Taking the smallest step forward - (5x5)x5 = 25
Ok - Let me explain why the maths adds up!
If you’re like me, getting enough sleep is a constant battle of always wanting to do things while you’re awake but also trying to get to bed a reasonable hour.
Furthermore, if you are like me, you’ve made endless promises to yourself as that alarm goes off and you snooze for the 10th time that tonight is going to be different! Enough! We can’t keep doing this!
So why does it keep happening? We are all going to have our own life pressures and reasons, however, I’m going to share my theory on why and how to make change.
I try and make painful changes in big leaps, “tonight I’m going to bed an hour earlier!”, trying to rip the bandaid of change off. It’s important to note that this approach does work for some things. For example, what if I try and run twice as far tonight? With physical goals, reaching for the stars often sees us all finding strength and fitness we never thought we had.
When it comes to behavioural change, we are more elastic, subconsciously we rebel against our best intentions, and this inner rebel pops up in a few places. “Screw it, let’s have another beer... I may as well have cake now i’ve blown my diet…. Lets just try again on Monday, this weekend has been a write off…”
So what do we do to make behavioural change like sleep, diet and booze?
Rather than look for those big goals - “that’s it I’m not drinking for a month!” let's go for the smallest possible daily goal we can. This approach is a slight twist on habit building, and is more about momentum, a force that will slowly drag you towards or away from your goals if you let it.
Back to my seemingly terrible maths!
Here is my challenge to anyone who can’t get to bed early enough, and/or get up early enough. Don’t delay it until a nice even day, month or week, start now, tonight. Each day for the next five days, go to bed 5 minutes earlier, and get up 5 minutes earlier and after 5 days, you’ll be getting up 25 minutes earlier without loosing sleep.
Now stop there and hold that achievement for as many weeks as you need for it to become the new normal, notice that time and how it rewards you, not rushing out the door, or having time to meditate before work, or get in that run.
With this approach we gradually move the needle, allowing you and your subconscious mind to follow you rather than resisting. In the comments below let me know how you went, or what else you could apply this minimum daily effort approach to.