What is Mini habits?
A mini-habit is a small version of a new habit.
How to create Habit with Mini Habit formula?
Doing 100 pushups daily, becomes one push-up a day, writing 3000 words daily becomes 50 words a day, thinking positive all the times becomes thinking two thoughts a day.
Overcoming internal Resistance with stupid small steps.
If you want to create a habit to do exercise daily. But, you did not feel to do it. Because you face internal resistance.
In this, do not battle with your brain. Instead, break your activity into small parts until it becomes stupid small.
If your goal is to do 100 push up a day then you need to make a habit to do 1 push up, even you can break the activity into stupid small steps:
- Open the drawer.
- Pick up and wear workout cloth.
- Place the mat on the floor.
- Lie your stomach on the floor.
- Lift your body.
- Do one push.
Once you continue to force yourself to do one push up. Then, the subconscious mind will pick up the pattern and makes the changes easier for you.
If you decide to do 20 push-ups a day, but do not able to form the habit.
Because doing 20 push-ups require willpower.
That’s why big intentions are worthless.
Doing a little is better than doing nothing. Plus, when you are making a decision, you are motivated and full of energy. And, doing push-ups is easy for you. But what happens when you are tired.
Mini Habits cost you no willpower.
The strategy forces you to take 1-4 small stupid actions every day. These actions are too small to fail and too small to skip.
Small habit requires a small amount of willpower. Because it does not take willpower to do one pushup. Even chances are you will do the bonus repetition.
Newton law can help you to understand better.
- An object is in at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts on it.
- An object is in motion will not change its velocity, unless an external force acts on it.
Even if you do not exceed your small requirement. The behavior will become automated. Another benefit of mini habits is constant success.
As mini habits are too small to fail so it lacks the feelings of guilt, that comes from goal failure.
Intimidate by Habits Failure.
Mini habit is the perfect way to create a new habit for the lazy guy.
Even, mini habit will protect you from hopelessness. Because when you make massive goals and unable to carry out. You will begin to feel hopeless.
But, with mini habit toolkit, you are going to succeed daily. As it is too small and you can do in any mood. Either you are tired, depressed or happy. You can still complete your habit.
Tracking your Progress with mini Habit checklist.
I suggest you make a list to track your progress.
As physical marking your success is more tangible than digital marking. Plus, if you put it in bold place, where you can see it often enough.
You will reduce the chances of skipping any day. Hence, it is important to make a checklist so you can mark, after completing an activity.
Stick with Four.
It takes a lot of discipline to continue a single habit for a long time, and, ignoring everything else’s. However, you can create multiple habits at once. As it requires a small amount of willpower.
But, even a small action requires willpower. Creating multiple habits at once will distract you from your goal.
So, I suggest you follow less than four. Because if you increase the number of habits you will lose the focus.
Change of Energy Level.
A mistake you make during goal setting.
You do not consider your motivation and energy level. You think that your energy level is stored and you will reactive it when it comes to act. But, it is not the truth.
To make your mini habit works. Consider your energy and motivation level during goal setting. So you will keep walking on your plan without the fear of falling.
Working of mini habits.
If you want to know, how mini habit works. You need to understand the three concepts of a mini habit.
1. A habit is assigned in a neural pathway.
2. The neural pathway is a trigger either by thoughts or external clues.
3. Once the clue is trigger, you will develop the craving to perform a behavior.
Example: If you have a habit of taking a shower when you wake up. That’s mean, you have a neural pathway associated with the behavior.
- The Behavior – When you wake up.
You will wake up, neurons will fire, you will walk to the shower, without any thought. As you repeat the behavior.
- Waking up – Shower.
The habit ingrains deeply in your brain. The neural pathway will get thicker and stronger.
However, when you form a habit, it has no neural pathway. You have to manually follow a behavior.
But, once you repeat the behavior, the baby neural pathway begins to grow. With time, you have a solid neural pathway for the habit.
Time and Activity Based habit.
You can use two methods to create a habit.
- Time-based method.
- Activity-Based method.
Time-based method forces you to perform an activity on time. However, in an activity-based method, you will follow one activity after another.
Example of time and activity-based habits.
I will go to the gym at 5 p.m.
I will go to the walk after having dinner.
Time-based habits perform at a specific time while activity-based habits perform after breakfast, lunch, suppress, and dinner.
Time-based habit works well for the people who have a lot of flexibility in their schedule. The method is rigid with little ambiguity. As it helps you to get work done and build discipline.
The downside of the method is, you might feel tired at the time of performing the habit. Through this, it will create a chance to skip a day.
Activity-based is flexible with a bit more ambiguity.
