I can be one of the laziest people I know. You may not believe me since I have a day job and own a yoga studio, but believe me... I can hold down the couch with the best of ya'll!
The only way that I get anything done is through a series of reminders throughout my day. My day is literally sprinkled with random alarms sounding as well as pop-up notifications on my phone, both of which I routinely dismiss but usually remember to do the items that popped up. Then came the book, "Atomic Habits". I'm not going to say that it was a life saver or even new information but rather it framed the concepts in a way that just made sense to me.
Here's an example. Making the bed. Ugh. It takes, at best, three minutes to make my bed neatly but more often than not when I get up it is not one of the first things that I do. Why? Re-read the first sentence of this post. I get up and wander about the house doing my Ayurvedic routine which includes drinking a cup of warm water shortly after awaking and then I find myself in my home office facing all three of my work computers and starting my day job. By the time I make it back into my room to shower I am faced with that unmade bed and it makes me cringe. Seriously, it takes fewer than three minutes to make the darned thing and now here I am looking at it and it offends me. Here's where the book has helped out tremendously. It goes something like this:
On my way to brush my teeth, I will make the bed.
That's it. It is simply adding in something on my way to do something that I already plan to do. It is NOT an extra thing to do exactly. It makes it simple. It makes it a part of an existing habit that I already do in the morning. Not convinced? Here's another:
When I get up from my desk, I will drink a cup of warm water before switching the laundry.
I know, right? Just adding in a "to do" on your way to doing something that you already plan to do. Habits become easier when they are connected to an existing activity. After awhile it doesn't feel like work at all and now when I go to brush my teeth I will walk by my already made bed because I have now created the habit of doing it as one of the things that I already do after waking up in the morning.
Changing habits can be difficult but the more tools you have available to help the better! I often read with a highlighter to save time when I go back through a book at a later time and surprisingly this book is not very marked up. The lines that I did mark up are the key take away points that serve as tips on how to incorporate new habits as well as how to change existing habits. If you are struggling with how to drink more water throughout the day, put more money into savings, make more time to exercise, then I strongly suggest trying to link positive activities to existing ones and over time creating new habits. Or you can always join us for the Atomic Habits book club that I will be scheduling later this year and be surrounded by others to discuss the book and how to incorporate new habits as well as how to break old habits.