It’s been a great summer. I finished graduate school in Library Science in May. Though this summer “vacation” I’ve been busy training for my new job as a high school librarian, I’ve also had more time to listen to informative and fun podcasts, read for pleasure and establish the mini-habits I want in my life. There’s a little more guitar, writing, exercise and joy in my life.
Part of what has made my summer more interesting is putting the library at my fingertips by putting books on hold and through various e-reader apps that allow me to tap into the library.
i have a regular card and an educator card through a program called MyLibraryNYC. My “keys” to success.
It’s not that I am just checking out more materials. Getting more books and materials is part of being more excited about constant learning. I’m at the edge of jumping into a new career, I’m listening to great podcasts that lead me to great books and resources. Through the library I can have that extra information and inspiration within days or seconds.
The best learning happens when you can have a resource “just in time.” I have a growing but temporary collection of distraction free physical books and also a small collection of powerful books that I can read from my phone or tablet.
The library is an often untapped resource that can help you transform your business or skills. September is Library Card Sign Up Month but it’s always a great and convenient time to get a library card. If you are not a big library user here’s a couple of pointers: Continue reading »
You don’t have to be a super hero. Just try a little bit every day.
Touch it everyday
Touch it. I want to touch it every day. This is my new winning strategy to skill acquisition. In previous posts I’ve been examining how I’ve been using the “Mini Habits Mastery” course in combination with the Chains.cc app to keep track of the new habits I want to make.
However, what I want to focus here is a little digital tool that can make a big difference–the streak. If you are going to win, you’ve got to make daily contact with your skill. Maintain a streak of “touching” your skill every day and make a big difference.
Feed the slow steady fire
If you can’t study a lot, at least maintain your streak of making contact with the skill. Duolingo, the language learning app boldly reminds you, “Learning a language requires practice every day.” Michael Palmisano, my guitar teacher at Udemy says in his video courses that it is better to do a little bit every day than to try to tackle it all and not build the muscle memory that daily practice takes.
I’m on the 23rd day of using Chains app to establish mini habits. Everyday I do something small for six things that I am trying to make life-long habits: learning languages, playing guitar, becoming a skillful librarian, getting in shape, increasing my financial strength and writing. I’m noticing a few things:
Committing to just a little bit has made helped me take my learning just a little bit further. For example my goal to sustain my chain in Iknow (an app I use to learn Japanese but can also be used for English and Chinese) just takes one minute a day. But once I’m on the app I often continue because it’s so easy. It’s also fun because the app has built in incentives such such as weekly targets.
It’s easier to remember where I’ve been and keep from being discouraged. I’m traveling and hanging out in Japan. sometimes being busy makes it hard to keep up with my habits. But if I really remember how small my mini-habit commitment,is I can just keep moving. Momentum is my friend. For example, when I am travelling with I am not around a guitar. However, I can finger and practice chords and isolate the ones that aren’t natural to me.
More of my toolsーーguitars, webpages, notebook pages–are all more easily accessible because I do my habits much more frequently.
Momentum is on my side. For example,my only commitment to writing is five minutes a day. However, since I’m on the page with all my tools out it is often nor problem and even fun to keep going. However it is important to note that five minutes of sustaining a chain is a Yuuuge victory to be celebrated with another day on the chains,cc app.
I’m going to leave it here. As always the proof in this system will come once school starts up again. However, the time commitments are so small it looks like I can succeed every day.
If you would like to master the chain of mini habits check out the course called “Mini Habit Mastery: The Scientific Way to Change Your Habits” on Udemy. If you would like to support this blog, please hit on the Udemy link on the right side of this page and search for the course or pursue your other samurai learning needs. I will get a small commission that will help support me Samurai Mind. Enjoy!
I’ve been enjoying the Udemy app so much I have become an affiliate.
It’s been an app-y summer. I’ve finished graduate school and though I am preparing to start a new career as a school librarian, there aren’t as many looming deadlines and forced readings as last year. I’ve installed a few apps and I’m rolling with them:
Simply-e–which allows you to use your New York public library card to borrow books to read on my tablet
Epic–to get online picture books for my daughter
Sworkit—provides a variety of workouts without a gym
Udemy–an app for learning new skills online from various content providers
Chains–an app that lets you track and maintain new habits
Using the Udemy website and app I’ve been watching the “Mini Habits Mastery” course on Udemy. In short, this course explains that in order to create new positive habits you need to go teeny tiny and small. (Thanks to Rob Schwarz, a friend and an NLP trainer who suggested the course. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more cool ideas).
Great course on how-to of building mini habits
The course has been worth it to me even though I’ve been mostly listening to it on my walks in Japan as opposed to watching the video content. It’s been worth the price because it has allowed me to jump start some habits and think about how to maintain them. The course itself really digs in deep in an informative and entertaining way so check it out.
However, the main point I’ve gotten from the course is that you have to go infinitely small to develop habits that you want to sustain you. For example, if you want to get in shape, set the goal of doing one push up every day. If you want to write, set a goal of writing fifty words a day.
The Mini Habits course does a much better job of explaining why you would want to do this. However, here is my understanding of the power of mini-habits:
setting super-small goals and actually being able to do it every day ingrains life-long habits that can transform your life
tiny, do-able habits get you on the page, to the gym and lead to increased forward momentum
mini-habits encourage “bonus reps”and often lead to exceeding mini-habits
Mini habits help you to insure you have your “tools” out for further creation…my mini-habit may be to out the guitar in my hands for two minutes but it puts me in the position of playing more if I want to
Easy to use checklist with great quotes about the power of building habits
I have game-ified the Mini Habit process with Chains.cc, an app that lets you track your habits and try to create chains. Every day that you practice your habit you swipe to the left on your the app and create a new link in the ongoing chain
When you turn your phone sideways you can see the chain of habits you are creating with cute images.
So far I haven’t broken a chain because it would be so sad to break the visual picture. What’s more important is that I’ve gained some momentum on goals that have seemed formidable. I signed up for some Udemy guitar courses and asked have practiced at least two minutes a day. It’s just two minutes so why not keep the chain going?
So far I’ve noticed some powerful advantages to this chains and mini-habit fusion:
Picture your on going chains of success. Part of my success with this so far is not wanting to “break” the picture by skipping a mini-habit day.
It’s fun. Because the daily goals are very low stake it’s easier to have s feeling of success at the end of the day.
Momentum leads to “bonus reps” as the authors of Mini Habits call it. If I have the guitar out to do my two minutes it’s easier to do more. The mini habits author explains not to secretly raise the bar because it’s the mini aspect of this system that makes it work.
The chain effect makes it harder to forget where I was, whether it is the latest blog idea or the names of te guitar strings.
So far it’s only been a week but it’s been a quiet but powerful way to change up my summer. Hope you will join me. Become part of the chain gang.