It helps you to build a structure in structureless life. As it allows you to do one activity after another.
The downside of activity-based is, if you have a habit of writing, in the morning. You will not feel good to write other times of a day; when you skip the habit in the morning.
Two parts of brain.
The two parts of the brain work in habit formation prefrontal cortex, and basal ganglia.
Basal ganglia are not aware of future goals. It does not differentiate between good and bad behavior until you tell. It is an efficient pattern repeater that saves energy.
However, the prefrontal cortex is an intelligent part of a brain. The management function of the prefrontal cortex is responsible but uses a lot of energy.
The Prefrontal cortex locates behind your forehead and understands the benefit and consequence of a behavior.
However, the automatic function of basal ganglia is effective and efficient. It allows you to save energy and take care of tasks that do not need constant monitoring.
Mini-Habits language of the subconscious mind.
The goal of habit formation is to alter your brain pattern with repetition. But, the truth is, your brain will resist changes unless you reward it.
When you did not reward your brain. You will feel like punishment. However, endorphins are a natural reward for the brain.
But, in the beginning, endorphins are not enough to sustain a behavior. If endorphins are not enough, you can call for backup.
You do not need to play the game fairly. Because you can add an unrelated reward for certain behavior. Later, the brain will associate the behavior with the reward.
Your subconscious mind loves efficiency. Therefore, you have habits. When you repeat the behavior for a long time, the brain will automate the process. As it is energy efficient.
Support the habit, in initial stage.
The secret of creating a habit is like teaching a kid to ride a bicycle.
At first, you are letting kid pedal as you ensure him, you are holding on. But at some point, you let him go and the child rides on its own, without you.
Like this, in the beginning, you have to support the habit with additional behavior. Once you develop good habits then everything becomes easier.
You can get up early, eat healthy breakfast, go to walk every morning. You can do the right thing with very little effort.
You should have reasons why you want habits.
Before creating a habit. You need to ask.
Why do you want to form a habit?
Ask until you grab two – three reasons to follow the behavior. Because your answer will help you in tough times.
Example: I want to write every day.
It helps me to express my thoughts.
Because Writing is something I value in my life.
Suggested Reading: The Power of habit Summary.
Feelings are Unstable.
Motivation is unreliable because it depends upon feelings. And, feelings are unstable.
Several things can alter your feeling including an event, blood sugar level, depression, hormone, energy level, and belief.
Do you want to place your hope on something so unstable?
You can conjure up the motivation to do exercise or write 2000 words. But, other times, you might end up taking a nap or watching TV.
It happens, because motivation is not easy to develop on your demand. It is hard to feel motivated when you are tired.
Detach yourself from motivation.
The idea of motivation is ingrain in you. Because you might think, you will feel happy while doing an activity. But, no rule says, your feelings and actions should match.
The untold truth is repetition does not excite you, but, it makes you less excited. If you are depending upon motivation, you will face a difficult time, sticking with your habit.
However, you can use a power strategy. In this, you need to schedules an activity so you can do it later.
The activity allows you to do your work consistently. And, once you start an activity, then motivation comes and urges you to do more.
Drag Out from comfort zone.
Imagine, you are in a circle. And you are comfortable inside of this circle. But, outside of it, you will become uncomfortable.
Envision, a happy version of yourself with less negative thoughts, a better physique, and a strong mind. Goals like these belong outside of your comfort zone.
The common way you try to achieve your goals is to dive outside of your comfort zone and trying to stay there. But then, the subconscious mind begins to say, this is interesting.
But I become uncomfortable here with a huge change. And bring you back inside the comfort zone.
With mini habits, you are taking one step at the outside edge of the comfort zone. It is like you are walking to the other edge of the comfort zone.
And taking one step outside of a boundary. Here you are in a less uncomfortable place because you know, talking one step back will put you inside of your comfort zone.
Sometimes you will step back but when you continue to step outside. The subconscious mind will get comfortable with it.
Decision making at the moment.
You have two states of mind while decision making.
In a deliberate mindset, you count your options. But, in the implemental mindset, you commit to act.
Setting a clue will help you to cut out the deliberate mindset process so you can come in the implemental mindset.
At Last: Here are my favorite Quotes from this book.
- If you do not execute your ideas, they die. — Roger von Oech.
- Be happy, but never satisfied. ― Stephen Guise.
- True self-discipline is not when you have someone ordering you to do push-ups, it is when you decide on your own to do them. ― Stephen Guise.
- Emotions will either serve or master, depending on who is in charge. — Jim Rohn.
- Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.
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Above article is the extract version of the book “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” written by “Stephen Guise”.