Small Habits

800px-Coccinella_magnifica01There are all kinds of articles and studies and blogs about small habits. I have a file folder full of them and they all say basically the same thing.

Start small. Start tiny. Start even smaller than tiny.

There are zen small habits. There are doctors’ who tell you about small habits. There are writers and artists and teachers and their list of small habits. They might use different terminology (ie., small versus tiny versus miniscule versus – well, you get the picture) but they’re all telling us the same thing.

Start small.

Think small.

And once you’ve done that? Think even smaller.

I’ve been thinking about this more than a bit, because whatever good habits I had seem to have vanished completely over the past three incredibly hectic months and have been replaced by exceedingly bad ones.

Yes, I have an excuse. Actually, I have many. Moving. Unpacking. Working a third more than I usually do at the office. Concussion (minor and now pretty much okay).

What I want to do is to run a half marathon this fall and that means starting to run every second day. Run. Run. Run. Run a lot. The other thing I want to do is lose some weight and that means giving up all my favorite things and losing that weight. Fast. Fast. Fast. Starvation fast. The third thing I want to do is write every day and that means finding an hour or two or even three when I can do that. Write. Write. Write. Write pages and pages every day.

Of course, I don’t do any of these things because I’m waiting for the perfect time to do them. and of course there isn’t one.

But now, thanks to an article about B.J. Fogg and his approach to small habits that I found while I was thinking about this blog, I’m going to try it. I’m going to pick three very small things (he says you’ll probably abandon one of them), I’m going to do them every day (he says to attach them to a “crisp” anchor, that is, do it after something you do every single day at basically the same time without fail – brush your teeth in the morning, turn off your bedside lamp, put on or take off your glasses, have your first cup of tea or coffee) and I’m going to celebrate – with an out-loud ATTA GIRL! – the fact that I do them.

So for the running habit, I’ll plan to put on my running shoes. Just that. For my losing weight habit? I’ll drink a glass of water. One glass of water. And for my writing habit? I’ll write a single sentence. Every single day.

Small habits. That’s where I’m going to begin.

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