Tiny habits

I've been into watching TED talks lately. There are so many interesting subjects and interesting speakers. I usually gravitate towards the minimalism and self-improvement type talks. Recently, I've watched one on tiny habits by BJ Fogg, PhD. Basically what he says is don't focus on big change, focus on tiny habits.

I'm giving it a shot! I've made some improvements in my life. But there is always room for improvement (actually, much room).

So how does it work? Well, I'm paraphrasing here, but what I got from the talk is that you have to think of a goal, break it down into super simple easy steps that take almost no effort to achieve, and pair it up with a habit you already have (and of course don't want to change) which helps trigger the new habit. For instance, if your goal is to keep a tidier household, start with something simple. You could write it up like this: "after I get out of bed, I make my bed". This is actually my first one. It's really a no-brainer. But I haven't been consistent. Now I will be. He also says to "celebrate" after doing the new habit. It's kind of cute and geeky how he suggests to celebrate. With a little "I'm awesome!" statement while shaking your fists in the air in victory. Or a little victory dance or something. :)

So here are two goals of mine:
  1. I want to be healthier. (In the past I would have written lose weight, but weight loss, I've learned through my Whole30 experience, is a side affect of being healthy. So I'm not going to worry about it. I'll just focus on the health. You don't lose weight to get healthy, you get healthy to lose weight!)
  2. I want a tidier home.
Here are my first tiny habits to help me achieve those goals:

I want to be healthier. I will eat more vegetables and fruit. My goal is to get up to 9 cups a day (3 cups of leafy greens, 3 of sulfur rich vegetables, 3 of colourful vegetables and fruits). Getting to those 9 cups seems a little intimidating. Therefore, for a week, after I pack my lunch, I will prepare a smoothie with 1 cup of leafy greens, 1 cup of frozen berries, water, and a banana for sweetness, and I will add 1 cup of sulfur rich vegetables to eat on the side. This will be part of my breakfast. The smoothies I've made for myself before, and I quite enjoy them. It's an easy achievable habit, especially because it's pleasant! Once I feel I've mastered that habit, I will add more. Now this doesn't mean that I won't have other vegetables or fruit during my day, but this will be a must no matter what.

I want a tidier home. So, after I get out of bed, I make my bed. Once I feel I've mastered that habit (consistently), I will add another one relevant to keeping a tidier home. And of course, this does not mean that I won't be doing other home tidying chores, but this will be a must no matter what.

These things are things I already do sometimes, but not consistently. I want them to become habits because I believe my life will be improved.


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