I need to start even smaller

From the beginning, I’ve said that Habit routines must start small, with just one habit each. But it turns out, at least in my case, that in itself isn’t small enough. That one starting habit in each routine must also be small and easy to accomplish in itself. Let me explain.

The problem

When I started out, I had two Habit routines – one for mornings, and one for evenings, like this:

  • Morning routine:
    • Get up no later than 06:30
  • Evening routine:
    • Go to bed no later than 22:00

The morning one wasn’t a problem – I was able to do that consistently, even on weekends. But the evening one was harder. I wanted to go to bed on time, but… but… the Internet! There’s so much fun stuff on the net, making it hard to get my ass in bed.

The solution

The solution is simple – your starting habit in each Habit routine must be easy to accomplish. That’s all.

So, for November, I’ve replaced my “go to bed on time” habit with “read at least one page in a book”. Just one page, you might ask? Yes, if I read a single page, I will consider that a success and mark it with a X in my habit tracker. Remember, the point at this stage isn’t to get a lot done – it is to build a habit. In most cases, you’ll find that you end up reading more than the one required page, and that’s great! Then later, when this habit is firmly established as a literal habit, I can easily change it to “read for at least 20 minutes”.

So, given this, I think I will have much greater success following my evening habit routine from now on. I’ve updated the Habit routines article accordingly, and I’ll post updates on my progress soon enough.

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