Sculpting Project 10: 4 Minute mile and the 4 Hour Mile: Week 2
Sculpting power tool: Habits
I have found that I can make a New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions and real desire to achieve it and then before I’m half way through January I have lost my will-power to continue. Or take Lent. Ever started a Lenten practice only to discover that Lent is a really long time?
Willpower helps us run the sprint but it finds marathons very challenging.
But we do run marathons, how do we do it?
Answer: The power of habits.
Habits keep going when will-power gives out.
Habits and will power happen in different parts of our brains. Will-power is in an outer region and it takes a lot energy to maintain. Habits take place deep in the basal ganglia and take less energy to maintain. Always seeking to conserve energy our brain favors habits.
So lets work with our God-given brains and create habits to achieve our sculpting projects.
BJ Fogg, from Stanford, developed a method for creating change that fits our sculpting quite well. He calls it Tiny Habits.
Here’s how it works:
1. Create a goal: Our 2 week goal is to understand better how speed of movement affects our life. And our big goal is to increase our love of God and neighbor.
2. Decide on a tiny habit that is a step towards your goal. This week the habit is it is spending 2 minutes moving quickly/with zeal and 2 minutes moving slowly. Keep this tiny. If 2 minutes feels big then just do 30 seconds.
3. Connect the tiny habit with an already existing activity that is done at the same frequency as our tiny habit. Frequency: Once a day. Sample choices: getting dressed for the day, taking a walk, going to bed. “After I get dressed, then I will move quickly and slowly for 2 minutes each.”
4. Celebrate: Tell yourself “Good Job!,” give a thumbs up, do a celebration dance.
Tiny Habits have been demonstrated to create real and lasting change. Why do they work?
- The habits are tiny. Tiny habits take less will-power.
- Connecting habits to existing activities helps us remember and removes the need to decide.
- Celebration gives a small reward.
- Keep the project tiny. Quick, simple.
- Connect it with an already existing activity for two weeks
- Celebrate tiny wins.
Tiny Habits over time create real change.
P.S. Tiny habits can work for any goal we have.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Then secondly, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Using our strength to sculpt our heart, soul, and mind to love God and our neighbor.