I am going to speak out more about how I am using tiny habits –in my main groups (BLC – Renegade team and Tiny Habits group) hoping this will encourage others how they are using it (e.g. their choices, how it is going, what they are changing to make it work better, etc.) and we can all motivate each other and find what works for us.
Longer posts will go in this blog, everyone is welcome to join the tiny habits sparkteam www.sparkpeople.com/my
Note: There are tiny habits (something you do regularly) and one-time behaviors that help you make these changes – more on this later.
The basics of Tiny Habits:
1 - a) Have an aspiration (losing weight can be one, but it also could be exercise more, or eat more unprocessed food, or lower stress, or lower your sugar intake, or …).
1 – b) Brainstorm what might help you achieve that aspiration. Examples:
-- Exercise more: Exercise first thing in the morning, exercise after work, use a new exercise DVD, etc. Important, pPick one that you think you will do.
-- Eat more unprocessed food: Include one unprocessed item each meal, substitute one of your current foods (e.g. bread) for unprocessed foods (e.g. rice) for the week, …
-- Lower your sugar intake: Drink 8 of a non-sugared drink before you drink any sugar drink, or any sugar drinks must be drank within 5 minutes of opening (then goes back in the fridge), …
-- Lower Stress: Take one breath every time the phone rings, Do something to lower stress at lunch (walk, meditation, yoga/tai chi, etc.), …
1 – c) Choose of your brainstorming items to work on – Note, it important to choose something you want to do and something you think you can do (e.g. set yourself up for success).
1 – d) Look at what it would take for you to do your brainstorming idea - you might need to do a one-time behavior to get started, such as:
-- buy an exercise DVD or some new shoes or an exercise/yoga/tai chi program,
-- make a list of unprocessed food substitutes or just choose one for the week and put it on your shopping list and maybe gather some recipes,
-- put a relaxation app on your phone, buy some non-sugared drinks such as a couple flavors of tea bags.
Create your tiny habit:
2 – a) Make a starter step or a tiny piece of the habit. Something that takes 1 minute or less to do. Something that will encourage you to think of doing the habit.
2 - b) Find a place the tiny habit fits into your day. It is always an After.. e.g. After X I will (do my tiny habit). Note: The After can be a thought (e.g. when I think “I am hungry”, I will ……. You may need more than one tiny habit. Choose the exact point of the After task (e.g. after I put the last dinner dish into the dish washer is better than after I do the dishes).
Want to drink 8 oz of non-sugared drink before I drink any sugared drink: After I start to prepare my lunch, I will include a bottle of non-sugared flavored tea. OR After I get the urge for a sugared drink, I will say/think to myself “drink a cup of non-sugared drink first”.
Want to exercise first thing in the morning: After I put the last dinner dish in the sink, I will lay out my exercise clothes for the morning.
2 – c) Celebrate you did the tiny habit. Celebration is important (and something I am bad at). The goal is to create a feeling of success.
It can be something big (yelling whoo hoo, doing a fist pump, patting yourself on the back and saying way to go), or it can be something quiet (something said inside your head, a good feeling you feel, etc.).
If you are not sure what works for you, try different celebrations things until you find something that fits for you.
You can have a different one for different tiny habits/situations.
2 – d) Play with your recipe to make it really work for you. Play with this – e.g .like you are playing to make a good mud pie (different soil, different amounts of water, etc.). Some tiny habits take off right away, some need a lot of tweaking, some never take and you need to find something else.