It is an all too familiar phrase, “I’m going to lose weight and get healthy after the new year”, “I want to exercise more”, or “I need to become organized”. You’ve heard it (or maybe said it) over and over again.
If you don’t take a proactive approach to reaching your goals, these general statements just give you the excuse not to take action. In other words, you are setting yourself up for failure. This is where mini actions come in. This is the idea that breaking down your overall goals into mini actions will allow you to much more easily change unwanted habits over time. There’s no hurry, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
This is exactly what Steven Guise, first time author of the book, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results did. He had told himself for so long that he wanted to get into shape and begin exercising again regularly. But it just wasn’t happening. So he decided to start by taking just one mini action. One day he told himself he was going to do one push-up. Thinking that this would be easy to accomplish, he did the one push-up. Then, he thought while I’m down here I may as well do a few more, so he did. This is what Steven needed to help his motivation. He continued to set one pushup as his mini action every day, but of course, he gradually did more and more. This is what he needed to get the ball rolling towards his fitness goal. It is sort of a way to trick our brains into taking the first step and then realizing that we can really accomplish whatever we want.
Each time you accomplish a mini action, it gives you the motivation and momentum to keep going. It takes time to change a habit so why not set yourself up to be successful from the start? Begin with a small step, and let momentum take hold to create a bigger, wanted change. It’s like creating a big snowman from a single tiny snowball.
Sounds like a piece of cake (well, the healthy kind, of course), right? Well it is, and all you have to do is plan and follow through with one mini action at a time. I’m sure you have a minute today to complete your mini action. So think about your overall goals and choose mini actions to do every day. If you decide to try the mini action approach to reaching your goals, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post on my Facebook page (url for my fb), and share your accomplishments. Remember, there are no actions that are too small!