How I climbed the “Mount Everest” of my Tiny Habits

As you might expect, I’ve created a lot of Tiny Habits in my life. But one habit has been hard to nail down: daily meditation. Earlier this year, I tried to make this a Tiny Habit three times and just couldn’t get it to work. I’m pretty darn good at creating habits, but this one — meditation — is like Everest. I’ll tell you why it’s so tough, and I’ll explain my solution. Read on . . .

Creating Tiny Habits is like solving a puzzle with two vital pieces. One piece is making the new behavior tiny. That’s easy: For me, the tiny meditation was just sitting for three breaths. Simple.

My problem was finding the other piece of the puzzle: the anchor. In other words, I couldn’t find a spot when meditation would fit in my day.

I tried various anchors, but nothing snapped into place. So after a number of revisions, I moved on to other Tiny Habits and made myself a note to come back to meditation later. (By the way, I think that’s a good plan: If you can’t quite get a Tiny Habit to take hold, change your focus to something else. Just keep on practicing habits.)

Today, I’m happy to report I’ve solved the puzzle, at least for myself. About four weeks weeks ago, I realized that a good time to meditate each day was right after I removed the last email from my inbox.

Some background: Each morning, I don’t answer all my email (ha! that would be really hard), but I do categorize and file everything. Along the way I plan and prioritize.

As you can imagine, the sight of an empty inbox brings a moment of calm. It’s just a beautiful white space on the computer screen. One day, I saw this white space, and then — boom — it clicked. That’s my anchor. So I wrote down this Tiny Habit:

“After I empty my inbox in the morning, I will meditate for three breaths.”

This recipe has worked like a charm.