An Effortless Approach To Making Habits Stick: Fraction Habits

fractionHow you approach starting a new habit can define your success and your commitment to the habit itself. Looking at a habit as a huge commitment or a large task can make the whole process overwhelming.

It’s about you making a decision in your life. It’s about change. Which if we are being honest isn’t the easiest thing to do.

The first step is you have to say that you can. ~Will Smith

I’m now working on my morning routine. My morning routine will consist of 8 things. It’s difficult to make all 8 things part of my routine, all at once. So I’ve made it simpler and easier for me to follow. A fraction habit. Taking it a fraction at a time until the whole habit is established.

So to remedy the problem of commitment, approach it by fractions.

I have a list of 8 things I want to establish for my morning routine. Doing all 8, every morning, for the next two months will require a lot of willpower and dedication, possible frustration and giving up. I don’t have any morning routine in place. So for me to go from no morning routine to doing 8 things every morning is the definition of overwhelming. I know after 2 months that I would mentally exhaust and stress myself. There is no need to put myself through avoidable effort and pain.

So I changed my approach to the habit itself. I’d much rather take it by a fraction and enjoy the process of waking up instead of viewing it as a chore.

Fraction Habits.

Start small, and make a step in the right direction of your habit.

My goal for the habit is to wake up at 5:00AM every morning. Right now I am waking up at 7:30AM. Once it becomes easier on myself to wake up at 7:30, I will subtract 15 minutes off. So my next goal would be 7:15AM; until I progress to my goal of 5:00AM.  This way I’m working with myself to achieve my habit.

Of the 8 fractions, I have chosen 2. I will continue the 2 habits until they become a part of my morning routine. When they are on “autopilot” then I will move onto 2 more fractions.

My list consists of:

  1.  Wake up at 7:30AM
  2. Stretch for 5 minutes.

This way I’m working on 2/8 fraction habits until they have set in as a part of my morning routine.

If you are trying to exercise daily and wish to form a habit of being physically active then take one single step. Instead of taking on multiple commitments,  a little step in the direction can make your habit stick.

Start with just 2-5 minutes of skipping, running or walking every day. Do it as many times as you wish to exercise per week it.It will become a part of your day and soon the fraction habit will be established. Afterwards add another fraction to your habit. Whether you wish to add in running and skipping or increase the time to 10 minutes per day. By doing so, you ease yourself into your habit and can enjoy the process of starting a new habit.

Time is on your side.

We all have commitments in our lives. Sometimes too many and that makes it hard to start a new habit, even impossible. If you have too much going on in your life; you can edit your commitments. With many commitments exercising 4 times a week can seem like a heavy habit to just start all of the sudden. So run for 2 minutes. The more you run, the more you can begin to value your commitment. It can make you realize the importance of your new habit and allow you to edit commitments out of your life.

The idea behind fractions.

This isn’t about establishing a full habit right away. This isn’t about being a monster habit machine. It’s about enjoyment, ease and working at your own pace. It’s about taking the first step in the right direction regardless of  how small. Taking your habit, and splitting it up into fractions. You can replace the word for fractions into paces. Each pace is a step you make. Making progress to each fraction until you are going in the right direction. You will gain your momentum, and succeed in your new self habit!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  ~Lao Tzu

Until next time,

Dragos Bernat

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