small habit

Do you want to accomplish something that you can be proud of? Or make changes in your life to improve your health? Working on these important things can be overwhelming. The trick is to start with adding a small habit and repeat it every day. Before you know it you have reached your goal. Almost effortlessly.

We all want to accomplish things but we are often overwhelmed by the amount of work it will take. So we don’t start. Or we start, but stop when we become overwhelmed by the amount of work. You can do a lot by committing to a small action and doing it every day. Do not underestimate the power of a small habit that you repeat daily.

I wrote two books

For example: I have always wanted to write a book. A few years ago I started writing but I never got far. One day I stared at my computer screen and was overwhelmed by the amount of work. It will probably take me years to finish. Years of writing? No way! I don’t have the time. So I quit. Just one more book that never got written.

Almost seven years ago I started writing a personal blog. I wanted to write about all the – sometimes funny – things that happened with our family and my kids growing up. I promised myself to write one blog every weekend. That was an easy task. Seven years later I can say that I always loved doing it and never missed a single week!

Writing one blog takes me just half an hour. Only thirty minutes per week. I have plenty of time for that, especially in the weekends. By now I have written 356 blogs, that have been read by almost 30.000 people. I have a lot of regular readers and some blogs even got picked up by local news media, getting thousands of views.

Then I started thinking. One blog has – on average – about 500 words. That means I have written almost 180.000 words by now. Most ‘serious’ books have about 90.000 words. That means I have basically written two whole books! Almost effortlessly.

We all want to accomplish things but we are often overwhelmed by the amount of work it will take. So we don’t start. Or we start but stop when we become overwhelmed by the amount of work.

Giant staircase

Just think of it as a giant staircase. When you are standing at the bottom and look up, you feel small. How will I ever get up there? It’s simple. There is only one way to get to the top of the staircase. Step by step! There is no ‘magic trick’ or shortcut you can take to get to the top. You have to take all the steps.

That is why many people keep standing at the bottom. They think “What is the point? It will take too much time to get to the top”. Some others will take a few steps and then stop. They keep looking up and become overwhelmed by all the steps they see.

And some will take the first step and promise themselves to just keep on stepping. Taking their time. One step at a time. Not looking up, but only looking at the next step. And after a while they will realize they made it to the top. Almost effortlessly.

Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day. – Ray Lewis, former American Football Player

In his Tedx Talk, Forget Big Change, Start with a Tiny Habit, Computer Scientist and teacher BJ Fogg shares his story about how he created new, small daily habits.

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