MICRO-HABITS, ROUTINES, & DELAYED GRATIFICATION, OH MY! PART 3.
To keep the relationship with our habits healthy, I think it is important to consider a crucial element to any relationship and that element is independence….If you want to have a good relationship with your habits you have to be appropriately detached from them. You must realize that while good habits are great tools in life that are objectivlely helpful to you, you still have value without them and you are more than just the sum of your habits.
Micro-habits work best when you start small and add it to something you already do.
It’s got the word “micro” in it for a particular reason; if you overload yourself by saying you will do XYZ every day of the week, then your new habit won’t have the time it needs to develop, and you will feel frustrated & want to quit. This is where personal development can either become fun or daunting. If you desire to form a healthier habit and maintain momentum after the hype wears off, you must start small, get specific and stick to what is easy.
The simplest example is from when I began flossing my teeth twice a day. I have been brushing my teeth nearly every day for as long as I can remember. I have disappointed my dentist too many times to count for not maintaining my optimal oral health. Earlier in the year, I had learned a cute little trick to whiten teeth & improve overall gum health (swish coconut oil in your mouth for 30 seconds https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323757#how-to-do-an-oil-pull ), and I began to do it before I brushed my teeth. A couple of days later, I thought more about my oral hygiene & finally picked up the floss. Because I was already swishing coconut oil daily, it gave me the best opportunity to add the flossing micro-habit after. The best time to incorporate a new micro-habit is to add it to something you already do, preferably at the end. A micro-habit can also look like you incorporating your 50–100 squats while your morning coffee percolates. Don’t know which micro-habits you want to integrate? I hope this link sheds you some light & inspiration, https://thriveglobal.com/stories/23-micro-habits-for-changing-your-life-in-30-days-or-less/.
Longevity is my intention behind my goals.
That is why I intentionally cut out alcohol for at least six months, started stretching daily & exercising X amount of times a week, flossing, and now February is my “no added sugar challenge.” When I think about my longevity, I see myself falling without breaking a hip, smiling with all of my teeth, a sharp mind that keeps up with the latest technology, running and chasing after my children and grandkids. And I can still open that dang pickle jar at 95!
Let’s talk about the “M” word.
Motivation. You’re not going to “feel like it” most of the time. You are human. You’ll make excuses. You’ll allow life, people, pets, tv shows, “I’m not getting the results quick enough,” and the sorts get in your way. The best advice I ever heard and put into practice is:
If you make it easy, you actually take motivation out of the equation, then it means even on a day when you don’t have motivation, if it’s easy you will still do the behavior.
-Dr. Rangan Chatterjee.
If you are starting a new fitness routine, which scenario do you think will likely stick long-term?
- Telling yourself, “I will go to the gym after work 3–5 times a week.”
- Start small and tell yourself, “Today, I will complete 5, 1-minute workouts.”
We all know motivation wanes, just like in the first scenario, because one may let X affect it. And it sounds like this, “I can’t go to the gym today because I’ll get stuck in traffic for 45minutes; I need a solid hour at the gym, then it will take me 20–30 minutes to get back home, and then I have to figure out what I want to eat. I don’t have the time today; I’ll go tomorrow.”
When I began to consistently work out, I told myself to complete 5, 1-minute exercises, and by the time I finished, to my surprise, 45 minutes had passed! I do not anticipate how long my workout will take me to complete. No matter how long it takes me, I still tell myself, “I can do 5 minutes; that’s easy!” Because I set myself up to do what’s easy, I am able to go over my intention by 25–30 minutes and I’m still able to feel just as accomplished had it only been 5 minutes.
Reminder: you had a life before you dove into personal development & you still have a life outside of it.
Get used to life happening & getting in your way, and show up again tomorrow. Micro-habits & lifestyle changes don’t have to be daunting. Remember, you get to customize your habits; make them more fun and less transactional! Take a chance and trust that if you give micro-habits a month-long try, you will gain insight and wisdom that you weren’t expecting, you will sharpen your self-discipline, and you will be inspiring to those even if they don’t tell you. I said it once, and I’ll say it again, you cannot bully yourself into loving yourself. Of course, habit maintenance can be challenging and will inevitably make you feel anxious, stressed, or even disappointed, but do not equate yourself to your habits and give up midway. If you seek to take the road less traveled, stick around for part 4.
do your best,
prioritize your emotional wellness,