I’ve always wanted to be more consistent-stone cold, steady—the person who skips all of the fussing, excuses, and mini-dramas. I wished myself to be the guy who shows up, does the work; enough said. Instead, unfortunately, I’d often be the guy with a lengthy explanation of why I couldn’t, didn’t, or won’t. Here’s what changed.
Tiny Habits and Sobriety
At the beginning of COVID, I decided to run a life experiment, inspired by my son Holden and the work of James Clear. Three hundred fifty-seven days and counting, I’m growing an everyday muscle- habit streaking -by running a minimum of one mile every day. 365 here I come!
Atomic Habits, Clear’s book on tiny habits, caught my attention, giving validation to my question, “How can I just do it-stop the fits and starts?” Here are a few core ideas to his work,
+Become 1% better over time, not tomorrow.
+Make the new habit so small you can’t fail.
+Never miss twice.
+Root your new habit or practice in an identity statement, e.g., “I’m an everyday runner.”
Inspired by sobriety
Illuminated when my wife, Leith, counted up the number of days our son Holden remains sober, not drugging and drinking, over 2,000+ and counting. Reflecting on my own life and healthy habits, I felt confident I couldn’t even claim a daily teeth brushing habit streak for 2K+ days.
Alchemy enters. I realize that my everyday muscle was under-developed. I had some growing up to do in the world of action, choice, and purposeful living.
The Big Idea
How might I develop the muscle of consistency, without fail, on a tiny habit or new practice that I want more of in my life? What new momentum might I experience in other aspects of my life from starting small with running 1 mile (insert your desired new habit) by just doing it?
Update: I’m 357 days into my new habit streak, and I’ve become an everyday runner (identity). Catch that- my identity now includes a rooted practice of consistency. Notably, my health and fitness are improving, but even more importantly, I see how becoming 1% better, starting tiny, is a better way forward than fits and stops.
1-mile (so small I can’t fail).
Never miss twice (I use this habit tracker with a friend for accountability).
My identity now includes being an everyday runner, but at first, it was my aspiration.
1% better, I see how my overall fitness has increased, not by a lot, but daily.
How’s your everyday muscle? Maybe a tiny new habit or practice is what you need too?