Mini habits create the path to our goals – no matter how big those goals are.
If we want to achieve long-term goals, we should not focus on the goal itself but on the behaviours that will get us to the goal.
We design an easy path to the goal by choosing suitable behaviours and changing them into habits.
The behaviours that we want to develop into habits should be behaviours that we want to do – because we have positive thoughts and feelings about them:
- They don’t make us feel cautious, anxious, or threatened – because we don’t expect them to be risky or dangerous.
- They make us feel motivated and excited – because we trust they will be easy to do, even enjoyable, not at all painful or hard and difficult.
- They don’t make us feel overwhelmed or exhausted – because we know they will not cost us much energy and effort.
Because of our deliberately positive thoughts and feelings, we are willing and able to do new behaviours repeatedly, until we have achieved the goal.
To check whether the chosen action is tiny and enjoyable enough, we can ask ourselves if we can believe and say with confidence:
‘Of course, I can do that. I could even do that for the rest of my life. It’s so easy!’
So we start by choosing suitable easy-to-do mini behaviours, and while we are doing them repeatedly, we create mini habits. Mini habits that are mini/small in the beginning, yes, but then, little by little, will develop into bigger behaviours and actions, getting us closer and closer to our goals.
If our goal is to run a marathon, we step-by-step build up behaviour habits that support the process of getting closer to that goal.
We, for example, first build up the tiny habit of walking 5 minutes each morning.
As soon as that has become a strong habit, we are ready to expand the habit by, for example, starting to run 10 minutes each morning.
After a while, we build on that and practice the habit of running 25 minutes each day.
This is how we, mini step after mini step, mini success after mini success, finally achieve our goal: We run a marathon.