I did my sets of pushups today, just like any other day and nothing felt particularly special about it.
It’s a big day, though.
I’ve now done multiple sets of pushups every day for 1001 days in a row. No days missed. Rain or shine, on a frozen lake, atop a mountain, on a boat, on a plane, wherever I needed to to get the pushups done.
It’s About Momentum
Practically speaking, what I’m doing today, 1001 days later, isn’t a whole lot different than when I started.
On the pushups front, I started out being able to do 1-2 at a time, four sets a day.
Today, I average about 50 pushups a day and if I want to push myself, I can do about 30 in a row without stopping.
A definite improvement, but there’s more to the story.
I chose pushups because it’s a ridiculously tiny habit. My friends laughed. What difference could a few pushups make? I should join a gym or do some real exercise.
They weren’t wrong in the short-term. A few pushups a day wasn’t going to make a big difference to my health.
Because the habit was ridiculously tiny, though, I kept it up.
Then, something magical happened. I had a habit in place and I wanted to experiment with more.
Pushups became building block habits. And they built momentum.
More Tiny Habits
Today, I track 25 different tiny habits that have helped me build momentum across a wide range of focus areas. They include:
- Taking a cold shower every day
- 5 or more minutes a day learning Spanish
- 5 minutes a day playing an instrument
- Making sure the litter box was cleaned
- Taking a picture of or noting at least one meal a day
All of these are tiny on their own. Easy to get done and really don’t seem like a big deal.
When I add them up, though, I’ve been able to use tiny habits to create significant amounts of momentum over time.
This experiment with tiny habits has been life-changing for me.
And I’m just getting started.