“Nothing happens in the world until something moves.” – Albert Einstein
Sometimes the perfect fat loss plan is the worst plan.
Yes, I know, most people say practice makes perfect, which is true…or that perfect practice makes perfect.
This tends to cause people to be stuck in analysis paralysis.
If you want a different life, DO different things!
I realize that you will make mistakes using this approach but that is how we learn.
Make mistakes, make LOTS of them.
Then use what you learned from that experience to create the life of your dreams.
That is what I like to refer to as imperfect action.
Nothing is perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be consistent over time.
This is why Your Perfect FAT Loss Plan Is The Worst Plan
Being consistent with goals can be challenging but you can master the skill of consistency with mini habits
This is why you should create an imperfect perfect fat loss plan.
Mini habits“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins Click & Tweet!
The Mini Habits strategy is forcing yourself to take 1-4 “stupid small” strategic actions every day.
These actions are too small to fail, and too small to skip for special occasions.
They serve dual purposes
- To spark you to do more
- To become (mini) habits
Mini habits require very little actual effort. You’re going to be lowering fat intake, committing to the gym 2-3 times a week, cutting out snacking, or other very easy tasks.
The subsequent bonus effort from overachieving is variable, meaning some days will be more productive than others.
This is a natural structure that greatly reduces the chance for burnout.
I’ve often planned to have just a few healthy meals a week and ended up eating great throughout the entire weekend as well.
Other times, I’ve made sure just my work week meals are spot on.
The Mini Habits system is both rigid and flexible in strategic places.
It’s rigid in the beginning, forcing you to start, but it’s flexible after that, allowing you to decide how much extra you want to do.
The initial effort requires hardly any willpower.
willpower is truly limited
When our self control over our daily habits are used up, our will power becomes impaired.
Motivation needs a spark and if fleeting at times , I have written about this here as well.
Self-control is a finite resource that determines capacity for effortful control over dominant responses and, once expended, leads to impaired self-control task performance, known as ego depletion
Mini habits preserve willpower by starting small.
But say that willpower is only limited by our belief that it’s limited.
What would that mean for mini habits?
It’s great news!
You’ll believe you have unlimited willpower with mini habits because they require almost no willpower.
So in the case that you’re bursting at the seams with willpower energy, mini habits will get you started and allow you to make great bonus progress.
And in the case that you’re completely exhausted and out of willpower, mini habits will get you started anyway and allow you to make the most of your capabilities at the time.
The belief that you can take action no matter what is built into this theory, and it has not failed me a single time.
Not once has my willpower been insufficient to complete a mini habit.
Now, I want to highlight the five main causes of ego-depletion.
- Effort-Mini habits require very little actual effort.
- Perceived difficulty-Mini habits have almost zero perceived difficulty by design, a primary benefit that compounds when you do extra. Once you start and are free to continue, your perceived difficulty will be much lower due to the psychological impact of having already started. (this is building Momentum)
- Negative affect-mini habits are for adding good things, negative affect is less relevant unless your action is directly replacing another pleasure. Even if you’re replacing a pleasure with a mini habit, the commitment is so small that you won’t feel negative affect from it. More often, you’ll be replacing time-wasting behaviors with beneficial ones, which induces a positive feeling.
- Subjective fatigue-willpower is a battle between the perception of your strength relative to your task. I’ve noticed that when my goal is large, my subjective fatigue worsens. This is logical, as just one small task, my subjective fatigue shrunk. In fact, I felt I had plenty of energy to do a single task, and the thought that I could easily do something, albeit small, was energizing.
- Energy Levels- As for mini habits, they can help to preserve it by being the most efficient way to spend your willpower energy. It
is far more mentally energy efficient to break things down into small components that are easily “mentally digested” and less stressful. The goal of
losing 100 pounds in a year is a constant energy drain and burden.
Remember mistakes are going to happen with any plan.
The the idea is to learn to roll and learn from these mistakes.
This is imperfect action and learning to follow a imperfect plan for fat loss can change your life!
How to setup an imperfect plan for fat loss
A process for building momentum one (imperfect) action at a time.
Step 1 pick a project (perfect fat loss plan)
As you think about your life right now,what is ONE project that you are struggling to complete (or maybe even to start)?
Pick something within your control.
Write the project down.
Step 2- Clarify why it matters
This is important!
Take a minute to clarify WHY completing this project matters to you.
What will getting this done mean for you.
How will it make you FEEL? What will it ENABLE?
Hold onto that vision.
It is what’s on the other side of your course of action.
Write your WHY down.
Step 3- Outline what it will take
When you look at that project, think about everything that needs to happen to complete it.
List those steps in logical sequence.
TRY to capture ALL the steps.
You may have to re write them several times before it feels write.
Step 4- Scope the first step
Now before your get overwhelmed by the length of your list, identify ONE step you can take NOW.
Its important that it is one you know how to do and have the resources to do.
If the first step on your comprehensive list is too overwhelming, then simply break it down even further and choose a SMALLER step.
Write that step down.
Step 5- Commit to imperfection
This is where it gets interesting.
We’re going to INTENTIONALLY commit imperfection in the name of speed.
This is not brain surgery. It’s the first step.
Bust through the false belief that you have to get it exactly right.
Lay that down. Write it down.
Step 6- Set a Deadline
Pick a deadline for completing the first step.
The sooner the better. Today would be perfect.
Write that deadline down.
Step 7- Go do it
Ounce you have taken the first imperfect step, you will feel a rush of momentum.
Pay attention to how it feels and uphold the commitment you made to yourself.
To no longer be thinking but to be doing.
Let that feeling lead the next action on your list, and the next, and the next.
You will find as you leverage this process that your pace of activity increases dramatically.
I see it all the time with my client I coach in my 1-on-1 training.
They learn to break the cycle of “analysis paralysis” and “all or nothing” thinking and they begin to move forward toward their biggest goals and dreams, day by day , week by week.
Use these exact steps to begin the cycle for yourself.
Apply This Strategy Elsewhere
Mini Habits and understanding imperfect action is more than just a system to teach you how to develop healthy new habits—it’s a guide for self-control.
Now you know how your brain works, why motivation fails, and how to manage your willpower to make it last.
Use these techniques for any situation in which you want to take action.
The better you get at mini habits, the more success you’ll have in all areas of your life.