Recently, my co-founder of BluWave Wellbeing, Libby Rapin and I were showcased in a Thrive Global article about ‘How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus‘ where we shared about how small habits into our lives are game changer.
And we know this works because Libby and I are living proof that building small tiny habits into your life will change your life for the better.
Let me take you back a few years, yes even before the pandemic, I was struggling physically and mentally. I did not know how to care for myself so I could excel at my work. The amount of meetings and demands has grown exhausting, uncertainty was leading to fear, and mis-alignment among many I worked with was hard to manage.
I felt at a stand still sometimes and I will never forget the day I knew I needed to make a change.
I was planning my biggest event of the year for a company I worked for at the time, and in between sessions I would have to go into my hotel room to take a nap or lay down because I felt unwell, I had hot/cold flashes all weekend and I had to manage more tasks that I ever expected. No I did not have the flu, instead I found myself so unwell from my mental exhaustion that it was now messing with my physical wellbeing. I knew I needed to make a huge change to become happy and healthy again.
If I am being really honest, for years I tried all the quick fixes or lofty goals of health but my exhaustion led me to burnout because I was not managing my stress and I was just plain unhappy. I was taking big leaps and making crazy unmanageable goals for myself instead of starting small.
When I finally hit the point where I knew I couldn’t do this anymore, I decided to really make the biggest effort possible and that was actually by starting small. Integrating tiny habits in my life moved me from where I was to some place better than I could have ever imagined.
And I learned that after all those years, why nothing worked, it was because I did not know HOW to actually make changes with my mental and physical wellbeing. People continued to give me advice and things to do but no one showed me how, which I later learned is the most important.
This is why Libby and I created BluWave Wellbeing, a professional development company that makes wellbeing achievable for everyone and is built on the science of play. We now teach emerging leaders, within mid-size to large B2B corporations, wellbeing tactics they can use in 5 minutes or less, such as our 30 second behavior change model. Yes it should be that small and easy. Libby and I personally utilize the tools we teach ourselves and are living proof that our techniques work.
So what is one of tools I currently use, you maybe asking yourself? Well, researcher, BJ Fogg, is someone I admire so much and who I learned one of my tiny habit methods from. He states that behavior change happens when motivation, ability and a prompt converge at the same time. Therefore, I had to create habits that worked for me and this is one tool, Libby and I teach our clients to do as well.
One year ago, I started doing a tiny habit where after I woke up in the morning, I would get at least 20 minutes of exercise in and then celebrate with an Americano (Yes I love them!). I utilized motivation (I wanted to feel good and healthy), ability (I physically can workout) and my prompt (waking up) to make this behavior change. Now this is something I do on a daily basis. After I was able to conquer this tiny habit, which I do realized that 20 minutes is still a lot for a tiny habit so I should have even started off smaller, I added other small ones in my life that I needed to work on such as gratitude and play.
Now I have two other tiny habits I brought into my life such as spending 30 seconds a day saying out loud what I am grateful for or spreading kindness and for play, I make sure to dance with my dog Denver in the kitchen (Yes we post these videos on Instagram). These are less than 5 minutes into my life so that are simple, attainable and more importantly effective.
Small prompts in my life like waking up, a lunch break, bed time are triggers that initiate me to take a specific action so I use these to add tiny habits into my life.
Like I said, I started with ONE, one tiny habit and then started adding more as my physical and mental health increased for the better.
I will say, adding tiny habits like BJ Fogg’s model in my life helped me:
- Increase my confidence
- Align my purpose to what I do as a career
- Be more productive with my work
- Increase trusts and relationships with co-workers and customers
- My engagement in work activities increased
All because I decided to start small and add tiny habits into my life.
This is what Libby and I teach the companies that we work with and we are seeing huge results in them taking these tiny habit and changing their lives.
So if you are looking for a sign to start, here it is. It is time to work on tiny habits in your life to positively impact your wellbeing.