Many days ago I read this post (--> http://zenhabits.net/habitses/) by Leo from Zen Habits. He advocates, among other things, that when we start a habit we should make it so easy that we will laugh at ourselves if we don't continue it.
Doing just 3 push ups a day.
Flossing just 1 tooth.
Waking up just 5 minutes before your regular time.
Honestly, I thought this idea was ridiculous, I mean, what possible gains could you expect by doing so little.
But when I read it again yesterday, I thought there is a lot of logic behind it. Most of the time the start of a habit, initial period of a month or so, is very crucial. If we associate negativity with the habit it makes harder to form that habit. So we might as well make it so darn easy that we just cannot not follow it.
1. Since it is so easy there is no mental dialogue rationalizing not doing it. (You cant really think I don't have time for 3 push ups can you?)
2. You will over-deliver and that positive vibe will serve as a feedback for you to do better the next day (Yippee! I read 2 pages of Moby Dick today)
3. Since the necessary dose is so low you will never fail and this eliminates the guilt of abandoning the habit which actually is the No.1 culprit.
Enough said. Now I want to apply this to the list of habits I intend to form. But I will complement it with *one habit/activity which is a bit hard (in this case it is loosing weight so 'Diet' is that habit).
1. *Diet :
B: Whey Shake in milk + Protein biscuits (3-4)
L: Any Veg Sub from Subway
D: Subway Salad
(This is still easy for me, I have a subway outlet near my office and I am not preparing any of my meals except the shake. Going forward I intend to increase the quality of my diet)
2. Ice Baths : 2 times a day. (even if I manage to prepare an Ice bath and don't actually take the bath it is a win for me)
3. Reading (Classics, History, Economics or any heavy stuff) : Just 2 pages
4. Weight Training : Just go to the gym and comeback (Now this is plain ridiculous)
5. Stretching : Just 3 mins of stretching in the morning
6. Writing : Just write a blog post daily if I managed to complete these absolute minimum activities or not.
7. Watching Documentary : Watch just 5 mins of documentary in YouTube
8. Audio books: Listen to audio book while driving to and from work (Even though its long since I enjoy it, it is easy)
9. Sketching: Start sketching, stop after 5 minutes and throw the paper
10. Motivation: Watch inspiring Nike videos or motivation videos after waking up for 5 minutes.
11. Grammar: Just one page of Wren n Martin
(After experimenting for some time I might add/delete some items from this list.)