Can a Small Habit be Too Small Pt. II: My Self-destructive Tendencies (10 Minute Clean-up Habit, Update #2)

We are 2 weeks into this new habit! This week was fairly uneventful – mostly because I spent the latter half of the week away from home as we were visiting family for Thanksgiving. While I was home, I found it very easy to complete this habit…almost too easy.

Milestone Reached

We are 2 weeks into this new habit! This week was fairly uneventful – mostly because I spent the latter half of the week away from home as we were visiting family for Thanksgiving. While I was home, I found it very easy to complete this habit…almost too easy.

My Self-destructive Tendency

Last year, I asked the question, “Can a small habit be too small?” The answer, of course, was yes and no. Habits should start really small and then build (if you want them to) when they become too easy. This week, my habit seemed too easy. The difference between this time and last time is that this habit is not part of a larger habit and I really have no interest in growing it into a bigger habit. Despite all of this, there was a voice in the back of my head saying, “we can make it 15 minutes instead of 10.” Don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t an illogical thought. Last week, I did talk about the fact that we weren’t getting as much done as I had hoped we would, but that changed this week as we all became more involved – our house is becoming much nicer to be in and I find myself cleaning up as I go throughout the day now. I’m exactly where I want to be with this habit. So, my reason for adding the 5 minutes wasn’t to get more done. I think on some level, it was a desire to fail or at the very least to make my life unnecessarily harder – a self-destructive tendency.

So, my advice to myself and you is that if you find yourself thinking, “This is too easy. I should make it more challenging,” ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What did I originally set out to accomplish? Has that changed in any way?
  2. Why am I wanting to make this more challenging?
    1. Did you plan to do more from the start?
    2. Is what you’re doing so easy that you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated.
    3. Or, like me, do you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything if it’s not difficult for you?
  3. What will the positive and negative outcomes be, if I make things more challenging be?

If, after you ask yourself these questions, it still feels right, then go for it! You can check out the post I mentioned earlier for tips on moving forward with adding more to your current habit. If, however, one of those questions gives you pause, then try to hold off on adding anything until the time feels right for you.

Also, if your answer to number 2 was “I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything if it’s not challenging” then I encourage you to take a step back and look at how far you’ve come and what you’re actually doing. You might be surprised just how much you’re accomplishing, even when things are “too easy.”

Next Milestone/Final Thoughts

That’s all I have this week, I hope to see you back here for Week 3 of the 10 Minute Clean-up habit!

Are you currently tracking any habits? Let me know how it’s going in the comments or reach out on social media. You can also check out my Facebook and Instagram pages for quick updates on how things are going. And be sure to look for my updates as they’re posted on the blog!

Thanks so much for reading!

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