Many times our new habits fail simply because we take them to the extreme. We feel like that’s the only way we will get results. The truth is that an imperfect habit practiced consistently will yield you more return over time then a perfect habit practiced occasionally. For long-term results, you are after a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, fad approach. For something to become a lifestyle behavior, it often needs to fall into the moderate approach. Goldilocks had it right.
The idea is to start small and get the habit in place. Once it is well established, you can expand it to the #MinimumEffectiveDose. Do just enough to get results, but not so much that you will dread doing it; otherwise you won’t more often than not. What you are after is consistency, not perfection.
Let’s use meal prepping as an example. Instead of trying to prep breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the entire week when you have not ever meal prepped before, how about just starting with planning and prepping breakfasts for the week? Once that becomes easy and natural for you to plan and implement, add snacks. Continue to expand until the habit allows you to do what you need to in advance, but don’t do more than is required. You may find that you prefer not to plan and prep dinners because family schedules are chaotic and you just can’t logically make a plan. Remember that you don’t have to do something just because others do. Just because it works well for them, doesn’t mean it’s going to work well for you, so use your energy in a way that does benefit you! Don’t spin your tires!
Some other ideas: Walk for 10 minutes a day, then expand once the habit is in place. Set a timer and read a devotional or personal development book for five minutes in the evening before checking social media or watching TV, then expand the time until you hit the goal reading time. It also works for breaking habits as well. Want to quit smoking? Smoke one less cigarette per day and slowly expand the time between smoking breaks as you taper the number down.
Don’t underestimate the power of traction you can get for making positive changes by starting small and expanding!
1/ What’s one way you could start small with your habits today?
2/ What habit have you struggled with the most to implement?
Are you ready? Let’s get growing!