Yesterday, I went to the movies with my kids to watch Incredibles 2. (And I laughed so hard!)
Two things that amaze me about animated films are the TIME and CREATIVE ENERGY it takes to put something like that together. Truly amazing! If you saw the first one (or the 2nd!), you remember that the Incredible’s daughter, Violet, has a super power that allows her to create impenetrable force fields. When anything (bad guys, burning objects, large buildings) touches the force field, it just bounces back.
Does it ever feel like you try so hard to start a new routine or habit, but you keep bouncing off an invisible force field and landing back where you started?
You get going on a new routine to the gym or you menu plan for a week, buy all the groceries and by Friday you are DONE with salad and find yourself in the Chick-fil-A drive thru.
Then the negative thought birds start swooping in and pooping on your parade.
“Why do I even bother?!… I’ll never be able to do this!”
Hold on! You CAN do this! And you don’t need super powers, tons of time OR creative energy.
There are 3 easy steps to creating a habit. You need to make sure you hit on ALL THREE in order for a new habit to grow, flourish and become routine. It will be much easier than animating a cartoon, promise, you barely need any more time or creative energy.
#1. Identify the Tiny Habit.
After you’ve identified the habit you would like to start, I want you to break it down into the simplest form of that habit: the Tiny Habit.
What does that mean?
For example, if you want to start flossing, you are going to just floss ONE tooth.
Stay with me! This works. It seems too easy? Yes, that is because it is! Who is honestly going to stop after one tooth? Probably no one, but I still want you to just focus on ONE tooth, okay?
Let me give you another example. Let’s say you want to start a new exercise routine. I want you to JUST exercise for 5 minutes (or 2 minutes if you want). Just 5 minutes and then you’re done.
You will start to increase your time in the future, but we are just establishing routine.
And in the process of establishing a new routine, you are going to bypass the BIGGEST mistake most people make: taking on too much, too soon.
#2. Piggyback the Tiny Habit on an existing habit.
You want to start flossing? Hopefully you are brushing your teeth. So after you brush, then you floss. (or vice versa: start flossing before you brush)
You could also piggyback a new exercise routine on the back of something else you do in the morning. For me, my alarm goes off, I change my clothes, go to the bathroom, hydrate, then exercise. I really have to do this in the exact same way everyday or I miss a step.
A few years ago, I wanted to start a hydration habit with lemon in the morning (this was before I even knew about the Tiny Habit research to back this up). I am still crazy in love with this habit and do it Every. Single. Day!
To get this habit going, there were two new Tiny Habits I started. First, after I cleaned up the kitchen for the night, I got out my supplies: two lemons (one for me and one for my husband), my lemon squeezer, two glasses and two metals straws (yes, I use metal – they are earth friendlier). When I woke up the next morning and came into the kitchen there was my big reminder and I would drink my lemon water before exercise.
When we hoot, holler and shake our hoo-dee-hoo (yes that is a thing) to celebrate our new behavior we are so much more likely to repeat the behavior again and again!
This one is the silliest, but it’s where the magic happens. Really.
After flossing every night I want to see you swing your partner round and round and Make. Some. Noise!!
It works! But you won’t know unless you give it a try!
Now, I would love to hear from YOU!
What has worked when you’ve tried to create a new habit and gotten it to stick? Or what new habit are you ready to take on?
Leave a comment in the box below and share this article with anyone you think would benefit.
PS. Pin this on your board to remember to celebrate!