I do not often post on mindset, since that is Bianca’s expertise, but after fielding so many motivation calls, I have decided to put a series together on creating habits and routines, I hope this is helpful…
Learning a new skill is a huge undertaking and you’ve probably already broken it up into a set of smaller goals such as watching one course video a day and then trying to replicate it, or reading from the huge amount of .pdf downloads in the resources folder etc.
Now it’s time to go even further, and break these goals into tiny habits. This is a behavior that:
- you do at least once a day
- takes less than 60 seconds
- requires very little effort
It’s really important to start small and realistic: “watch one video a day” instead of “watch a complete module and then recreate it online.”
Over the following months, as you get used to your new behavior and your understanding improves, you can progressively expand your target to acting on your new knowledge.
Step 2: Find an anchor to trigger the habit:
An anchor is an existing behavior that is already an integral part of your life.
By linking your new tiny habit to an established behavior, you create a trigger that will trick your brain into unconsciously following through with a specific action.
After I (existing behavior) , I will (new tiny habit) .
Here are some more practical examples:
After I make my coffee in the morning, I will instead of reading the news, think of how I would market the coffee that i was drinking to a stranger.
While eating my lunch, I will mentally create headlines for the ingredients.
After dinner, I will watch one video and write a rough draft of a landing page.
Ideal anchors are precise events (‘after I wash my hands,’ as opposed to ‘after work’) that you engage in reliably every day (‘after I brush my teeth’) at at the same frequency as your desired habit.
“After I upload a photo to Facebook, I will study three Facebook adverts and see how the are put together.”
Step 3: Celebrate every time you complete the habit
The reward is a crucial component which makes your brain want to follow up on a habit, since it gives you an injection of dopamine, (the brain’s pleasure chemical released when you bring something to completion.)
You can do something small and inconspicuous like putting on a big smile or tapping a simple tune with your foot. You could also treat yourself with a tasty snack or other small instant reward — just make sure that it’s healthy, or you might have to undo this unintentional side-habit later on!
Tiny habits may sound too small to be useful, but what you’re learning is not the habit itself, but how to integrate the new behavior into your daily routine.
You need to realize that we tend to overestimate what we can do in one day, but underestimate what we can do in one year.
Start with a tiny habit, and you’ll be surprised at the progress you’ll make in a few months time!