180-Second Exercise: Micro-Practices Add Up
January 24, 2024
Let’s start the new year off with a different kind of 180-second exercise. Set a timer for 3 minutes and write down ten (or more) instances in which you are proud of how you showed up in 2023. We’ll wait. Were you able to come up with ten? How did it feel to take time to reflect on your successes?
For many of us, the new year marks a time to set goals for the coming year. We tend to focus on how to be “better” and “fix our flaws”. In fact, it could be argued that we live in a culture focused on our flaws, but we want to challenge you this year to make a mindset shift. What if instead of focusing on your flaws or shortcomings, you spend the year seeing yourself as a work in progress? Think of each day, each moment as an opportunity for continual optimization of self.
It also seems that the goals developed this time of year are often quite large – for example, go to yoga practice every day when you haven’t stepped foot inside a yoga studio in years. Such grandiose goals can set us up for failure. What if instead, you identified a few micro-practices? A forward fold when you first wake up each day. Or finally changing that light bulb on the porch that you have been procrastinating for the last six months. Or delegate something you typically wouldn’t. (Nervous? Choose a low-risk option.) Small things that build towards a larger goal, or a “for sake of what”, can feel more attainable which can help you stay on track towards that goal.
Our final suggestion, for now, is to share this with someone else. Encourage someone you know to take time to reflect on their successes of 2023 and perhaps lean on each other as accountability partners. Having someone who checks in on your progress without recrimination can help you be more consistent with your practices even when life gets chaotic.