I recently read Mini Habits by Stephen Guise (again), and I’m fascinated with the results I had just by implementing the strategies he teaches us in the book.
As a recovering perfectionist, I tend to reach for the moon in terms of my daily habits and discipline in maintaining them. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except human beings are not perfect. Sadly I will not be the first haha.
But it’s unreal to expect to be fired up every single day and hope that day will turn out exactly how you planned it. That’s why I believe the mini habits strategy is impressive because it accounts for the bad days.
As someone who struggles with periods of deficient energy, I need a good strategy for those days. And here is how it works.
#1 Make it too small to fail.
Here’s how he puts it:
“A mini habit is a tiny positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day; it’s ‘too small to fail.'”Stephen Guise, Mini Habits
For example, let’s say you want to write a book. To achieve it, you are going to have to install the habit of writing. So instead of overwhelming yourself with writing 2,000 words per day, you can minify it, and make it “stupid small.”
You could establish your goal for the day as 50 words instead. Does it sound almost stupid and ridiculously easy? Well, that’s the whole mini habit strategy right there. By making it tiny, you won’t skip (because let’s be honest, writing 50 words is incredibly easy), and there’s a high chance you will do “bonus reps.”
One of my personal goals is to write a book, so I took that idea and made it my own. And ever since, I’ve been writing every single day. The best part? Most days, I write 1,000 words on average.
Although I did have one “low energy” day since therefore, I wrote only my 50 words and felt incredible. It’s essential to keep in mind your goal is only the mini habit you chose. Everything else is only a bonus!
You can use that strategy for just about any area of your life you want to improve.
#2 Make the decisions in advance
Whether our willpower is finite or infinite, no one knows or agrees on. But when you frame it merely as “energy,” you know it can get drained depending on how many decisions you have to make that day.
My nighttime routine includes choosing my clothes and planning the next day because then all I need to do is follow it, and I can preserve my decision-making power for something else.
So in the morning, I don’t need to decide what to do. I wake up, brush my teeth, change clothes, go downstairs, and sit down for my morning meditation. As soon as I finish it, I sit down to start writing. And not even an ounce of energy would be spent in the process.
The more automatic you can make the cues to your habits, the better. In my case, two mini habits go together, and one will serve as the cue to the other.
#3 Do it in the same place, every day
If you are anything like me, not having a place for yourself, to be in silence, and focus on doing your own thing could be a problem.
I tried to manage that by getting one pair of noise-canceling headphones, but in the end, it took me having a separate room to be able to relax and focus on doing what I like to call “prep-work” for the day – meditation, silent reflection and writing.
That is because I value my relationship intensely, so I’d often neglect all my habits to interact and spend time with him. Nothing wrong with that, but it is one of the reasons none of my mini habits have any specific time.
I could do all of them at once, right before going to bed. I never do it, but it is an option in the case my day completely blows up.
Make it a game that’s easy to win and have fun waking up every morning to have fun while you implement all the routines you’ve decided in advance are essential for you to achieve your goals and live a happier, more fulfilled life.
I hope you’ll share your wins with me. I’d love to know.
“the first step forward is always the most important one… by far.”Stephen Guise, Mini Habits
Take that first step today. Win. And stay awesome!
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