Who is really MOTIVATED on a Monday morning? Maybe a better question is who really lives in a successful mode of motivation? Most of us have spurts of “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” [dictionary.com]
I’ve sat through countless professional development classes and read numerous books on the subject of setting goals and staying motivated to reach those goals. All…well most…had something I could take away and use. The thing they lacked for me was a way to consistently stay motivated. I’ve learned that the fact is motivation waxes and wanes for all of us. So what do we do when the umph in triumph just isn’t there for us?
Since last winter, I’ve been on a mission to find a sustainable healthy lifestyle where making daily healthy choices becomes second nature. You know…I want to instinctively reach for an bowl of berries instead of a bowl of Crunch Berries. I’ve read many books so far this year that are helping me move in that direction. (If you’d like to know what I’ve read, let me know. I’ll either send you a list or make a post with links to the books.) So much of what I’ve read requires me to be and stay motivated. And while that sounds great, for me it just doesn’t seem to be reality.
In May I found the book that may be one piece of the puzzle for creating those new habits. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise looks at the battle between MOTIVATION and WILL POWER. He explains the biology behind how our brain reacts to each. (Fascinating, but I won’t go into that.) The general premise is to work to build MINI habits by making your “goals” so crazy-easy, that you are sure to meet them and surpass them each day. After reading that book, I read another of Mr. Guise’s books, Mini Habits for Weight Loss. It continues the idea of forming mini habits but with a focus on healthy choices. Both were good books! You should read them! I liked the first the best and feel like I got the most out of it. However, the second also has great information.
On May 14th, I started my mini-habits journey. My stupid-crazy-easy goals/tasks were:
- Laugh one time every day
- Eat one salad every day
- Read 2 pages every day
- Write 50 words every day
You probably look at those and laugh! (Your welcome…I got your one laugh a day in for you!) They are almost so easy that they’re silly! That’s the point. These goals are so easy that NOT hitting them would be ridiculous!
From May 14th through May 31st, I hit those tasks every day except one. Let’s just sit a second and soak in the fact that I, Cindy, ate 17 SALADS! This out of the girl that struggles to consistently eat any vegetables. I made a point to LAUGH…really laugh…every day. (Two nights out of the seventeen, I had to find something funny on YouTube at the end of the day when I realized I hadn’t laughed.) I’ve noticed that I just smile and laugh more. I read 5 books! I wrote more words in the last half of May than I have in quite a while! As a matter of fact, this blog is the result of the writing goal. I’d say this Mini Habits stuff is working for me!
June rolled around (can you believe it’s already June?), and I set out to assess and adjust my goals/tasks for this month. I kept the laughing, reading, and writing (changed writing to each weekday) goals basically the same. I don’t think they’re quite a habit yet. The salad goal I changed from one salad a day to eating one serving of fresh vegetables AND one serving of fresh fruit every day. And finally, I added drinking two bottles of water a day. So far, so good.
What is a habit that you want to form? (Very different from a habit you want to quit.)
- Drink more water? Try getting just ONE glass in a day! I bet you drink more!
- Read/study the Bible? Start with reading ONE verse every day!
- Exercise? Pick an exercise and do just ONE of it. You’ll find it easier to do more. But if you only do it once, WAY TO GO! That’s one more than you’ve been doing.
- Keep a clean house? Clean one small space a day.
You get the idea? I’d love to hear from you if or when you read the books and/or try out creating some mini habits for yourself!