Just a quick hello to share with you a revelation that I’ve been reading about recently. As an antidote to the large, looming projects and goals we all set for ourselves and then either painfully push through or skillfully avoid, I’m learning of the power of “Mini Habits.” In his book, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, Stephen Guise explains how creating small, doable tasks can have a significant impact on productivity and our ability to take action on our goals.
Guise describes the birth of this concept: “Then one afternoon–after another failed attempt to get motivated to exercise–I (accidentally) started my first mini habit. I initially committed to do one push-up, and it turned into a full workout. I was shocked. This “stupid idea” wasn’t supposed to work. I was shocked again when my success with this strategy continued for months.” His mini habit was to do just one push up each day. So simple, right? Many days, it was just the one push up, and he followed though on that one small, doable task everyday, knowing that something is better than nothing. Other days, he found himself adding on to that one push up. Within weeks he was exercising regularly and now years later–as a trimer, fitter version of himself–he can’t imagine life without consistent exercise.
For us, we can apply this “too small to fail” concept to organizing our space. Read on for tips.
1. Motivation Barrier Shortcut. Think about the mental hurdle needed to overcome to commit to doing 100 push ups. Whereas doing just one is so doable, how could you not
Likewise for organizing. We can get paralyzed thinking about the amount of time and effort needed to organize our entire office. What about filing just 1 paper today?
2. Exceed Expectations. When we set the bar low, we can easily exceed it. One push up? Now that I’m down here, I guess I’ll do a few more. And perhaps some jumping jacks. A few crunches couldn’t hurt
Is it possible that if you commit to setting aside just one item from your closet or household to put in the donation bin daily that you’ll find it easy to do more and more?
3. Trick Yourself into New Habits. The beauty of the concept of Mini Habits is that each day you acquire proof that you can take action, follow through, commit to yourself. We start small and find that weeks have gone by and suddenly we’re a runner, or a writer, or…gasp…have an organized space!
Keeping your space and life in order may never be as automatic and habitual as, say, brushing your teeth. However, setting organizing rituals in motion does discredit the myth that organizing has to be a big, hairy project and makes your goals more accessible and doable.
I invite you to consider one habit you’d like to develop. Reading more, exercising, being more organized, eating healthier, being happier, greater productivity–it’s up to you. Think of what it would mean to you this time next year, when you’ve mastered this habit and fully embraced it as a part of your life. Why not start today?
If you’re interested in reading the book or learning more about Mini Habits, here’s the author’s website.