Habits are often considered “bad” things to have. But at the same time, “good” habits can be very powerful tools for transformation. Afterall, we are habitual creatures. Most of us follow a similar routine when we wake up, go to work, have dinner, etc. Habits give us structure and order without having to make too many decisions.
If we can add more “good habits” to our lives, it is almost certain that we will feel better. But adding good habits can be challenging. That’s why I like the idea of mini-habits.
Mini-habits are simply habits with very small time commitments. The idea is if we make a very small time commitment, we will not break the good habit.
For example, rather than promising ourselves we will meditate for 20 minutes every morning and 20 minutes every evening, we instead commit to 2 minutes every morning and 2 minutes every evening. 2 minutes is so short, it is a much easier habit to maintain.
Of course, once you get started, you may find yourself meditating for longer. The key is to “start” the new habit. So if we make our habit about simply “starting” the desired activity, it is easier to continue day in and day out.
Same with going to the gym. Rather than committing to one hour at the gym 3 days per week, how about 5 minutes of exercise at home each morning? Once you get started, you might continue for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. But if you at least do five minutes, you will stay within your commitment and not feel guilty about breaking your habit.
Mini-habits can be applied to any part of your life. Try making a list of all of the things you “wish” you had more time to do, and a list of things that you know you “should” do. Now make a commitment to doing each of them for 2 – 5 minutes per day. If you feel like continuing longer after you get started, continue longer. If you don’t want to continue longer, don’t. Keep your new habits small and simple and watch as you begin to feel better.
Here is a video that better explains the idea of mini-habits…