Minihabits are Winning

In a previous post I started tracking my actions using non-digital methods.  It’s helped a lot, and I even read a good book on it.

Having failed miserably in my goals for the past 3 years, pretty much ever since starting to try them, I decided out of desperation to try this.  Continually failing goals also leads to a loss of self-efficacy, and I definitely felt that.

Thankfully, after 30 days of success in some of my mini-habits, I’m starting to feel better about it.  The idea is that it’s too small not to fail.

Also, I reward myself at each 30 day mark.

Here’s my current ones that I started with, that I don’t plan on quitting for a while.

  • 5 minutes of art each day (Goal – Increase Art Skills) – My wife gave me a sketch journal which really helps with this.  Somedays the amount of art lasts all day, some days just the 5 minutes.  Currently at 26 days.
  • 10s of Cold Shower and 1 Push Up (Goal – Lose Weight) – Cold showers help lose weight according to the book The Four Hour Body, and one pushup makes me comfortable doing pushups again.  Currently at 48 days.

The success in these areas led me to increase my mini-habits, though I admit I’m worried I’m approaching the max amount.  These mini-habits might be switched out for new ones after 1 month.

  • Plan day out with wife tomorrow (Goal – Marital Bliss) – Being on track for the next day helps manage expectations and sync our day between us.  Also, since going online less, it helps me to plan my time on the internet and off it. Currently at 9 days.
  • Do the One Thing (Goal – Making The One Thing a Habit) – This was a really good book that I wrote a blog post about.  I usually make the task super trivial in accordance with Mini-Habits, but failed at making it super trivial yesterday.  Currently at 0 days (Made it to 8).  I really want this habit, so I’ll be sticking with this.
  • Say no to Alcohol, Soda, Ice Cream, Ordering Out or some other Food Treat (Goal – Lose Weight) – Just practicing saying no has really helped!  I recently got back from my in-laws, who love to encourage eating even after saying no the first time (it’s a cultural thing).  I can say it already helped in that situation.  Currently at 9 days.
  • Don’t sit in my black chair (Goal – Lose Weight / Better Posture) – I own a standing desk and don’t use it a whole lot.  So rather than sit in my somewhat comfortable black chair, I switched it out for a broken cheap one, and I’m standing at my desk more.  Sometimes I sit down, but as long as I don’t sit in the black chair, I win.  Currently at 9 days.

It took me a while to find a system that works.  Give it a try if you’re not making progress in your goals.