More than two weeks ago, I wrote,
If I say I only have to do something for one or two minutes, I’m more likely to start it. And if it’s something even somewhat enjoyable, I am more likely to continue doing it for more than two minutes.
This is why I am changing my goals to practice violin and blog for 15 minutes each every weekday (which has been a miserable failure) to practicing and blogging for two minutes each every weekday. I’ll let you know next week how it went.
I’m here to let you know, a week late – that habit has not yet been created! I mostly failed again. But there was some progress. There were a couple days when I told myself that I only needed to practice violin for 2 minutes, and that did help to get started. I ended up practicing for 15 minutes one day and about 30 the other. I don’t think I blogged at all, which is why this post is late!
Sometimes I know that I will go over my allotted 2 or 15 minutes and so I don’t start because I know it will take longer (I think this is often the case with blogging, and perhaps reading). So in some areas I may need to set a timer to stop what I’m doing.
I also did not attach my 2 minute habit of blogging and practicing to any triggers. I am seeing more and more the value of the trigger in this process of habit formation. So this week, my trigger for practicing will be after my mid-afternoon snack. And my trigger for blogging will be after practicing (hmm, we’ll see how this goes!)
Habit # 2: Exercise
Two weeks ago in Mystie Winckler’s Humble Habits course, the small seed habit was exercise. We were to do 1-5 exercises, attached to some trigger (other activity), and recognize our reward.
Mystie’s idea was to attach the exercise habit to going to the bathroom and washing her hands. It seems kind of weird and funny, but it is something that I do everyday so it’s a good trigger. So after I use the bathroom I try to do either 4 torso twists or 4 squats. As my reward I will take a deep breath and feel how happy my joints are!
I have done this habit more or less consistently. I did find that I needed a visual reminder, so I printed some silhouette cartoon people exercising and put those on my bathroom mirrors. It took a couple of days to accept the fact that I would have to answer the question of why the silhouette people were there. But after that humbling experience I was fine.
Habit #3: Reading
Last week’s seed habit was reading. I have been reading more, but I was excited about this one. We were supposed to read for five minutes a day, again, attaching the habit to a trigger.
The weekend before starting this habit I was at a women’s conference and was given a book by Cynthia Heald called I Have Loved You. It has short 4-5 page chapters about the heart of God the Father. I have been reading that in the mornings while I ride our exercise bike. I love being able to exercise my body and mind while feeding my soul too!
This week’s seed habit is self-talk. This will require a little more thought. But I’m really glad for the chance to think more deeply about the messages I send myself and to reflect on how to intentionally speak truth to myself.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. I hope some of my ponderings and experiences have been of help to you. If so, please leave me a note in the comments!