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Productivity Maven

First You Build The Habit

I was scrolling Facebook the other day and noticed a post from a friend about getting back into a fitness routine.

The post showed a schedule of daily at home workouts and classes. A workout and a class every single day.

After starting from nothing.

How long do you think she maintained this schedule for?

Three days? Two days? Didn’t even start? (I don’t actually know and it doesn’t really matter).

How many of us can relate to this situation? We want to get stuck into something and think the only way to go about it is to go full throttle from day one. Only to find we never keep it up.

We get completely overwhelmed and give up. Quickly.

It seems counterintuitive but the secret is to aim to do LESS than you think you’re capable of. 

In this world of stretch targets, we actually want to deliberately shoot low.

The idea is to build the habit first. 

Then strengthen the habit and gradually do more and more.

It’s a two step process.

If we try to do both steps at once, we’re giving ourselves a LOT to achieve all at once. That’s when it feels overwhelming. It gets all too easy to give up.

A common mistake when building a new habit is trying to do too much, too soon. A simple way to ensure the success of your habit is to focus on establishing the habit and THEN building it up over time. Use this easy approach to enjoy a higher success rate with maintaining habits.

And we resist doing it this way because we want the quick fix. We want results fast. We are all amped up so of course we can stick at it.

But the reality is, you get there a whole faster with consistent application than with stopping and starting every five seconds.

You’ll surprise yourself how fast you’ll start to make progress once you settle into the habit. When showing up consistently for your goal becomes just the way you operate. 

Five minutes per day adds up to over 30 hours in a year. Imagine how calm you would be if you meditated for 30 hours.

Half an hour, three times a week is nearly 80 hours in a year. Imagine how flexible you would be after 80 hour of yoga.

Half an hour a DAY is over 180 hours in a year. Imagine where your business would be with that much effort.

We get caught up thinking we need AT LEAST an hour to make it worthwhile but if we only manage to make that happen once a month, that’s only 12 hours in a year. Even twice a month is only 24 hours. Finding 15 minutes a day feels a whole lot more achievable. You’re more likely to see it through, meaning you’ll actually see results.

The point being, done is better than perfect. Something is better than nothing.

And the upside is, as you begin to make progress, you WANT to do more. It becomes easier and easier to dedicate time towards your goal. 

You create a self reinforcing cycle of the more progress you make, the more progress you want to make. 

At that point, maintaining the habit, getting the results, takes care of themselves. 

Working towards your goal is just the way you do things now.

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