I have been trying a new approach for building regular habits and it is working incredibly good so far. This strategy is notably easy and it is processed by three very simple rules.

First I’ll tell you the three rules. Then, I’ll explain how I’m using this strategy and offer some other cases of how you can put these rules into practice.

3 Rules For Actually Sticking to Good Habits:

You have to start with a basic variant of the habit that is incredibly easy for you. It must be so easy that you can’t say no to doing it and so easy that it is not hard at all in the beginning.

You have to increase your habit each day, but in an incredibly small way.

Even after increasing your habit, all repetitions must remain easy. The total habit should be divided down into easier pieces if needed.

Now, let’s talk about what this looks like in real life. Here’s how I’m using these three rules.

The Pushup Habit

The more pushups I do, the muscular I get. For that reason, I recently decided to make pushups a everyday habit. I decided to use the three rules I explained above to slowly and easily add more pushups to my routine.

The first day, I did 5 pushups, which only took 10 seconds or so and continued this for a week. (Rule 1.)

The second week, I did 8 pushups. This was a very tiny rise. (Rule 2.)

I’ve continued this pattern of adding 3 pushup per week. (Rule 3.)

Once I get to higher numbers, I will break them up into smaller, easier sets. For example, to do 30 pushups, I might do three sets: 10, 10, 10. The next week, I’ll add one more and do 10, 10, 13.

There are a few things happening here.

First, because I started with a habit that was very easy in the beginning, I am building the capacity to do work. In other words, I’m focusing on volume first, which will allow me to handle the intensity of a bigger habit later.

Second, because I am increasing by a very tiny amount each day, my body is able to recover and grow. Meanwhile, if I had started with a difficult or more powerful habit, then I would have limited my ability to adapt as the habit grew.

Third, because I am breaking the habit down into sets that are always easy, I am reducing the mental load needed to achieve the habit. In a way, these light sets are simply fun to do and require very little motivation to complete.

And most important, I am focusing on actually performing the habit rather than worrying about the outcome. I am developing the skill of being consistent and that is a skill that is valuable in nearly every area of life.

How Can You Use This in Real Life?

Here are some other ways you can use this tact to build new habits.

Meditation. Wish you would meditate consistently and be more mindful?

On day one, you’ll meditate for 1 minute.

On day two, you’ll meditate for 1.5 minutes.

Continue this pattern, until you get to an amount of time that satisfies you or is too long to do at once. For example, 10 minutes of meditation might feel like a lot. Once you get to this point, break up your sittings into easier blocks. For example, meditate for 5 minutes in the morning and then 5 minutes in the evening.

Walking. Get a device that can measure the number of steps you take in a day (a pedometer, MI Fit, FitBit app on your phone or use fitness band)

On day one, you’ll walk 2,000 steps, which most people already do each day.

On day two, you’ll add 200 steps and walk a total of 2,200 steps. An additional 200 steps could be walking down to your mailbox and back — not far at all.

Continue this pattern until walking more each day becomes time prohibitive. Let’s say that this point is 10,000 steps in a day. At this point, you may want to break up your walking time into shorter jogging sessions.

Reading. Wonder you were reading more books?

On day one, you’ll read for one minute.

On day two, you’ll read for two minutes.

Continue this pattern until you’re reading for a period of time that either satisfies you or is too long to do at once. For example, maybe reading for more than 15 minutes at a time is a stretch for you. If you want to read for 30 minutes, you can simply break it down into smaller 10 minutes blocks.

Do Small Habits Actually Amount to Anything?

I know these small gains can seem almost insignificant, especially in the beginning. But small habits can actually deliver incredible progress very quickly.

Small, uniform progress adds up really fast.

Try the Three Rules for Yourself

These three rules for sticking to good habits are simple, but they work. You have to start with a version of the habit that is incredibly easy for you. It must be so easy that you can’t say no to doing it and so easy that it is not difficult at all in the beginning.

You have to increase your habit each day, but in an incredibly small way.

Even after developing your habit, all sets must remain easy. The total habit should be broken down into easier pieces if needed.

Give it a try and see what you think! Also share with others as sharing with one another helps us all grow and learn.