The Power of Tiny Habits: A Story of Overcoming Resistance and Creating Lasting Change

by | 10 Apr 2023

Last week I shared how I use walking to clear my mind.


However, getting out the door and walking did not come naturally to me. I used to have this huge resistance, even though I enjoyed the walking and its effect on my mental clarity.


I don’t know why I’m wired this way, but I did want to create a regular habit of walking. After many years of failed attempts, I finally figured out what worked for me.


My issue was not really about walking.


My problem was getting over my resistance to creating this new habit. My resistance was that walking would become yet another chore and item I had to add to my long to-do list – it felt overwhelming.


So, I broke down this ‘chore’ into its tiniest first component that I knew I could achieve every time, no matter what.


My goal ended up as follows:

Put on my walking shoes, get out the door and lock the door as if I were going for a walk. If I accomplished that, I would achieve my daily walking goal. If I wanted to walk a bit, I could.


This is all it took for me. I always started my walk. Only twice did I stop at the end of the driveway, 10 meters away, and decide to turn around. I made this to be okay.


This is what it looks like today:

As soon as I get an impulse to walk and have 10 – 20 minutes to spare, I’m out of the door within a minute. This happens at least twice a day. It has come to the point where my body starts feeling neglected and cranky if I don’t walk. I don’t see walking as a chore anymore.


The tiniest of changes can make all the difference.