This is an update on how I am doing on my walking tiny habit. I decided to walk for 30 seconds after each time I went to the bathroom. I had placed a pink post-it note on the bathroom mirror to remind me to walk. A “Celebrate” post-it was placed on my computer to remind me to celebrate every time I remembered to walk. I found walking for 30 seconds so easy that I walked for a couple minutes each time. If I forgot or got distracted, I would remember and get up and walk some more.
This tiny habit also inspired me to go for a walk with my dog three times this week. We walked about 15+ minutes each time. If you are walking outside this winter, wear appropriate foot gear. I slipped on a patch of wet leaves in my tennis shoes and hurt my lower back. I think that boots would have been better.
“Drink More Water” Tiny Habit
Walking more led me to think about what tiny habit I could do next. From experience, I know that when I drink 8 glasses of water a day that I lose weight. However, thinking about that much water is nauseating. I decided that I would drink water after every trip to the bathroom. That’s the next tiny habit I will add to my walking habit.
The Four Stages of Creating Lasting Change
Related to habits, I recently read the article “When It’s Time For A Change: The 4 Stages of Creating A Lasting Change in Yourself(or Someone With Asperger’s) at aspergersexperts.com . It describes 4 stages to change behavior:
- Stage 1– Wanting It
- Stage 2-Willingness
- Stage 3-Emotional Capacity
- Stage 4-How
Stage 1 is deciding that you want to change something, for example “I want to eat more healthy foods.”
Stage 2 is doing what it takes to make the change, for example eating a salad with lunch.
Stage 3 is being willing to be uncomfortable as you change your habits. The author of the above article says that this is the place where many people fail at making changes. Change makes us uncomfortable and we avoid change, because of this. The trick to getting through this uncomfortable feeling, is to just allow it to be there and not try to fight it or make it go away. If we let the uncomfortable feelings just “Be,” they will “melt away.”
Stage 4 is picking a plan to follow. What often keeps us from success here, is when we run into difficulties or unexpected situations. Perfectionism can also trip us up when we think “I blew that, so what’s the use of continuing to try?” Using “troubleshooting” skills and “making corrections” to our course as needed will aid us in meeting our goals.
This article was eye-opening for me. Stages 3 and 4 trip me up all the time. I don’t like being uncomfortable and I get easily discouraged when I mess up. Now I can remind myself that I just need to be uncomfortable for a bit to reach my goals. I also need to plan ahead for success. This is another area I have struggled with. Next week, we will continue learning about these stages. I’m hopeful that an understanding of these stages will help us do better with our tiny habits.
Finally, what about you? Which stage gives you the most trouble as you try to change bad habits and create new ones? Tell me which tiny habit you’re working on and how it’s going? I would love to hear from you!
If you liked this article, you’ll likely appreciate the latest post on emotional resilience as it relates to habits.