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The Tiny Habits that Get You Through Your Most Challenging Days

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The Tiny Habits that Get You Through Your Most Challenging Days

The impact of small habits on tough days

Life is a series of highs and lows, and in this unpredictable experience small habits are the secret sauce to maintaining consistency and seeing progress. No matter how rough life gets, anchoring yourself to a seemingly tiny habit can serve as your lifeboat, ensuring you sail towards your goals even on the roughest days.

You see, it's not what you do on your best days that help you hit your goals -- it's what you do on your most challenging days that can keep you on course.

Small steps when you can't make full strides

Chaotic work schedules, family activities, or stress can derail even the best laid plans. On these days, setting ambitious expectations to stick to the perfect plan is like aiming for the stars with a slingshot. Instead, have a plan so simple that even on your hardest days, you know you can stick to it and feel a sense of accomplishment. This technique is all about tiny habits:

  • Jotting down a single line of gratitude in your journal.
  • Taking 5 deep breaths of meditation with your eyes closed.
  • Spending 5 minutes walking outside in nature.
  • Enjoying 15 minutes of reading.
  • Flossing just the back teeth for maintaining dental health.

These small actions, though seemingly insignificant alone, are stepping stones toward persistence and progress.

Why this small habit philosophy works:

Habit experts like James Clear and Gretchen Rubin praise the impact of these manageable habits. Clear reminds us that "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." These minor actions act to keep the stone rolling, so to speak, so that you don't have to start from a dead stop again on your next "ideal" day.

Rubin explains, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” Maintaining consistency is all about ensuring the rhythm continues so your momentum doesn’t grind to a halt.

Even Tim Ferriss, the maestro of self-optimization, advocates for small wins by stating, "The smaller the commitment, the less likely you'll find excuses."

A personal testament to tiny triumphs

Allow me to share a story close to my heart. I was three-quarters through following a Whole30 diet challenge when my mother passed away.

It would've been easy to give up following the regimented eating plan. I was nearly finished with it anyway, after all. Everyone would understand why I stopped.

Convenience food promised quick comfort and was very tempting. But I chose differently. I found comfort in chopping my own vegetables, imagining my mom was the one doing it. Taking care of myself helped me face the difficult decisions ahead.

It was a small habit, but it was something I could control amid so many things that were outside of my control. And it gave me the strength to weather the storm.

Your call to action

I invite you to take a moment and pick a tiny habit that you know you can stick to on the most challenging of days.

Think of it as your secret tool, your quiet and resilient rebellion against life's challenges. Your fire extinguisher for the dumpster fire days.

Remember, it's the little things done consistently that make the biggest difference. Start small, dream big, and keep moving forward—one tiny, persistent step at a time.

Show up. Communicate. Trust the process.

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