I’m working on a number of micro-habits as I seek to change larger things in my life. These are easier, simpler to perform, remember and actually incorporate into my day. I invite you to consider if any of them might help you address change in YOUR life, and to feel free to join me on this journey. . .
- The 60-second rule – simply said, if it can be done in 60-seconds or less, just do it! I think of the many things I put off or simply neglect because they are boring, repetitive, or just annoying. Many of them take just a few seconds to complete, but still I imagine there’s a butler who will pick-up after me (there never will be) and I just ignore the opportunity to be “done” with a particular activity. Here are some of my favorites; yup, 60-seconds or less to:
- When I come into the house, hang up my coat & shed my shoes to put on my slippers
- Every evening, fill two water bottles for tomorrow and set them in the refrigerator
- Each night, make use of the many tubes of lotion I already own, and lube up my hands & elbows
- Make my bed (usually I’m good at this one) – at least throw it together enough that later in the day the cat will lie on TOP of the covers and not between the sheets!
- The deep-breath challenge – when someone annoys me, I trip on my temper or a situation leaves me upset, I’m working on taking that always-important deep, cleansing breath. It reminds me to respond, not react. That breath gives me a moment to remember my morning affirmation about WHO I wanted to be today. It allows me to recall that few things in life are worth the excess energy I’m willing to devote to it when I’m in a mood (think Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired). The deep-breath moment allows me to adjust and invite my better-self to shine through!
- The 5-minute Savasana – this is the final pose or asana in my yoga practice. It is the brief time for lying still in what’s called corpse pose, and just be quiet. It’s definitely not a nap, and it’s not a time to rehearse my lengthy “to-do” list for the day. It works best as a meditative time to clear my mind and notice my body and, it can be done in just 5 minutes, even if I don’t have time to bring out my yoga mat, I can do it on the couch, the floor, or even in bed – the purpose is to just STOP (doing) for a few minutes and feel my breath move through my body. It’s like a 5-minute vacation!
- Just one more – this is a reminder that if some is good, one more might be better! So, for things that I’d like to see increased in my life, adding just one more (at this moment, for this day) could be a very good idea! I’m working specifically on. . .
- One more vegetable on my plate at supper
- One more glass of water before the day ends
- One more spritz of fragrance on my pillow
- One more item dropped into the Goodwill bag each time I do the laundry
- Practice saying thank you – not so much in a practicing gratitude sort of way, but instead using the words Thank You (aloud, or to myself) as a fresh response (and an alternative to several other two-word retorts that immediately come to mind) to an uncomfortable encounter like. . .
- Instead of getting annoyed, when the guy in the hardware store starts mansplaining to me just say, “Thank you!”
- When the car driving through the parking lot hits the puddle right in front of me, and I’m wet already, just quietly say, “Thank you!”
We all have changes we’re working on. Some changes take longer than others and some of them are really challenging for us (for no obvious reason). But I invite you to consider if there are micro-habits that might help you move toward your goal and make your day a little brighter while you’re at it!