Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:07 pm Post subject: The Bare Minimum
I've had considerable success recently doing the bare minimum of habits.
Basically, the idea is to find the smallest possible habit related to what you want to accomplish. I recently started a new job and my previously ingrained habit of exercising went out of the window. I would love to be swimming a few times a week, but that is ambitious (involves advance preparation, getting up on time, and a large time commitment). So I decided to start very small - doing anything at all before I got in the shower in the morning. Some days I nearly forgot, or was running late, and did literally one minute of stretching. Most days I do 10-30 minutes.
Something about knowing I can easily have 100% compliance makes this very motivating. And while I had read about this theory several times from several sources (e.g. just put on your exercise shoes/clothes, or just floss one tooth), I hadn't realized how motivating it was until I actually tried it. I think part of it is I thought of it as a way of working up to really exercising, or flossing all your teeth or whatever. But I reserve the right to do the bare minimum at any time, and that is what helps me keep the habit.
This method works for me as well. When I started No S, my goal was 30 minutes of exercise a day...period. This could be done in increments or all at once. I allowed myself one day off a week if I felt I needed it. I have never changed this goal. Currently I exercise every day. I run, walk, play volleyball, do weights, do exercise DVDs when I cannot get outside, etc. I average 1-2 hours a day of exercise. All of this has built from that small habit which prodded me into finding ways to get that half hour in every day. (By the way, I am retired now so I have more time. Before retirement I usually got an average of 45-60 minutes after gradually building up.)
I have tried this method with eating habits as well, especially in an effort to increase my vegetables. I am still working on it! _________________ The journey is the reward.
Joined: 25 Aug 2011 Posts: 1147 Location: Fall and winters in Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico and summers in St Paul, Minnesota
Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:19 am Post subject:
I like your idea. Reinhard's 14 minutes of anything seems to be a great goal and pretty minimal. But you're right, Just getting started is often the biggest obstacle especially when you have time and stress to deal with. _________________ Patty
Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down, but an encouraging word brings him joy. (Proverbs 12:25 NET)
I'm a glutton for encouragement.
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