I don’t know where you’re living, but it sure feels like Spring around here.
The snow and ice are gone and the sun is higher in the sky. Days are getting longer. Hooray!
It feels like a bit of a fresh start and most people I know are good and ready for it.
In fact, I’ve noticed that almost more than in January, people are looking for a fresh start with their intentions, too.
• I need to get outside everyday for some fresh air
• I want to exercise more consistently now that it’s nice out
• I need to get to bed earlier each night so I’m not dragging so much in the afternoon
• I have got to get to that project before summer comes and a whole year goes by again
• I want to incorporate at least a little quality time with my kids because time is flying by
• and more…
So, it seems like a great time to share My #1 best tool for incorporating a new habit into your everyday.
No joke, this simple tool can make great changes happen for you starting right away.
I first began using this tool last year after years of a less formalized approach, marking off each day of attention to a new habit on a basic checklist or calendar. It was pretty basic stuff and not unlike Jerry Seinfeld’s approach to developing his own daily writing practice known as “Don’t Break The Chain”. Jerry simply put a big red X on each day of a blank calendar to signify that he completed his writing practice. His simple message being… don’t break the chain and voila, a habit is born. Looks like things have turned out okay for Jerry.
Last year, I ran across another example of marking off days to develop a habit. Elise Blaha of elisejoy.com created a one page layout that captures all 365 days of the year. I loved the simplicity of capturing a daily effort over time in a single glance. It was the perfect inspiration to create a tool of my own that would benefit the needs of my clients, as well as, my own.
With a few tweaks, mostly in the way of creating a more visual fresh start each month, I created the Action Tracker. Next step was to try it out for myself. Because my previous exercise routine had to change for various reasons, I was in the position of having to rebuild the habit of daily movement.
I really wanted to a get a substantial workout in several times a week, but I knew I needed to start small and get myself moving. Because I know the power of consistency and because I can be crazy resistant, I started with the minimal effort bar, which I decided would be 10 minutes of movement each day.
Any movement… walking the dog, stretching, marching in place, anything so easy I couldn’t NOT do it.
I also know that seeing is believing and when I placed this Action Tracker on my refrigerator, it reminded me of my intention.
10 minutes of any kind of movement = a colored in circle
I began to want to keep the chain of circles going, a la Jerry Seinfeld style. If I missed a day or two or even a week, I just got back to it because I could see it everyday on my refrigerator. I had opportunities to be reminded.
The thing is…
I’m not trying to go to the Olympics. I’m simply trying to be consistent with my exercise because it makes me feel good.
Now it’s your turn…
You can use it to help build one habit at a time. Maybe you’ll choose:
• adding protein for breakfast to help your brain be running optimally
• some kind of movement
• going to bed by 10 pm
• giving your special-but-hard-to-get-to project at least 10 minutes
No more “out of sight, out of mind” with your intentions. Keeping your desired habit visible is the way to go.
Please share in the comments:
• what habit you’ll choose to create
• what your minimum effort bar will be
• where you’ll post this baby
Can’t wait to hear where you’ll go with this!