“A new habit should not feel like a challenge. The actions that follow can be challenging, but the first two minutes should be easy. What you want is a “gateway habit” that naturally leads you down a more productive path.”
– James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits
Remember, the action itself is not easy. But as James says, the first two minutes should be easy. And what you’ll find is that you can scale down nearly any habit or activity into a two-minute version.
Want to read every day? Read one page.
Want to meditate every day? Sit in a meditation position.
Want to study for an exam? Open your book.
I like this strategy because it nearly makes it impossible to procrastinate. When I look back at all the times I’ve procrastinated, it was always related to getting overwhelmed. When you haven’t even started something, the end result seems a million miles away.
The goal is not only to get started — it’s to keep going. Nobody wants to read one page a day for the rest of their lives. To me, this strategy is all about getting used to doing something every day.
Look, changing your lifestyle is not an easy thing. Let’s say you’ve been living in a certain way for 30 years. What do you expect? That you change overnight? You and I both know that it takes time. So we should change our perspective accordingly.
No one cares about how many pages you’ve read, how hard you’ve worked out, or how long you haven’t smoked a cigarette. You should only care about what you did today — and don’t focus on metrics.
Life is a competition with yourself — not others. And if you want to win, you must make it easy for yourself.