By Leo Babauta

If you’re following my recommendation, you’re just doing a minute or two of your creative habit this week. Some of you aren’t following it at all, but let’s talk about the idea anyway.

When we start a new habit, we’re often very optimistic. That’s a wonderful thing, but it means we bite off more than we can chew. We do the habit at the size that we can maintain for a few days, but not for 4-6 weeks. What we need to do is start out the habit not optimized for our best-case scenario, but for our worst-case scenario.

We made a big vow yesterday, and are connected with our deeper reason … but let’s use that great enthusiasm on a tiny habit. That’s putting a lot of power into a small task, which means it will definitely get done.

Whether you’re writing, sketching, making music, creating a blog … start at one or two minutes. It will seem too easy. That’s OK. Yes, you can go beyond those two minutes, but just see that as bonus creating, not as the goal. It’s a reward, not the habit itself.

Once you get into the rhythm, you can expand, but to start with, see how small you can make it. We’ll call this the Minimum Viable Habit — the smallest version of the habit, the bare minimum you need for success.

This is the strategy I used to start the running habit — all I needed to do for my Minimum Viable Habit was lace up my shoes and get out the door. That was so easy I couldn’t say no.

Eventually, we’re going to have a larger creative habit, but we’re going to progress very gradually, so that each step along the way, our mind doesn’t have to overcome so much resistance. Each step will be easy, and eventually we’ll see a sea change of our entire lives.