Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Commit to One - How to Succeed on the Macro with one thing more and one thing less on the Micro

So in yesterday's post, we looked at the idea that a successful Macro Change like dropping a dress size or getting a complete bodyweight pull up is based on putting together a bunch of far less visible, repeated micro habit changes. I suggested that we may gain better success if we pay attention to all those micro steps and begin to bank them deliberately.

banksy street sign
This wee post is to propose one way to begin to bank the micro habit changes: commit to one.  That is, consciously commit to doing one COMPLETELY DOABLE thing LESS and one COMPLETELY DOABLE thing more.

One thing more and one thing less can be completely doable and still meaningful.

if it feels to big or too effortful to do the one thing you're thinking about, dial it back: what WOULD be doable? go with that. it's ok. it's the going that really counts - builds reps - changes the brain. Really.

With that one thing set: then do the SAME commitment for four days running, which behaviour change expert Martha Beck suggests is what we need to help dial in a totally doable micro change.

Then we reflect: how did we do? how did that feel to do the one thing more; the one thing less? We can build on that.

For me this program for this working week (so i'm thinking five days) might be turning on my email just one less time today; looking into my partner's eyes and really listening one time more today.  Doing either of these things i'd have to say (sadly perhaps) would be a challenge. Work is you know *so important* - but i would also feel better for doing them. The minutes i get back from these simple acts contribute to quality of life.

So that's it: find something in our lives at which we could be better, healthier; find one thing more and one thing less to do, and do it.

The important thing is: we can see the success immediately. Was i about to check my email, and deliberately did not do that. Was i about to check my email and instead engaged with my partner, another human being, who is more important than, oh, just about anything, including the computer?

I don't think it matters what the practice is, so long as we practice  it with deliberate conscious intent. That in itself builds our capacity to do what we want to ask ourselves to do. And if we do have a specific Macro Goal like dropping X pounds of fat, one thing more or less that supports that, repeated for a week - that will help get us there.

 What do you think?

Reminder: If what you're thinking of doing feels too challenging - like you won't or can't do it for whatever reason, consider some change even smaller. What CAN you do more for yourself, less for yourself. What is possible, right now, in this moment? That's a fabulous positive act: to pick something that actually CAN be done, and to do that actual thing. If it were easy we'd all have done it by now. So credit where it's due: find the one thing that will work for you.

If you feel so inclined please share a few of your Commit to One practices for the week.

Next time, an example around one thing less via exploring a little hunger.

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