Last week I shared three tips for a smoother morning. A few days after the post I had a discussion with my boyfriend. For him, preparing a stress-free morning during the evening prior is not motivating at all. He’s concerned that it would make his life too structured and planned, and that it would encourage him to go to bed later and get less sleep. So, understanding that some of you may also harbour similar concerns, I decided to take a step back and look at my suggestions from a Nanohabits™ theory perspective.
I will focus on three aspects of our theory: a goal, core habits, and nanoactions. All of them play an important role in how we achieve the goal; in my case, arriving to work or school on time and in a good mood.
When starting any personal, professional and organizational change initiative, it is important to have a clear goal. In my case, I was always frustrated and late in the mornings. My goal was to be positive and on time. Similarly it can be a goal to increase productivity, increase sales or become a great leader.
Tip #1 Set a clear goal before starting to develop through habits. Know exactly what you want to change or achieve.
There are several core habits that can help you to reach any goal. These are then embedded into your routines, and influence your daily activities. To leverage in effective execution, you need to create a clear focus, act on lead measures, keep a visible scoreboard and create a cadence of accountability. In my case, waking up earlier and preparing the night before are two core habits to achieve my goal. I focused on the latter of the two. For you, the core habit of waking up earlier could make more sense.
Tip #2 After setting the goal, analyze what are the ways how you could reach it. Scope several options that could help you to get where you want to go, and, in the beginning, pick one to focus on.
If knowing the core habits is important, then just as vital is to identify the small daily actions that will help you create concrete core habits. There are hundreds of nanoactions that could help you. So, it’s important to identify those that can bring the most value. When I analyzed my mornings I realized that getting dressed and making breakfast stressed me the most. Therefore, it was clear to me that working on these two aspects with nanoaction routines would bring a lot of value. I tested a select few of them and picked three nanoaction routines that were the most fitting for my needs. For you, different nanoactions could work better.
Tip #3 Ideate many nanoactions and clusters of nanoactions that can help you exercise your core habit every day. They can be and should be very small, quick to execute and easy to repeat daily. Pick a few, test them and add the actions that work
With this perspective in mind, set your goals, identify Core Habits and work out winning nanoactions.