Habits and Small Wins

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]I[/mk_dropcaps]nspiration is interesting.  It is elusive when you seek it out, but will more often come to you when you least expect it.  As I've been developing classes, and curriculum for a personal coaching program for those seeking to learn how to change their habits to be more and more healthy I had a moment of clarity and inspiration. It isn't ground breaking in the sense that it isn't something brand new, but a spin on what I have seen done and what I was working on.  Instead of running separate classes and a private coaching program I'm combining the two into one program that will run for 6 months.  It's the best of both worlds.  Individual attention, community, AND accountability over time.  The focus of the program will be on helping equip people in the areas of the key pillars of health by teaching them how to create change in their habits.

Habits are interesting processes.  We are built to create habits as it increases our efficiency.  How incredible is God with designing us like that?  These habits take time to establish, but once they do our behaviors feel almost automatic.  Like any good strength, when overplayed or used in the wrong way habits can be more detrimental than beneficial.  This is especially evident in how we take care of ourselves from day to day.  We can have the wrong habits develop that cause us to "without thinking" overeat at night, to watch more TV than we'd like, or you name any other vice.

What so many of us have ignored as we seek lasting change is that we have to start small to change our key habits.  Or as Charles Duhigg calls them the "keystone habits."  In his book "The Power of Habit," he states:

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]"If you focus on changing or cultivating keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts. However, identifying keystone habits is tricky. To find them, you have to know where to look. Detecting keystone habits means searching out certain characteristics. Keystone habits offer what is know within academic literature as "small wins."  They help other habits to flourish by creating new structures, and they establish cultures where change becomes contagious. "[/mk_blockquote]

My case for what my program will endeavor to cultivate is just such a culture, where "change becomes contagious."  But like this says it starts with identifying small wins.  As most of you reading this will never do this program, I want to encourage you today with the value of identifying what small wins you have been having that are in alignment with your goals.

I know all too well how easy it is to get wrapped up in how far is still left to go.  However, you will squeeze out all joy and fun in the process if your only focus is on how far you still have left to go.  Today I want to challenge you to join me in the challenge of identifying the small wins of each day.  They don't have to all be things that are measurable.  In fact I encourage you to find the "small wins" in the changes of your thinking.  That is where all change begins afterall. When you change the way you think about a situation that in turn over time changes your natural default reaction to that situation the more you think about it.

With that in mind, I want to leave you today with two questions... What are 5 small wins you've had today? Why are those important to you?

Answer these on a consistent basis and you will be on the road to transformation.