You’ve heard of a ‘Habit’ right, but have you heard of a ‘mini habit’?
Author Stephen Guise in the book ‘Mini Habits’ has a nice take on the potential of small steps.
“A mini habit is basically a much smaller version of a new habit you want to form. 100 push-ups daily is minified into one push-up daily. Writing 3,000 words daily becomes writing 50 words daily.”
Stephen says the benefit of this approach is manifold including:
1. You’ll probably do ‘bonus reps’
2. You’ll build routine
3. You’ll experience ‘constant success’
Taking a mini habits approach means a daily step or sequence ‘too small to fail’ through what Guise calls an ‘always-attainable target’.
Guise links the mini habits approach to Newtons first law that simply says:
“1. An object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it.
2. An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.”
By taking first step you create momentum and once moving it’s more difficult to stop.
To end here is a ‘new equation’ from Guise...
“One small step + desired behavior = high probability of further steps.”
Think of something you’d like to install or strengthen e.g. might be reading more, studying more, working on a project more.
Imagine taking one step daily ‘too small to fail’ style.
For e.g. read one word or one line for the day or study for 10 seconds or work on a project for 5 seconds daily.
Sounds a bit silly, but if you string enough of those ‘wins’ together you’ll get ‘bonus reps’ in and start to nail the behaviour down as a habit. From here you can grow.
Try taking on one or two at a time. Trying to install too many ‘new’ behaviours at once rarely remains sustainable.
Pick ‘one’, work it, build it up and then add another one.
p.s. Guise says that before doing this approach he felt ‘unstartable’. Now he feels ‘unstoppable’.