Friday, February 24, 2012

3 Tiny Habits Follow-up

I ended up participating in the actual 3 Tiny Habits program instead of trying to do it myself. The results were actually quite surprising!

The three habits I originally picked:

  • 1. After I get dressed, I will look at my todo list & calendar.

  • 2. After I put my daughter to bed, I will brush my teeth.

  • 3. After I log into my Mac, I will build whatever Xcode project is currently open by hitting Command-B.

  • Habit #2 turned out to be the easiest by far. I am already in the habit of brushing my teeth right before I go to bed. This tweak was to just do it right after I tuck my daughter in, which tends to be when the night snacking begins if I have nothing better to do. There's not much besides water that tastes good after you brush your teeth. Besides, if I had anything else I'd have to brush my teeth again. And that's just no good.

    What surprised me is how much I forget to do habit #3 at first. I'd login to my computer just wanting to check something quick - the weather, my email, etc and realize that shoot - I forgot to do my habit. The best solution I found was to make sure Xcode was up & running with an open project when I left the computer.

    You'll notice I left habit #1 for last... This is because what I found with that was most interesting. My morning routine goes like this - get up, use the restroom, weigh myself, eat breakfast & do my devotions, get dressed, head off to work. What I found was that some days the kids get up between me starting to eat breakfast and getting dressed. When that happens, all bets on me doing anything I didn't absolutely need to do to get ready for work are off.

    My fix was simple - I put my planner & iPod Touch on the book shelf I pass going from the bedroom to the kitchen & changed the habit from checking my todo list & calendar after I get dressed to after I weigh myself.

    In summary: two big things I learned from tiny habits:

  • 1. For a habit to be automatic, you need to tie it to something you already do.

  • 2. To keep doing it, you need to set up as much as possible to reduce resistance to the habit. For example, I'm not going to even look at my development project in Xcode before I check my email unless Xcode is already up and running. I'm not going to run downstairs to check my todo list before breakfast, but I will pick up my planner on the way to the kitchen if it happens to be handy.

  • I also get the feeling that my best bet for accomplishing what I really want to accomplish - the things that take more than 30 seconds to do - is do them before anyone else in my family gets up or at night once everyone else has settled down to some point. While family is up & about - well that should be family time. After all, they are the most important people in my life! I need to fit the things I want to accomplish in around them, not the other way around.

    It will be a work in progress for quite a while - I expect for my whole life.


    Unknown said...

    Why compile the Xcode project?

    Kenny D. said...

    Just saw this comment - the reason for the "compile the Xcode project" habit - I'm trying to get into iPhone/iPad app development. The only habit I could think of that is within the rules of being a "tiny habit" was starting an Xcode built. If Xcode is there, and I compile the project, I'm hoping that will give me a push into working on my app.