‘Mindfulness is a pause - the space between stimulus and response. That’s where choice lies.’ - Tara Brach
Imagine you are a professional tennis player, competing in the final match of a major tournament. You are facing your toughest opponent, who has beaten you several times before.
The score is tied in the final set, and you are serving for the game. You toss the ball in the air, swing your racket, and hit a powerful serve that lands just inside the baseline. Your opponent barely manages to return it, sending a weak lob back to you. You see an opportunity to end the rally with a smash.
You run towards the net, jump in the air, and swing your racket. But instead of hitting the easy shot, you smash the ball out of bounds.
What happened? How did you miss such an easy shot? The answer is simple. You were not fully present and focused on the task at hand. You were distracted by thoughts of winning, by emotions of fear or excitement. You were not living in the now.
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ - Aristotle
The NOW of Micro Habits
At first glance, micro habits and mindfulness may seem like two very different practices. However, they are actually very similar because what could be more helpful in the NOW than a micro action?
Both practices involve taking small, intentional actions that can lead to significant changes over time. When we practice mindfulness, we become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, which can help us identify areas of our lives where we want to make changes. Micro habits provide us with a simple and manageable way to make these changes. By taking small actions every day, we can move closer to our goals and live a more fulfilling life.
Mindfulness? Present Perfect.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment, without judgment or attachment. It is a skill that can be cultivated through meditation and other techniques, and it has been shown to have numerous benefits for physical and mental health, such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression; enhancing concentration, memory, and creativity; and improving immune system function and well-being
But mindfulness is not only useful for athletes, artists, or monks. It is also essential for anyone who wants to achieve big goals in life, whether personal or professional. And one of the best ways to develop mindfulness is by building micro habits.
Micro Habits every Moment
Micro habits are small, manageable actions that require minimal effort and time but can lead to significant changes over time
They are based on the principle of kaizen, which means ‘continuous improvement’ in Japanese. By breaking down a large goal into tiny steps and performing them consistently, you can create a positive feedback loop that reinforces your motivation and confidence
For example, if you want to write a book, you can start by writing one sentence per day. If you want to run a marathon, you can start by running one minute per day. If you want to learn a new language, you can start by learning one word per day. The key is to make the habit so easy that you can’t say no to it.
But how does this relate to mindfulness?
By practicing micro habits, you are also practicing mindfulness.
You are training yourself to focus on the present moment, on the process rather than the outcome, on the journey rather than the destination. You are learning to appreciate the small wins and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
You are living in the now.
And by living in the now, you are also preparing yourself for the future. Because when you face a big challenge or opportunity, such as a tennis match or a business presentation, you’ll be able to apply the same mindset and skills that you have developed through your micro habits.
You will be able to stay calm, confident, and focused.
That’s why combining mindfulness and micro habits leads to inner growth success. The tools complement each other. And they are both within your reach.
All you need to do is start small and start now.
Book a Micro Habit & Mindfulness workshop for your organization.