I started reading Mini Habits by Stephen Guise recently and really enjoyed it. It challenges the conventional advice that you need motivation to form good habits. Instead, Stephen says that the trick to forming good habits is to basically set goals so small that you cannot fail, “too small to fail” as he calls it. There’s a lot of sound reasoning and even some research data being referenced in the book. One of the bigger revelations (for me at least) is that the usual “you’d need 21 days to form a habit” is not true. Instead, it’s been shown that habits take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form.

I couldn’t have read this book at a better time. I’ve been making some significant changes in my life and lifestyle, and I’ve been taking the steps to do so. Some of the goals I have set out for myself are, in no particular order:

Plan in Place

  • Get stronger, fitter and healthier.
    • Common goal, very unspecific I know. I’ve yet to define my goal/success measure for this. However, I’ve always been quite consistent in working out, but tend to have a habit of taking one-month breaks from time to time, especially when I have to travel. However, I am happy to say that I have been quite consistent in doing the following since November 2014:
      • Badminton at least once a week
      • Cross training with Interfit at least once a week. If you’re in Singapore, I highly recommend checking them out!
    • The next step is to basically prevent the one-month breaks from happening. This is where Mini Habits come in. The next time I feel unmotivated and tired, I’m going to at least… Do 5 push ups.
  • Read more. A lot more.
    • I think I’m one of the more avid readers within my group of friends. However, it suffers from the same problem as my exercising. I tend to binge read, and then stop for months.
    • Again, I think this is due to burn out. However, I’ve now set a goal. At least read 2 pages a day.
  • Write more. A lot more.
    • Similar to reading, I tend to binge write and then stop for months.
    • I’ve set a simple goal. At least a topic a week. Just a topic should be simple, it doesn’t even need to have any content.
  • Own my career.
    • Own it, grow it like a business. For a long time, I’ve left it in the hands of others and it’s one of my regrets as well.
    • Simple goal for now is just to reflect on it weekly.

No Plans Yet

  • Eat on time.
    • It’s a bad habit of mine, still yet to work out a plan for it.
  • Spend more quality time with my loved ones
    • I have a horrible habit of always having my mind on work or on the side projects I’m working on. One thing I’ve realized is that time is really precious, I don’t want to look back on my life in regrets. However, realization is useless without action.
    • No plans or goals set yet, need to put something in place.
  • Get more involved in the developer community. The bigger vision is actually to just get out there. I used to be so active during the early days of Android, and one of my biggest regrets is not keeping that momentum.
    • Again, no plan in place yet.

I’m also trying to re-introduce pen and paper back into my life. Evernote is still my favourite go-to tool for many things (travel, work, dating ideas, startup ideas, finance, etc.), but there’re things where I’d like to start using pen and paper for, such as when I’m trying to disconnect. Or when I want to appear smart and professional :P.

Anyway, I brought that up because as part of my Mini Habits journey, I decided to improvise on it and use handwritten sticky notes to enforce the habit further. I’ve pasted the following on a cupboard where I can see once I wake up (from bed).

On a similar note, James Clear wrote a post on something similar to Mini Habits here. It’s a very good read as well.

Post-It Push Ups

And this is on my Kindle:

Post-It Kindle

I’m about 70% done with the book, not sure if they actually include this sticky notes tip as well. I’m hoping for a super 2015 :)!

Also, the links to Mini Habits are all affiliate links. If you intend to buy the book, do me a small favour and use my links :P. Thank you!

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