One of the challenges that most of my clients face is having to change or to make new habits.
I am sure that you already know that sometimes this can be a challenge!
(I’m not unique because I find it hard too and despite me making a decision earlier this year to drive less and cycle more I can easily slip back into the ‘ good reasons ‘ why I should drive today instead of going on my bike.)
I wanted to share with you a simple tip that James Clear talks about in his book ‘ Atomic Habits’ and it only takes up 2 minutes of your day, if that!
The 2 Minute Rule.
Starting small is the trick to any new habit and when I say small I mean REALLY small.
Let’s take an example: You want to start running.
The first and most simple habit to make is to decide on a time of day when all you do is put on your running shoes. Yes, that’s really all you need to do.
Maybe you decide this is first thing in the morning once you get out of bed or maybe it’s as soon as you get home from work.
Just put on your running shoes. (Honestly, it probably takes less than 2 minutes to do but you get my point?)
What does this do?
It sets an intention and it gets you to show up. Putting on your running shoes every day at the same time means you are doing the right thing. You’re creating a ritual. (Much like the one your mum helped you to establish for brushing your teeth!)
After a while your brain may say, well I’ve got my trainers on so why don’t I go for a walk?
And then, guess what?
You start going for a walk every time you put on your running shoes, you create the next part of the habit. Then once this is normal (a habit) you may say, why don’t I just run between those 2 lamposts? Do this every time and it creates another habit.
The time you decide to go back to walking between these two landmarks it feels wrong. That’s when you know the habit is formed!
Contrary to belief, It’s not about how much time it takes to form a habit, it’s about how many times you repeat it. Consistency and frequency are what you need.
So let’s take another example and I’ll give you an idea of how to grow the habit. ( The end goal is to do a daily meditation ).
First Step: Set aside a time every day when you take on 5 deep breaths.
Second Step: Start to close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths focusing on slowing the breathing down.
Third Step: Close your eyes breathe deeply and listen to a piece of music for 5 minutes.
Fourth Step: Download a guided meditation which lasts for 10 minutes.
Can you see how each step will take you closer to your goal?
There is no time limit on each step, you will know when to move on and also what each step needs to be.
And remember: The journey of 1000 miles starts with just one step.