Now that we can surf online in bed, I can really get off balance and start my day out under the covers for far too long. Add in these COVID-19 virus days, and it could easily be I am working from home “soon”. As in “Soon I will get to work”, “Soon I will get dressed…” “Soon I will be productive”. Pretty soon, it could be “Soon I will have no job!” So how to keep going when the get-up-and-go left without us?
One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.
-Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
So can we treat ourselves to getting out of bed and being more productive? Can we put up a list of small treats to keep us in the game?! We can! I am eating airhead candies now as a treat for each page I write. Those rewards are keeping me moving. No motivation required, just bribery.
What if we attach rewards to new actions we can take to enjoy and be where we are now?
Think of your own Nourishing Harmony Habits. Mine include : meditation early and alone, gratitude list, cup of chai tea, burning candles, hot bath with a book, washing clothes (I like the sound of the washer), and shutting down and closing my computer at the end of my work day (wherever I am). I don’t do them each every day, but I think of them as good rewards to keep me going.
Mini Habits + Rewards + Consistency = A New Habit says Charles Duhigg in Power of Habit
Mini habits book by Stephen Guise explains why we only have to establish mini-habits that take less than 2 minutes to make routines rather than depending on motivation to accomplish our goals. I have been doing mini habits for about 6 months, and my life is very different, much better! I highly recommend his book. I am short-cutting you to the chase, so if it doesn’t take, you need to read or listen to his book. It is about starting small while dreaming big.
What are your *SMART goals? What mini-habits will help you get there?
What inexpensive rewards could you enjoy? What system of linked habits/goals and rewards are you capable of adding to your life on a daily basis? Keep it super simple right now, just write down 2 couplets… Let’s start small and build up later.
Write down two little DAILY 2 to 5-minute habits that lead to your SMART goals* with their rewards. These are couplet examples:
Get out of bed on time + meditation to relax
Laundry folding + phone chat w/friend
Walk/run dog in dark daily down the street + hot shower + hot chai
Cleaned kitchen + cup of fave tea after
Dinner with teens at table + candle or singing
Mentally take a picture and visualize how you will feel after the mini-habit is done. Imagine the feelings of (small but real!) accomplishment during your reward break. Feel and live and even meditate on that accomplishment feeling. Write down 3 words to describe it.
Write your 2 couplets down on a scrap of paper for your pocket today. Commit to doing it often. I mean a LOT. Every day is best if you want to make a habit faster (says BJ Fogg in Stacking Habits).
Go live peacefully and I will see you tomorrow for 15 minutes just for you 😉
*SMART Goals – See https://www.wisegoals.com/smart-goal-worksheet.html
great advice 🙂
Thank you da-AL!
I really like this idea. I have loads of things I would like to do. Just need to think up some rewards!
That is the fun part, thinking of things you love to nourish yourself with!! I make up all kinds of systems: a new workout shirt after I workout 7 days straight, tea after meditation, nice candle for kitchen cleanup, podcast for scrubbing floors, chocolate for 3 pm at office…
I like that they are simple achievable treats that can be instant. The human brain doesn’t do well with waiting for long.
So true, I crave instant gratification association