The Power of tiny habits
Every habit that lasts beyond a set time frame has this amazing thing in its favor.⠀
It started small. In other words, it was ‘tiny’, ‘micro’ or ‘atomic’ in nature.⠀
Now I know you may be thinking: “How does a tiny habit change anything? I don’t see a difference.”⠀
Last week, I took on the Tiny Habits 5-day challenge by B.J. Fogg, the author of the Tiny Habits book and the website by the same name
Even James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, emphasizes this and in my own experience, I’ve seen how well it works.
Fogg’s 5-day challenge is so simple that you’d be smiling when you fill out your habits recipe.
Make it Easy
The first tip is to make the habit so easy and so tiny that you can’t miss it.
For instance, if your intention is to build a habit of walking every evening, tell yourself that at a fixed time daily, you will put on your walking shoes. That’s it. That’s the habit. Not the walking itself.
Make it Specific
Now, it’s time to modify the habit to add a specific sequence to it.
In other words, build a recipe that says:
‘ After I (do activity), I will (do the new habit)’
In my case, it was simple:
“After I have my evening tea, I will put on my walking shoes.”
You may be thinking that this seems silly. But, that’s the key to it, actually.⠀
You see, when I put on my walking shoes, I ended up actually going for my walk!
Make yourself accountable⠀
The way to ensure that you stick to any habit? Keep an accountability tracker, like a printable sheet that you can tick off daily.
Or, when you join the Tiny Habits 5-day challenge, you get assigned to a coach who will check in with you every day to ask if you’ve completed the habit or not.
I can’t explain how wonderful this was! Sending that accountability mail took me just 30 seconds everyday. On the day that I missed one of my habits, my coach was super encouraging and asked me to modify the habit to make it even simpler. That helped greatly!
When you set a tiny target, it’s very easy to achieve it daily. Completing the habit gives you a mental boost to continue it. Although you don’t see its effects now, six months later you will notice the incremental effect of that tiny habit.⠀
Like a game of chess. You never know how a tiny pawn can bring down the king. Yet sometimes, that is exactly what happens. ⠀
Don’t under-estimate the power of the tiny habit. It’s more powerful than you know.