ColumnSuccessfully establish new habits with tiny habits

Lena Wittneben
Lena WittnebenPR

Sometimes I have the impression that under the guise of the corona maker mode, the sacrificial lambskin often swells at all corners and ends. People squatting in their own cages with the key around their necks. In the case of suggestions and ideas to revive the idle business in Corona times, people often react hastily with a wailing “yes, but”. This is followed by epic explanations of why something doesn’t work, can work, would be wrong.

In my opinion, it is not a matter of inventing ad hoc new business models that could immediately make up for lost revenue. Rather, we should continue to be visible as a brand and remain in dialogue and contact with customers and cooperation partners. We can only shape a positive future with courage, confidence, motivation and action in the present.

Now that nothing is and remains what it was, we have many options to try again. Even in our daily habits, behavior and routines.

I don’t believe in excessive self-optimization. “Bigger, better, faster, more” attitudes need not be assessed; Discipline, improvements, simplification, time saving and ambitious goals are admirable and get us into the activity. Only small course corrections are often enough in everyday life to enjoy more balance and personal success away from the craze for self-optimization. The supposedly banal impulses often contain the greatest potential for greater well-being.

Instead of making yourself smarter with the umpteenth online course in the “Shutdown light” – even if we are not really interested in the topic – or cleaning and polishing the apartment until we eat the baseboards we should rather establish tiny habits. Instead of meditating until the skull is buzzing or training us to pack muscles, we’d better start with small changes.

The American behavioral researcher B.J. Fogg is considered the inventor of the “tiny habits” method. Instead of often frustrating mammoth projects around big goals, new behaviors and habits, it is necessary to tie a new little action to an existing everyday ritual for sure success. This means that after an “after me” (an existing habit such as making coffee in the morning), we “do” (10 squats for fitness beginners). Two examples:

  • “After I booted up my laptop in the home office, I put my cell phone in a drawer for 90 minutes to work on one thing undisturbed and concentrated.”
  • “After lunch, I walk around the block for 10 minutes.”

Little effort with great effect with permanent repetition. The connection with the existing habit helps to success.

And apart from the “tiny habits” that we can sprinkle in right now, why not use the Corona weeks to question habits? What do I really need for a “good life”? How many times a week do I want to play sports, meet friends (online?), Be for myself, cook, go for a walk, continue my education? Who or what gives me energy and what can and do I want to do every day so that I am satisfied and balanced at the end of a week?

And since we currently have to do without many passions and hobbies (doing without does not mean loss!), How can you achieve a feeling of satisfaction or a state of balance?

We will probably not be able to celebrate parties with friends in clubs, discos and on the street in a timely manner – but what is the feeling and need behind the celebration? To feel aliveness? How else can we integrate more liveliness into everyday life during the Corona weeks? To do sports? Meet with friends? Dedicate yourself to a long forgotten childhood hobby?

Further impulses for the change in the “stays-everything-different” mode:

  • Why not say yes more often to things that give us pleasure – even if they involve efforts?
  • Why not say yes when we still have so much to do? Who knows if temptation will come back? Or to put it pessimistically: “The next shutdown is coming.”
  • Why not make longer where we would otherwise stop earlier? Do the last four “burpees” go through in training? Negotiate longer and see if more is not possible.
  • And why not stop earlier where we usually do longer? Tormented small talk with people we don’t care about anyway and who stop cleaning sooner. Good is good enough.

In the newsletter of best-selling author Lars Amend, I read a question that concerns me: “Imagine that in 10 years time you will be asked what new decisions you made during Corona in order to prepare a better future for yourself and your environment? What will you answer? “

Have fun and success with the implementation!

Lena Wittneben writes here regularly for She is a systemic coach, memory trainer and speaker – more at The weekly interview podcast “There is a crack in everything …” is available free of charge on Itunes, Spotify or on their website.

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