30 Micro-Resolutions

Random Observation/Comment #542: Breaking out of bad habits is hard, but not impossible.


Why This List?

Little actions can make big changes. This is true for all positive and negative aspects of life. You didn’t just wake up overweight – it was probably a string of inactive months and holiday parties that crept up over time. If you want to improve, then realize these little actions can reverse those bad habits and develop a solid platform strategy.

As explained in the previous blog post, we must put in the effort to form autopilot habits and resilient sub routines that keep you from burning out at the end of the day. Willpower should be saved for the important things. Be in a state of mindful constant improvement and form a platform that breeds this style.

A good resolution has a few properties:

  • It focuses on small behavioral changes
  • The change is easy (you think it can be done and you have no excuse not to do it)
  • The change is limited (it’s not a blanket statement of exercising everyday)
  • It focuses on actions – what can you do? – not what result do you want
  • The change is specific and measurable

How to Write this List

First, take a look at these categories of micro-resolutions to spark some ideas. Next, reverse engineer your behaviors throughout the day and really find the pain point little habits you can change to improve any of those points. This could be reshuffling the order of tasks, using better resources, or setting up different stop points.

Here are a few of my micro-resolutions:

  1. #MeatlessMondays – don’t order meat foods
  2. Sit down lunch Thursdays – to reduce eating food at a desk for every meal, sit down at a restaurant or in the park and enjoy lunch on Thursdays
  3. Coffee Chat Fridays – have coffee with someone on Friday and don’t talk about work
  4. Dinners at home should be eaten at the table and on a plate
  5. Say “no” to the first beer at Spin / or / No happy hour beer before 6PM on weekdays
  6. Store the phone, wallet, keys, headphones, and scarfs in one location for easy access when leaving in the morning (e.g. adjust habit to place these items in this area when I first get home)
  7. Remove all notifications from social media applications on phone
  8. Do not look at phone when walking in the morning (e.g. walk from apartment to subway and subway to desk) – increase awareness and also pay attention more to traffic
  9. Do not look at work email before 9AM at desk – instead, map out your micro-accomplishments for the day
  10. No more than 15 minutes of device use in the bedroom on weekdays / Write in a physical journal instead or sketch an idea
  11. Pay attention to what you can compliment about someone (a stranger or significant other). Tell them (or don’t, but telling them is much better).
  12. Look at your list of tasks and find what you can delegate once a week
  13. Make small talk (< 5 min) with someone different in your team every day. Ask them how they are and do less of the talking.
  14. Give credit to someone for a job well done. Send an email or spread a good rumor.
  15. Look on slideshare once a week for inspiration on infographics and presentation styles
  16. Do some type of physical activity (that builds up a sweat) at least once every 3 days
  17. Before getting out of bed, sit up, straighten your back, and take 3 deep breaths
  18. Write down the thing that lead to a good laugh or happy moment. Create a happiness jar for this (blogpost of this to come)!
  19. Share something useful with your community in the morning
  20. Before you buy something, also think about what you can sell/replace with this new item
  21. Instead of buying coffee in the morning, brew some from home or alternatively drink tea
  22. Set-up 5 minute breaks in your calendar (3x a day) to get up and go drink some water
  23. Do not watch more than 3 episodes of anything in a row (reduce binge watching or balance it with something productive)
  24. Join at least 2 conference calls a week at least 2 minutes early and use that time to chat with anyone else on the call early
  25. Remove 1 thing from a to do list for every 2 things you put on (I tend to add too many things on my to do list)
  26. Brush teeth before 10PM as to reduce late night eating
  27. Kiss your significant other when you see her for the first time at night
  28. Eat a piece of fruit for dessert instead of cake
  29. Try to answer with a joke instead of a judgment (find out what you can smile about in a bad situation)
  30. Come up with a new list of 30 or write 30 items in a list once a week (Try to do at least 2 lists a month)

~See Lemons Further Resolved