The Story of Your Future
Building a new habit is about repetition. Little ones.
But it’s a little more than that. Well, ok …, maybe much more than just a little.
But it can be done
Again, this can be a complex area.
And we are not going to attempt to rewrite what the experts have already written.
Firstly, we wouldn’t be doing you a favour. Secondly, it’s something we really want you to learn about. Thirdly, we really want to get to grips with this. It could be the story of your future.
We are going to focus only on one author again.
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, a New York Time’s bestseller with over one million copies sold
(Now I don’t actually care how many copies the book sold. I am more interested in how James Clear became an award-winning writer. I will explain below)
James began by having a jumble of different self-improvement topics — almost as if he was trying to find a path. And he struggled.
I remember the first email I ever received from James Clear: 7th June 2014.
Hi there! I’m James Clear. In this first message, I want to tell you 3 things.
Thing #1 You’ll be hearing from me every Monday and Thursday. Each week, I try to send you the best information possible for living a healthy life — both mentally and physically.
Thing #2 You are now a member of our small community. Welcome to the team! It’s great to have you here. Our members are focused on becoming better versions of themselves. They are dedicated to becoming smarter, happier, and healthier… and helping you do the same.
Thing #3 Finally, here’s a link to Transform Your Habits , my free guide on making changes, building good habits, and breaking bad ones. (link at the bottom of this article)
What was interesting for me was James’ journey of discovery.
I received that email around the time I was freaking about the transformations happening whenever I did a Million Steps Challenge (Which I discovered were Keystone Habits, having read Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit)
Now here’s the interesting thing. James stumbled upon two things.
Firstly, He announced he would write two articles every week. (and there were weeks that he failed but he kept going the following week. There was a time he failed for a big period after his friend passed away, but he got back on track)
What James realised was this:
His goal was not to write a book one day. His goal was to be a writer. The book may come eventually. And it did. After about four years. He had amassed enough material to write a New York Times Best Seller and sell over one million copies.
Secondly, James also began at about the same time, with push-ups. The habit, routine and structure of doing the push-ups was an incredible anchor for other habits to develop.
And he decided that he would increase it by 1% each day. That’s all. 1%. But things can overtake themselves naturally, subtly and sometimes subconsciously.
The Pushup Habit
The more pushups I do, the leaner I get. For that reason, I recently decided to make pushups a daily habit. I decided to use the three rules I explained above to slowly and easily add more pushups to my routine.
The first day, I did 10 pushups, which only took 15 seconds or so. (Rule 1.)
The second day, I did 11 pushups. This was a very tiny improvement. (Rule 2.)
I’ve continued this pattern of adding 1 pushup per day, every single day. I did 21 this morning, which was still easy to do and took less than 30 seconds. (Rule 3.)
Once I get to higher numbers, I will break them up into smaller, easier sets. For example, to do 50 pushups, I might do three sets: 20, 20, 10. The next day, I’ll add one more and do 20, 20, 11.
There are a few things happening here.
First, because I started with a habit that was very easy in the beginning, I am building the capacity to do work. In other words, I’m focusing on volume first, which will allow me to handle the intensity of a bigger habit later.
Second, because I am increasing by a very tiny amount each day, my body is able to recover and grow. Meanwhile, if I had started with a difficult or more impressive habit, then I would have hindered my ability to adapt as the habit grew.
Third, because I am breaking the habit down into sets that are always easy, I am reducing the mental burden needed to accomplish the habit. In a way, these easy sets are simply fun to do and require very little motivation to finish.
And most important, I am focusing on actually performing the habit rather than worrying about the outcome. I am developing the skill of being consistent and that is a skill that is valuable in nearly every area of life. (Source: I’m Using These 3 Simple Steps to Actually Stick with Good Habits)
You may also want to read this 50 weeks to 50 push-ups a day by Samual Thomas Davies who is doing almost the same thing as James Clear.
So when you break it down like that. Things grow. And they can become your critical Keystone habit.
The Four Rules of James Clears’ Habit Loop (It’s adapted from Charles Duhigg) BUT with a difference: The bit about craving.
And to break it down even further
We know this may seem a little overwhelming. But just go back to 1%
To get a better understanding, we have added the following. We suggest having a look at them all in the order they are in.
Atomic Habits: How to Get 1% Better Every Day — James Clear
Now Read This: How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide
Then Read This: The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick
Watch This: James Clear: How Tiny Changes Create Incredible Results (It’s quite long. If you don’t have the time, jump to the next article)
Then read this: How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits
Finally, download this: James Clear Transform Your Habits
We really do hope that you are inspired to make a small change somewhere. Just start. and persevere
Get a friend to help you track it all. Send them a video each day of your activity. Create a Facebook page and ask your friends to follow you.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing. If you don’t do it, post an apology. No reason. No excuse. And say you will come back again the following day.
There is one thing though.
If it’s that important to you, SCHEDULE IT! IT WILL KEEP YOU FOCUSED.
And again we cannot stress this enough.
Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. Awareness.
It really is everything.
Don’t walk through life blindly.
To find out more about the Million Steps Challenge and how we can help you, your business or charity, please visit https://millionsteps.com
Or Register your organisation interest: Million Steps CoVid-19 Package here
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