Become more mindful of your habits, self-discipline, routines, momentum, and accountability with incremental changes!
Drastic changes don’t happen overnight, but small, incremental changes can add up and become BIG results before you know it.
Here is an overview of the topics covered in this article
4 Powerful Benefits of Mini-Habits
A 10-Minute Morning Routine To Start Your Day Right
7 Quick Things You Can do Today to Build Momentum
10 Tips for Improving Your Self-Discipline
Get in the Habit of Keeping a Journal
Practice them and start making incremental changes today for BIG results tomorrow…
4 Powerful Benefits of Mini-Habits
If you haven’t heard of mini-habits, you’re in for a treat. Imagine making only small adjustments in your life, and still managing to create impactful and meaningful change.
The mini-habit is just what it sounds like – it’s taking the premise that doing a whole lot of small things will eventually add up to something amazing. Think, for example, of what would happen if you only read a couple of news articles every day? Before you know it, you’d have accomplished the goal of becoming more informed, and would be better able to handle discussions about current events.
Mini-habits don’t stop there though. Not only can your mini-habit change how you get things done, but they impact your mind and body as well. Read on to discover the powerful benefits of Mini-habits.
- You create an atmosphere of success. By setting small goals, you’re much more likely to meet them. So instead of telling yourself that you’re going to return all your phone calls promptly, you instead focus on returning the next phone call on time. That takes off the huge expectations that always felt so daunting in the past and left you with a feeling of failure when you couldn’t quite make it. What’s even better is that meeting these small goals means you get to where you start expecting success, which leads to the mindset that will generate that success you’re expecting.
- You change how you view your capabilities. By accomplishing mini-goals, you start to realize that you do have the ability and power to accomplish things. Your confidence grows, and you gain a better, more positive sense of your abilities.
- You rediscover motivation. Motivation is sometimes hard to come by and gets used up quickly. That’s why mini-habits are important as they don’t rely on motivation to accomplish things, they grow from willpower instead. Then as you reach those goals, you start to feel the energy of that success, which in turn creates motivation to keep going.
- You create a series of changes that you will carry with you your entire life. Mini-habits done daily will build up those larger habits that you’ve been trying to build all along. Like starting with a single push-up every day and creating almost as a by-product that habit of daily exercise that had seemed so daunting not all that long ago.
Mini-Habits not only change how we do things but change how we think and act. By making a practice of incremental changes in mini-habits, you will affect some pretty major changes.
A 10-Minute Morning Routine That Will Get Your Day Started Off Right
Most morning routines you find online take hours to complete. Thirty minutes of physical activity, three pages of Morning Pages, or twenty minutes of meditation. Most people do not have that kind of extra time in the morning. However, in only ten minutes, you can create a morning routine that will put you in the right mindset to conquer your day. Read below to learn a few time-saving practices you can incorporate into your morning.
Minute 1 – Drink the Water
Start keeping a large glass of water beside your bed. Before you even get out of bed, drink the dang water. Your body is dehydrated after a long night of repairing itself, and you need to replenish that. Drinking water will also help reduce the morning fog and grog that follows so many into their workday despite multiple cups of coffee.
Minutes 2-3 – Do the Breathing
Now that your body is rehydrating take a few minutes to do simple breathing exercises. This is as easy as timing your breaths to take six to ten deep breaths through one minute. Timing your breaths will force you to focus on your breathing and your body. Helping you to wake up and calm yourself for your day.
Minutes 3-6 – Stretch the Body
Gentle stretching will get your blood flowing, and your body has woken up. This will also help to ease you into the process of getting ready and the day ahead. Stretching has long-term benefits as well including better circulation and flexibility overall.
Minutes 6-9 – Give the Thanks
Take a few moments to reflect on what you are thankful for. You don’t have to write these down or keep a record on your phone. Just take a few moments to single in on aspects of your life you are thankful for and why. This will put a positive spin on your day and keep you present through the difficult moments.
Minute 10 – Visualize the Success
Visualizing the successes you wish to have through the day will cement them in your mind and help you to become more confident. These can be successes for the day (a successful meeting) or long-term successes (finishing that half marathon or saving up a down payment on a house).
You may not have hours to devote incremental changes to morning routines, but maybe you can spare ten minutes of your morning to starting off on the right foot (or breath).
7 Quick incremental changes You Can do Today to Build Momentum
You’re on the way! You have a goal in mind, you’re working hard to get there. It might be you’re after something personal. It might be you’re concentrating solely on your career right now. Whatever it is you want, you’re hungry for it. You can’t wait to see the culmination of all this hard work.
…only everything seems to be moving so slow…
What you’re lacking is momentum. Momentum is what pushes you into action. It speeds you up as you work the steps and keeps you going.
So, what do you do when momentum is lagging? Easy. You find ways to build it. Try these quick tips which leads to incremental changes guaranteed to make things happen:
Visualize the Future
Take some time to consider where you’ll be in six months. What about next year or the next five years? Seeing yourself in the future is a really positive way to keep your momentum going. If you can get excited about the you of tomorrow, you’ll find yourself fighting to become that person right now.
