In the last topic, you saw our really simple method to adopt and maintain new habits using just a calendar.
That method is best suited for ‘lifestyle’ habits like meditation, starting new diet habits, etc.
Now in this topic, we are going to give you another dead simple method to adopt ‘action’ habits.
“Action habits” are those habits where you are required to ‘perform some repetitive action’, e.g. would be working out, running, cycling, etc.
The biggest resistance in our minds whenever we say “workout” is…
“Aaahh, run around for 30 minutes, I don’t think I can do that much!”
So to combat that resistance, a 60 second habit is a scaled-down version of the same habit you want to adopt.
It is a small, easy, action you do every day that can be for a minute or less.
The whole point is to take you down the path of least resistance with the goal being = maximize consistency.
Remember the importance of consistency?
It makes a huge difference when you do a small action for 100 days versus a big action for 15 days.
Have a look at this graph…
This is just a typical graph of one of our members who started with just a 60 seconds workout every day versus trying to “brute force” a 60 minute workout every day.
At the end of 100 days, not only had she adopted exercise as a core habit, but time-wise too, she put in more exercising minutes compared with the brute force method that most of us are familiar with!
Just 60 seconds spur you to get out of your comfort zone, and get into motion. This in itself is great.
You will be teaching yourself that what is outside your comfort zone really isn’t all that uncomfortable, which will set a precedent for your fat loss goals.
These 60 seconds will ease you into discomfort so won’t ever make you feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
And once you are out of your comfort zone and in motion, you exponentially increase your chances of ‘over-performing’.
This is because you will have built the most important habit pre-cursor = momentum
How To Do It
We begin with 4 simple steps:
1 Defining the action
2 Setting up the cue
3 Chain stacking
4 Scale up
1. The Action
The first step, action, involves defining and simplifying what you want to do.
So for e.g. let’s say you plan on doing simple body weight exercises every day.
Like maybe you plan on doing some squats, planks, jumping jacks, spot jogging, or other bodyweight exercises.
The next step is to NOT get carried away by complications like “how many squats” or “Do I need running shoes for spot jogging?”.
So what you would do next is simplify.
Simplification #1 = Ask yourself if whatever action you’ve decided is simple enough to be done on a consistent basis… so… 10 squats? Definitely yes. 30 push ups? Ehhh, maybe a lil bit later!
Simplification #2 = Then you simplify even further to something that can be done in a minute or less.
You will be scaling down the core consistent action required to achieve your goal into a ridiculously easy action.
You want the action to align your 60 second habit with the path of least resistance. So you must scale it down.
You will make it something effortless, ridiculously easy, and simple, something you can do in 60 seconds or less; something that seems so small that it’s laughable.
The smaller the requirement, the better!
TIP: You should revolve it around how you feel at your lowest: your lowest mood, and lowest level of energy.
How do you feel at these points?
What small actions would you be capable of easily doing even at these low points?
2. Setting Up The Cue
A ‘cue’ means a signal or a reminder. In our case, a cue would be a simple reminder for us to do our 60 second habit.
It means simply deciding how you will fit your 60 second habit into your schedule and at what specific point during the day you will do it/them.
You can choose a “Routine” approach where you will revolve your 60 second habit around a specific time and/ or around a certain action (e.g. before leaving for work, after dinner).
For example, a routine when-cue could be, ‘Do my 60 Second Exercise Habit at 8PM’.
Or you can opt for an “Open” approach where you do it whenever you feel like doing it or whenever you can during the day.
This is good if you don’t have a strict schedule. You won’t be relying on a certain time and action to do it which makes it more flexible and doable.
3. Chain Stacking
This is the exact thing we saw in the last “calendar technique” topic.
On the days you do your 60 second habit, put a big green tick mark like this one –
Remember: What you do today will likely be what you do tomorrow.
And so after a few days of continuously performing your habits, you will have a row of green ticks, a chain. A continuous line. Whatever you want to call it.
Sticking with your daily habit of 60 seconds means that his chain will grow larger and larger.
Eventually you would get a large chain of green ticks that would DEFINITELY make you feel proud to look at. Each would represent a small win.
And as you know by now, small wins lead to momentum, and a positive cycle ensues which you can keep growing.
In short – chain stacking means ensuring a continuous line of small actions every day, that small drop in the bucket which will slowly but surely fill it completely!
4. Scale Up
Finally, once you have a streak of check marks on your calendar, it is time to scale up.
Once you have started doing your 60 second habit every day for two weeks, you can start to increase the time to two, three or five minutes.
There is no hard and fast rule here.
If you feel you can go for 5 or even 10 minutes, go for it.
But the most important thing is: Ensure that you will repeat the habit for the new increased time, AND NO LESS, the next day.
Begin with 1 minute the first week.
Scale up to two or three minutes in the second week.
Move up to 5-7 minutes in the third week.
Finally, increase to 10 minutes in the fourth week.
By the second month, there would be ZERO resistance from your lazy mind to increase the time to 15 or even 30 minutes.
That’s the way you work around resistance! No big goals, only small drops in the ocean!