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It has been said that the only way to make sense of change is to dive headfirst into it, move with it, and join the dance. ~Alan Watts

It was late in 2012, just after Christmas, and I, along with a great number of other people, was thinking back on the previous year.

I saw that there was a lot of space for improvement in too many aspects of my life, but knowing that the success rate of New Year’s Resolutions is just 8 percent (according to study conducted at the University of Scranton), I decided to investigate some alternative choices. I was aware that I wanted to begin before January 1st as well, due to the fact that I find arbitrary beginning dates to be unsettling.

I made the decision to significantly improve my physical fitness on the 28th of December. In contrast, during the preceding few days and weeks, I didn’t exercise nearly as much as I should have and I felt awful about it. My objective was to do a workout in thirty minutes, but I didn’t think it would be feasible.

I lacked motivation, was exhausted, and the feeling of guilt was making me feel like I was useless. When I found myself in a rut, I suddenly recalled a strategy that I had read about in a book. At the time, I had no idea that this strategy would have such a significant impact on my life in 2013.

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Consider the antithesis of an idea that you’re having trouble moving forward with. This strategy comes from the book Thinkertoys, which is about innovation. After taking a look at my thirty-minute workout objective and my massive fitness plan to get into terrific condition, I started thinking about doing the reverse.

One might argue that the opposite is eating junk food and lounging around on the sofa, but when I thought of the opposite, I immediately thought of size differences.

What if, rather of lugging about this exhausting fitness anvil on my shoulders, all I performed was one push-up?

At first, the concept made me laugh out loud. It is ludicrous to do one push-up and then pretend as if it meant anything at all. But as I struggled more and more with my larger ambitions, I ultimately gave in to the notion and performed one push-up. Since I was now in push-up position, I did a couple more after that since I was already there.

After that, I gave one pull-up attempt a go since my muscles were ready to go at that point. In the end, I did numerous more of these, just as you anticipated I would. In the end, I had worked out for a total of thirty minutes.

My thoughts were completely blown away; had I just turned a single push-up into a whole workout? Sure, yes I did.

The Beginning of the One Push-Up Challenge

From from point on, I am challenging the readers of my blog to do at least one push-up every single day for a whole year. It has brought a great deal of success to many people, and this is what it has led to for me: I have been going to the gym anywhere from three to six times a week to work out for the last three and a half months, and as a result, I am in excellent physical form. I understand how and why it works now.

Research in psychology and neuroscience is something I do in order to improve my writing. I’ve always had a strong interest in those fields. Everything began to make sense to me as I heard about the research on willpower that demonstrate it is a limited resource.

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My resolve was either not strong enough or completely spent, so I was unable to complete my thirty-minute exercise as planned. However, I was able to do one push-up and then transition into a thirty-minute exercise since it needed just a little bit of willpower to begin with, and once I had done that, both my body and my mind stopped opposing the concept.

This idea is not limited to the realm of physical fitness; rather, it can be applied to any aspect of your life that you would want to improve. And I think I’ve identified the best approach to take advantage of this strategy — habits.

What Do You Have That Is More Valuable Than Your Habits?

Nothing. According to research conducted at Duke University, habits account for around 45 percent of an individual’s overall behavior. In addition to this, the actions in question are ones that you engage in on a regular basis, which increases the weight that they carry in your life. Your patterns of behavior form the basis of your life, and if this basis is shaky, you won’t be satisfied with the way you live.

People struggle to make changes in their life and to establish new routines because they attempt to accomplish too much all at once. This is the root cause of their failure. To put it another way, if your new routine calls for more self-control than you already possess, you are doomed to fail. If the new routine demands less self-control from you than you are now capable of mustering, then you will be successful.

However, the estimate cannot only be for one occurrence; it must also take into account times when you are exhausted and have little willpower left. Then, are you able to continue with it?

Writing is something I’ve been wanting to engage in more recently. Because I write for a job as well as because it is a kind of therapy for me, regular practice is essential for me. I discovered how to combine the force of The One Push-Up Challenge with a habit plan when I realized that I wasn’t writing as much as I ought to be. Now I write at least as much as I should.

How to Make Big Changes with Little Changes in Your Life

Mini routines are exactly what they sound like they are. The first thing you need to do is decide on a desired pattern of behavior or adjustment that you’d want to make. This may be anything as simple as trying to think more positively, writing 1,000 words every day, or reading two novels every week. I’ve been able to successfully juggle all three tasks at once.

The next step is to reduce the size of these routines until they are “stupid little.” This is a word that I devised because when you speak the requirement out, it is so insignificant that it sounds ridiculous. Here are mine:

1. Compose fifty words each and every day (article, story, etc.)

2. Compose fifty words every day (for the book on routines that I’m now writing).

3. Each day, read two pages from the book you’re reading.

Is that not the case? It would take me a total of 10 minutes for me to finish this list. To this far, I have exceeded these daily criteria by a significant margin and have reached them one hundred percent of the time.

Since I started keeping track, I’ve averaged between one and two thousand words written and ten and thirty pages read every day for the last twelve days and counting. Before this, I wasn’t reading at all and I seldom ever wrote anything down.

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It is effective because your mind is easily fooled by the bait.

Oh, there are just fifty words total? I’m capable of writing that.”

After that, you get going. And you’ll discover, just as I have, that once you get going, wonderful things will begin to occur.

Ideas for Ten Mini-Habits Per Day

1. Compliment oneself

2. Contemplate a pair of upbeat ideas.

3. Meditate for one minute

4. List three things for which you are grateful.

5. Complete one full push-up.

6. Compose a total of fifty words.

7. Take in the next two pages.

8. Do 10 jumping jacks

9. Go outdoors and walk 100 steps

10. Take a swig from a glass of water.

It is possible to bring about change in practically every aspect of your life, and doing so, one little habit at a time, is much simpler than you may imagine.

When you free yourself from the burden of pressure and expectations, you give yourself permission to begin.

What one or two little habits are you going to start today?

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