Start Small, but Consistent – the Key to Building a Winning Habit
Start Small, but Consistent – the Key to Building a Winning Habit

Start Small, but Consistent – the Key to Building a Winning Habit

A few months ago, I came across an article in, written by Mr. Chris Winfield, entitled The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Your Best Self: Build your Daily Routine by Optimizing Your Mind, Body and Spirit. I was checking about the habits of successful people, back then. Probably, the reason I had this kind of search quest lately was because of Mr. Lewis Howes’ mini-book (which I read in e-book) called Millionaire’s Morning Routine.

For several months now, I’ve been trying and striving hard to establish routine, forming new habit patterns of the things that I do really want. Actually, not just the things that I do want, but the things that I must do in order to get closer to my goals.

What struck me from the article was his reflection about not having a routine is,

much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be!

Yes, this vibrates well with me. In general, when I don’t make a list of the things I need to do and just work on anything that my current job throws at me, I felt like I didn’t achieve anything important at the end of the day. I felt the exhaustion and stress – but I can’t seem to quantity what had I done for the day.

On the contrary, when I have my to-do lists, I could go over it over and over again. And, even if I don’t get to tick all the items on the list, I felt a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day. Putting a check mark for tasks done, one after the other, is itself an achievement. I felt enthusiastic and still be energetic even after my shift.

However, creating new habits or making a new routine isn’t a straightforward endeavor. Although we have known before that it will only take 21 days for us to make a habit, there’s actually another research that says, we need at least 66 days for that habit to feel automatic. That being said, not all days are made equal. Not all days we have the same enthusiasm to continue what we’ve started. Especially when weekends come, we may want to extend our sleep time.

As I am in the process of disciplining myself to creating a new pattern for my life, I have these three realizations.

1. Focus on the activity, not on the schedule.

When we are inspired and motivated, we schedule or days, make it absolutely full with all the stuff that we want to do and achieve. However, if we don’t have enough reasons, we might fail to follow our schedule after a few days. We think that the inspiration we get from the book we read or from the lectures we heard is enough to have a revolutionary change with our lives. Yet, more often than not, we will experience diminishing motivation, and will begin to forget our schedules.

Now, what I realized is, let’s focus on the activity/task that we want to incorporate in our daily routine and not on the schedule when we’re supposed to do all those tasks. Especially when we are building a habit, say journaling. Perhaps, we schedule it in the morning and then, one day we wake up late for some reason. We don’t allow ourselves to skip the activity. Instead, we must have to spare some time, just for the time being, to write – even if it’s already in the evening. Once we get to build the habit, it’ll be very easy for us to manipulate and put it back to our preferred schedule.

2. Start Small to keep your focus.

Yes. Based on my experience, I have been doing schedule for all the things I need to do on a daily basis over and over again. Why? Because before I start new things all at once. I developed a new schedule and stuff my day with all the activities I “must” do. However, at the end of a few days, I feel exhausted. One after another, I just couldn’t keep up; I felt overwhelmed by all the changes that I have pushed in my system.

Start with one “must-do” task to be inserted your system’s schedule. Once you have developed the habit, then that’s the time you can add another one – until you can build up a winning daily schedule.

Victors begin with a single step. Therefore, to have a daily routine for success you must begin with one small task executed successfully and consistently.

~Charlyn Fuentes

3. Celebrate small wins.

This is where you need to do daily journal to account for your small wins and celebrate the small milestones. These will keep you motivated and on track of your endeavor. It may seem unnecessary, but it’ll definitely catalyze to more wins – big ones, even. Once you’ll practice gratitude and in appreciating yourself, you will be compelled to do more – because you just can’t help but seek for the events in your life that you can celebrate.

Let your stories be heard. I am open to collaborate with other co-inspirers out there. Simply comment or email me if you have “ExtraPlus” stories, or you have stories the world needs to hear.