It’s been over a month since I started my tiny habits experiment. Mum’s death has kind of thrown everything out a bit and life has been unsettled of late. However, I did keep up my tiny habit, and I’m ready to add a new one in.
First tiny habit
My first tiny habit was to stay awake after the alarm went off (note – I didn’t even make this about getting out of bed as that was too ambitious).
My previous routine was basically to wake up when one of the three kids woke me up. It’s very rare for all of us to sleep in, so this has been how I’ve managed since Steve moved out in January. Most mornings I felt pushed for time, and there were a few mornings where we woke up later than ideal and it was a mad rush to get lunches done and everyone dressed and out of the house. I hated the chaos of the start of the day, so that’s where I started my tiny habit.
How did it go?
I don’t like the sound of alarms, so the first thing I did was decide what I wanted to wake up to. I thought birdsong would be great and found an app (Dawn Chorus) that did exactly that. Next I decided on a time – 6:45am seemed reasonable, as 7am (which we were often getting up at), was not quite early enough to get everything done. Finally I decided on the rules for what counted as success. As long as I didn’t go back to sleep and didn’t lounge in bed for ages, I would deem it a success.
I started my first tiny habit on 17th April 2018 and checked off each successful day in coach.me.
My longest streak was 26 days, and in total out of 36 days since I started I have completed my tiny habit 34 times. Yay!
What has changed?
My mornings are definitely better. I do think an extra 15 minutes on my work days (we have to leave a bit earlier then) would help, but at the moment it’s working and I don’t want to mess with it. I MUCH prefer waking up first than having one of the children wake me up which seems to put me on the back foot before I’ve even started.
I do the same at weekends, even though technically I don’t have to get up for any particular time. It seems to have reset my body clock into a regular routine and I get very tired at about the same time most nights (obviously there are some nights where I haven’t slept well at all recently, but generally I can sense that I need to be getting into bed soon after 9pm). It has swayed me away from late nights alone at home, when I might have just sat and watched half a movie, so my energy levels have been pretty consistent.
All in all, it’s been a great success.
Exercise was always the goal I wanted to work into my day, but I didn’t want to start with it as it seemed too difficult. However, I think it’s time to try it out and see if I can get it to work. I’m going to go with something like 1 push-up, because what I want to build first is the habit, and then I’ll work on the effort.
I need a trigger (something that reminds you to do the habit, and part of creating successful new habits). This is a struggle as my days do not all run the same. I toyed with the idea of doing it in the morning after waking, but I suffer from stiff joints first thing, so I wasn’t sure if it would put me off doing it. I’ve decided that my trigger/anchor point will be arriving home after the school run (as that’s the same 5/7 days). On the weekends I will do it as soon as I can after waking – we’ll have to see how it goes.
I can’t actually even do a single push-up, but I’m sure that will change soon enough.
Another update in a month’s time 🙂