• lynneeveratt

The power of tiny wins

Journalist Nisha Chittal asked people to share their tiny wins of 2020 in an open Substack thread, and the responses read like an encyclopedia of inspirational wellness. From growing an avocado pit into a plant to mastering the four pillars of Roman pasta, from knitting to running, from overcoming a fear of driving to caring for a sick grandparent, 2020 encouraged us to reflect on what’s important, take note of small pleasures, and make positive changes that will continue to ripple through our lives long after the pandemic has receded. My mission with The 5-Minute Recharge is to be a catalyst for the tiny wins that can change your life for the better, and to share ideas grounded in the science of wellbeing. Let’s get started! ONE TINY WIN OF A QUOTE “I got into the habit of taking my dog for a 30-minute walk twice a day, mostly as a transition to and from the work-from-home part of my day. It's been a really nice ritual that made me appreciate my neighborhood and notice all the little changes that happen over the course of a year (I also leave my phone at home during these walks, which was a game-changer).” – Chrissy Hennessey has a lot wellness baked into her tiny win that combines mindful, device-free physical activity in nature with setting boundaries on her work day. AN INVITATION TO A TINY WIN IN 2021

You can set yourself up for a tiny wellness win in 2021 when you sign up for a free 30-day Yoga Journey with Adriene that begins January 1, 2021. THREE IDEAS #1 The $10,000 tiny win. In his book Big Potential, Shawn Achor encourages us to help others succeed and exponentially increase our own potential. One of the ways to access big potential is through praise. A research project Achor did with LinkedIn found that three or more touchpoints of praise significantly increased employee performance, and four touchpoints of praise bumped the retention rate of new hires (typically 80 percent) to 94 percent over the next year. Since it costs roughly $40,000 to replace an employee, Achor estimates that each offering of praise can be worth $10,000. But the praise has to have certain characteristics: it must be genuine, it must not imply a comparison to others (i.e a compliment such as, “You’re the best fill-in-the-blank” that implicitly puts down other people) and it should include people other than the most visible who tend to attract the most praise, even though their success often depends on others. The best praise, according to Achor, doesn't focus on past success, but on qualities that predict some future potential. Giving praise delivers a happiness boost because it encourages you to focus on the positive. And you can start right now...! “Stop reading for a moment and try this experiment out. Send a text to someone in the favorites list of your phone contacts, praising or thanking them for something authentic. Going forward, try to pick a new person every day...the more you praise, the more it becomes second nature.” ~ Shawn Achor from Big Potential #2 Tim's Tiny Wins. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently went on an hour-long walking interview with Outside magazine in which he shared a number of nuggets about the importance of fitness in his daily life, and how Apple encourages its employees to prioritize wellness with tiny wins. Each month, Apple has a fitness challenge such as “meditation month” or “step month” that highlights a particular aspect of good health. Apple also subtly encourages physical activity by making the walks to restrooms purposely long, and having one central dining area that can involve long commutes on the massive Apple campus. Befitting its name, Apple has 800 fruit trees at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The trees are in constant harvest from May to January, and the fruity bounty is given away to employees in the company cafeteria. For Cook himself, there is no better wellness habit than a meditative walk in nature, a practice he refers to as a “palate cleanser for the mind.” Fitness is a stress-busting religion for Apple’s CEO, and the reason Cook is highly motivated to pivot the company he leads toward healthcare. When he’s working out, Tim Cook doesn't use his iPhone, and he has one simple rule regarding his devices... “If you’re looking at your device more than you’re looking into someone’s eyes, you’re doing the wrong thing.”~ Tim Cook #3 The question that will lead you to the best tiny wins. James Clear is an expert in the science and psychology of habit formation and the author of Atomic Habits. According to Clear, the more precisely you know where you want to go with your life, the easier it will be for you to set up the tiny-win habits that will get you there. Clear begins the day with a blank piece of paper and the prompt: What do I really want? Each day he asks himself the same question and, rather than getting boring and repetitive, his self-awareness grows as his answers get a bit more precise, creating a picture of the person he wants to become. With a picture of the person you want to become in mind, you can set up habits that will make the vision real.Your tiny wins will come from the answer to the question: what would the person I want to be do? “One of the most powerful things about small habits is that they provide evidence about your desired identity, a new story to tell about yourself, a vote cast for the type of person you want to be.” ~ James Clear from the Finding Mastery podcast *********************************** THE FAST FIVE 1. Happier Holidays: How to celebrate no matter what - The Happiness Lab (39 minutes) (Give the gift of staying away from your phone, and more expert advice from Dr. Laurie Santos and friends Jamil Zaki from Stanford University, Liz Dunn from the University of British Columbia, and Nick Epley from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.) 2. Don't Isolate Yourself This Holiday Season - The Atlantic (Arthur Brooks shares research that tells you where the true source of holiday happiness can be found. Hint: it's not inside an Amazon box.) 3. 2020: A Year in Fitness Like No Other - The New York Times (Gretchen Reynolds revisits the “awe walk study” and other fitness favorites from 2020.) 4. Brené Brown interview (Sway podcast, 38 minutes) (Can Brené Brown find vulnerability in self-proclaimed “vulnerability skeptic” Kara Swisher?) 5. Has a year of living with Covid-19 rewired our brains? - The Guardian (It has depersonalized us and also made us more individualistic, but the pandemic may also have made us look at the world with fresh eyes.) *********************************** YOUR 5-MINUTE RECHARGE CHALLENGE YOUR TINY 2020 WIN This week’s 5-Minute Recharge challenge is–you guessed it!–to take a moment to think about your tiny win (or wins). 2020 has been a tough year for many of us, but it's worth taking a few minutes to think about what went well. Maybe you read a book that offered some welcome escapism or changed your way of thinking, found a new hobby, or figured out how to work out (or work) at home. Or perhaps your win is simply making it through the year, no small accomplishment for the year 2020. Write down your small win or wins and take a moment to celebrate. “Track your small wins to motivate big accomplishments.” ~ Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard Business School Wishing you many tiny wins and big successes, Lynne

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