Get Up and Do Something
It’s so easy to grow stagnant. Rather than binge-watch the latest Netflix sitcom, how about getting up to create some mischief of your own? Go play a game, take a walk, spend time with friends. Do inspirational things to fill you with enthusiasm.
An active mind is a creative mind. The act of learning, even in small increments such as 10-15 minutes a day, will still improve cognitive function. In short, by keeping your mind active, you will pick up momentum.
Act When You Don’t Feel Like It
If you’re waiting for the muse to strike, stop. There will never be a perfect time to work. Momentum means keeping going, even when you don’t feel like it.
Put Your Phone Away
Giving yourself the gift of uninterrupted time does wonder for momentum. By turning off your phone for an hour, you’ll give yourself the freedom to relax, recharge, explore, and forge ahead.
10 Tips for Improving Your Self-Discipline
We all want more self-control. Imagine how much easier life would be if eating right wasn’t such a struggle or a trip to the gym wasn’t a fight with self, regarding the desire for an extra hour of sleep.
Thankfully self-discipline is a trait that anyone can master. You don’t have to be born with the ability. In fact, by following a few simple tips, you can start improving your self-discipline skills almost immediately. Here’s how:
Understand What’s Particularly Tempting
We all have a weakness. Whether we can’t say no to the salty snacks or wind up staying up too late night after night, we’re looking at the same problem: A lack of self-discipline. By knowing what our triggers are, it’s a simple matter to defuse them.
Change Your Environment
Once you know what tempts you, the simple solution is to remove the trigger from your environment. Salty snacks? Stop buying them. Staying up late? Remove the lightbulb from your bedroom. Don’t be afraid to get radical and more than a little creative.
Set a Goal
Without a plan, how can you accomplish anything? Ask what you’re trying to change. What does your new future look like for you? Make an action plan to take you there.
Self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight. The only way you’re going to learn it is to practice it. Look at the plan you just created. What steps does it require? Push yourself to act on those steps, daily.
Break Things Down
Change is more natural to make when the steps are kept small and very simple. Break things down to their smallest components. What’s something small you can do today to help you build the habit of self-discipline?
Pay Attention to Your Body
Your physical health will always affect your willpower, so taking care of the basics, such as getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will help you to have better self-discipline.
Gain a New Perspective
The moment you start thinking you have no self-discipline, or that your willpower is a finite resource, you start limiting yourself. By changing your inner dialogue, you’re more likely to have success. Remind yourself often: “I’ve got this.” It truly is about mind over matter.
What’s Plan B?
When going into a difficult situation where you know self-discipline will be challenged, create a backup plan. Know before you begin just what you’re going to do if the worst happens. Implement as needed.
When you succeed in your goals, don’t be afraid to allow yourself a small reward. As human beings, we’re wired to work our best when we know we’re going to get something out the experience we want.
Know-How to Move On
Screwed up? Forgive yourself. Keep going. It’s normal for everyone to mess up now and again. It’s what you do next that matters.
When it comes to momentum, if you’ve found you’re slowing down, it might be because what you’re doing just doesn’t work. In this case, sometimes the smartest thing to do is to stop. Don’t waste time beating your head against a wall when you could be making progress elsewhere.
Do Something Scary
It’s the challenge that pushes you to new limits. When you do what’s easy, momentum lags. This is why it’s so important to challenge yourself to do the things you never thought you would.
Remember, whatever you can find to help keep the momentum going, embrace! If affirmations help, post a bunch of them everywhere. Put on music to get you moving. Create a social life around people who support you wholeheartedly. You’re the one in charge of your destiny, it’s up to you to act. Start with incremental changes today
Get in the Habit of Keeping a Journal
If you have a great memory, you are one of the lucky few. This article probably isn’t going to add any value for you. For the rest of us, we have a difficult time remembering what we ate for breakfast this morning unless it just happened.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to improve our situations. Because we have a difficult time remembering what happened in the past, we can simply refer to our journals. These journals will contain entries that specify the events on any particular day, as well as personal notes to ourselves. These notes can be related to the events, or they can be completely unrelated. It’s up to you.
The value of the journal won’t be apparent until you have been using it actively. This is where making it a habit comes into play. You need to discipline yourself to make an entry every day. Doing it daily is best. But, if you have a hard time with that, then shoot for once per week.
Try to avoid haphazard entries as the value of the journal will diminish. The journal is the reference book of your life. It also can serve as providing answers to problems you had in the past. The entries will contain notes about how you solved the problems.
It’s up to you whether you want to create this journal online or handwritten. There can be more of a commitment when you handwrite your journal. But, the choice is yours, as long as you keep it going and use it.
Some productivity tools can help in your efforts to journal. For instance, Evernote is a free online tool where you can create notes. You can date these notes and create a section called a journal. They even have a feature where you can set up checklists or task lists. The information is saved in the cloud and is secure.
If the entire concept intimidates you, start out small. Don’t try to create volumes in your journal in the first few weeks. The journal structure that you come up with will evolve over time. You’ll keep what is working and scrap what isn’t.
A journal can help you recall information, but it also serves to help you improve your memory. As you continue to record your daily events, you are training your brain with this activity. You’ll end up relying on the journal less and less. Another great idea is to turn your journal into a book and sell it.
Start implementing Incremental Changes and track your progress every day!