The hardest part of change is getting started. Micro-habits help make that easier. They jump-start the process by doing everything possible to help you succeed in very small increments.
In his book The Healthy Habit Revolution, Derek Doepker shows that the most important part of developing a habit is getting started. He advocates using micro-habits to develop momentum. A micro-habit is something so small it’s almost impossible not to do it. In fact, you would likely scoff at it if somebody recommended it as your starting point.
Let’s say your goal is to read the Bible for 30 minutes per day first thing in the morning. A micro-habit would be to set a goal of sitting in the easy chair where you plan to read and holding your Bible for two minutes each day for the first seven days.
You don’t actually have to read it–just sit there with it. You may read it if you like, but your goal is satisfied after you sit for two minutes while holding it. This sounds laughable. But after seven days you are more likely to start reading the bible for five minutes per day. Then, after another week, for 15 minutes.
The important principle here is that micro habits help you to overcome the friction involved with starting. And once you get in the habit of starting, the rest is much easier.
Doepker puts it this way:
“Momentum creates motivation. Rather than trying to get yourself motivated before starting something, pick something so easy that you have no trouble getting started so that you create momentum—then the motivation will naturally follow. It may take a few days, weeks, or months to get into the groove, but eventually you’ll find things become almost effortless.”
If you can get started, you can get things done. That’s because progress is your biggest motivator. We’ll cover that in the next video.