reward plan for ourselves.
Plan to receive some reward to ourselves after doing the mini habit to keep going with our motivation.
5th: Record everything down
Tracking our progress by record down our progress after each mini habit. One of the great ways is to mark on a big calendar. Each time we finish the mini habit, we do a marking on the calendar, so it forms a chain. And to not break the chain, we need to repeat the mini habit everyday. Of course, we can choose the alternate methods to record our progress.
6th: Think Small
To sustain our stamina on the mini habit, try to set a small step in our mini habit so we can have the energy to carry on this daily.
7th: Meet our schedule & drop high expectations.
Choose to do more on our mini habit set instead of increasing the difficulty of our mini habit. This to maintain our consistency in the long run.
8th: Watch for signs of habit, but be careful not to jump the gun
The process to form a good habit is boring, remind ourselves to not give up and keep going!
Now i would like to share the 8 rules for our mini habit:
- Never ever cheat our progress
- Be happy with all our progress
- Reward ourselves often especially right after mini habit
- Stay calm and keep repeating the mini habit
- If we feel strong resistance, back off & rethink the smaller strategy
- Remind ourselves the mini habit is super easy
- Never think a step is too small
- Put extra energy and ambition toward bonus reps (repeat a few more times) instead of a bigger requirement.
I hope this article is helpful to you when you plan your goal & target. I have this free mini habit guide for you to kick start.
For Chinese Article, click here.
For more info on the book, can look here!