Can’t motivate yourself?
Paying for that gym every month you don’t visit any more?
Got an ever growing To Do list?
I could probably go on with more of those things you want to do, but just never get around to.
You are not alone. It is the same for everyone and even me, until I heard about mini habits via Brian Johnson’s PhilosopherNotes videos. Wow! am I cooking on gas now. I am literally unstoppable. And it wasn’t like I didn’t get stuff done before. I’ve always been habitual with exercise and managed to get through my workload, well, most times. But now, it is all so, so, so much easier. I’m sorry for using three “so’s” in a row, but I really want to emphasise this.
Now with exercise for instance I don’t need to mentally slap myself across my face to get motivated to lift some weights or do some cardio. I’ve wanted to write more and now find myself writing non stop, in between ripping through all my other mini habits and daily tasks that I have set myself to do. And it is all much more fun. I don’t even need to think about it.
How is this possible? Well, take this article I am writing just now. Pre mini-habit era I would have sweated and strained trying to get myself to write an article because I would be imagining having to write 500-1,500 words and referencing research and unnecessarily mounting pressure on myself . Now, post mini-habit era, I plan on writing 100 words and no more. But the magic is, I then go on to write a lot more. And all of this is based on scientific principles that have been studied in detail. It’s just we aren’t taught it at school, or at work and unless you chance upon it, like I did, you never get to learn it.
It’s the same with exercise for me now too. I have exercised all my life and really enjoy it. Yet, sometimes I don’t have the urge or energy and can’t motivate myself to do a 30 minute 10 set weight routine. However, now with my mini-habit in place, I don’t have to. I plan on doing just 1 set of something equalling only 2 minutes of work. My mind says “GREAT!” and loves it. I then go to do 1 set, congratulate myself and the weird bit is I just want to go on and do more and more, but I don’t have to if I don’t want to as I have already met my target. Simple.
Here’s a 10 minute video by Brian Johnson where he gives you the golden nuggets of the book Mini Habits – Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise.
Stephen Guise has a great website and offers a lot of mini habit ideas that are grouped into useful categories. Here is an example from his website-
Mental Fitness, Knowledge, & Intelligence
- Read 2 pages in a book
- Read 1 new fact
- Complete 1 mental exercise or game (Brainmetrix offers free brain training games)
- Memorize a group of 5-10 words (grocery list)
By Time (1 min)
- Attempt to solve a rubix cube
- Add 1 plus 2 (=3); add 3 to that (=6); add 4 to that result (=10), and so on…
- Spend 1 minute learning a new word (enhance your native language or learn a foreign language)
Exercise mini habits are well-suited for hybrid mini habits, which allow you to convert “X times a week” goals into daily goals. This is great for people starting out who want to do something relatively difficult like go to the gym consistently.
- 1 Push-up
- 1 Sit-up
- 1 Pull-up
- 1 weigh-in per day (weighing yourself increases your mindfulness about your weight and the things that influence it. Thanks to Marty for this terrific idea. Also, how easy is it to step on a scale?)
- Walk/jog to the end of your driveway
- Leave the house at least once a day, further than the mailbox
- Put on your gym clothes (seriously)
- Set up your exercise mat, press play on ab video, sit on mat (you don’t have to do the workout, but make yourself do this and you’ll probably want to do at least a little bit)
- Drive to the gym (X times per week)
By Time (30 sec)
- Run stairs
- Run in place
- Jumping jacks
You can get more at his website minihabits.com.
This is also a great example of how NOT TO focus on the end product, but instead focus on the process. A process of mini habits that with accumulation turn into massive results or End Product.
Join my newsletter to find out more about Process v Product.
And you can get some great tips on productivity here as well.
What habits or mini habits can you set in place today to get your day started right and light your world on fire?
If you need any help with this please just drop me an email or give me a call. I’m always here to help.