I have been reading a few books in the past several months in the personal growth area, including Mini Habits, The Power of Habits, Atomic Habits, and Design Your Life.
Although I did try to build good habits before and failed, after reading all those books I realized that, one key reason I failed is that I did not take baby steps. I was too strict with myself and asked too much from myself. For example, one effort was to eat extremely healthy and get six-pack abs. I did get them, but the process was extremely painful and the habit didn’t sustain.
I have been procrastinating with some important but not urgent personal projects (career and life). I decide to take all I learned from these books and combine them with my own personality, and design a system. I myself is a challenge-enthusiastic. Therefore I will base the system on ‘challenges‘, with a difficult level.
Below are the rules:
- Plan. Each day in the early morning have 1-10 challenges, which I really want to achieve but might have been procrastinating. These challenges should be very simple and specific.
- Each challenge has a point representing difficult level (1-100). For example if you really want but dread workouts, the first challenge could be “wear workout clothes and walk for 1 min“, and difficult level could be 5 points. Number of points should be personal because one task can have different level of difficulties for different person.
- The way we assign points is flexible and should be creative. For example, one challenge for me could be “run for 10 mins” with 5 points. Another challenge on the same day could be “run for 20 mins” with 20 points, and another one “run for 60 mins” with 100 points.
- You don’t have to finish the challenges. Actually most of the time you shouldn’t. If you finish them all the time, you probably didn’t list enough challenges each day.
- Summarize. Before sleep each day, sum the points up and celebrate.
- Celebrate. Create a longer-term celebration plan. For example, “I would buy that dress I wanted when my total points reach 200”, “I will go to Hawaii when my total points reach 1000”
- Keep track of the progress. Have a spreadsheet (e.g. google spreadsheet) or a hardcover Journal. The format is not important.
I will use google spreadsheet and publish it on this website.
I am super pumped, and let’s make it happen!