What’s one tiny thing you can do every day to change your life for the better?
You might think that such a small change wouldn’t make much of a difference, but nothing could be further from the truth. We are all creatures of habit. Whether or not you recognise it, but your habits shape many of the things you do – or don’t do – on a daily basis.
From the coffee you drink each morning to the skincare routine you complete each night before you go to bed, you’re often relying on the habits you’ve built to get through the day.
And when you’re looking to make a change in your life or shift your routine, developing new habits – or breaking old ones – can be a powerful tool in that transformation.
When it comes to making lasting changes in our lives, it’s the little things that count. And that’s what micro habits are all about.
But many of us find it easier said than done to incorporate new habits into our lives.
That’s why micro habits are so great. Micro habits are defined as small, simple actions you can take every day that’ll help you achieve big results.
Micro habits require very little commitment which makes them a great way to start a new habit if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. Small steps can lead to really great results when you’re consistent with your efforts.
Whether you’re hoping to eat healthier, exercise more often, watch less television, spend more time in nature, or something else, micro habits can help you make it happen.
Why Are Micro Habits So Helpful?
Micro habits are so helpful because they’re small, yet meaningful, ways to drive you toward your ultimate goal.
Think about it. Making a big change and developing a new habit can be hard. But by starting small and leveraging micro-habits, you can make it much easier to embrace a new way of being.
You can find a micro habit to influence virtually any aspect of your life, from your health and wellbeing to your hobbies and relationships. By embracing micro habits, you’ll be empowered to make the shifts you want to see in your life – without getting overwhelmed and setting yourself up for failure.
Not sure where to start? Below I share a handful of micro habits you can incorporate into your life today that will transform your life
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
Staying hydrated is important for our health – but many of us are guilty of going straight for a cup of coffee in the morning. Break that habit and replace it with a simple glass of water. By starting your day off with a little hydration, you’ll feel the benefits for hours to come.
Eat one fruit or vegetable with every meal
Most of us take a dramatic approach and try to totally change our eating habits at once – which is a great way to set ourselves up for failure. Instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, try to incorporate one micro habit into each meal – adding at least one fruit or veggie into the mix.
Adding a handful of berries to your breakfast, a salad with lunch or a veggie side with the foods you already love is going to be significantly easier than trying to change everything at one time.
Avoid processed or packaged foods
The vast majority of nicely packaged snacks contain lots of processed food or are high in sugar. They give our brains an injection of glucose which, once burned, dumps us into fatigue. Eat whole foods for sustained energy and mental clarity.
Meditate for one minute every day
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualisation, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
From increasing self-awareness to better stress management, meditation is known to bring a ton of benefits to your mental wellbeing.
Write a short journal entry
In as little as two minutes you can write what you’ve done in the day. This makes us more reflective and gives us a thread to track our memories through life. I’ve been using The Journey app to track my entries for quite a few years and I love it. Check out these journaling prompts to help you get started.
Give everything you own a Home
Some of us are super tidy; others struggle with clutter. If you relate with the latter, make a micro-habit of putting things away after you’ve used them.
You can start with a single item – for example, when you get home and take off your jacket, commit to putting that back in the closet instead of throwing it on the back of your couch or hanging it on a chair. Or commit to putting your coffee mug in the dishwasher when you’re finished instead of leaving it on the counter.
Or for a different approach, make a micro habit of dedicating five minutes each day to tidying up your space. Set a timer, put on your favourite song, and make as much progress as you can before that timer goes off. I spend 10-15 minutes every evening resetting my Home.
Creating decluttering habits in your home will keep it tidy and help you to relax more in your space.
Read one or two pages each day
Struggle to read a book? Many people can read more by changing their benchmarks. Instead of focusing on getting through the book, change the goal to reading three pages every day. In those three pages, we often get absorbed in the book and read more, without it seeming like a chore.
So if you want to make reading a habit, but can’t seem to finish a book, break it down into smaller, bite-sized chunks by making a micro habit of reading one or two pages a day.
Either: 1) Avoid social media until a certain time, or 2) Limit it to several times
A founder of one of the dominant social media platforms said:
“[Social media] literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Numerous studies have looked at the negative effects of overusing social media.
I love social media but lately, I’ve been more focused on using it in moderation and putting other activities first.
Schedule a catch-up with a loved one
Some of the most meaningful insights you’ll have in life come from spending time with your loved ones. Take two minutes to schedule a coffee with one of these people. You’ll never regret it.
You can be more intentional in your life by adding this micro habit and it will help deepen your friendships in the process.
In modern life, people are inside more than ever. Set aside a few minutes each day to take a break from technology and get some fresh air.
This micro-habit could be as simple as opening a window and listening to nature for a couple of minutes. Or, if you have a bit more time, take a short walk around your neighbourhood.
There are so many benefits to be gained from the outdoors and it’s easy to miss them if you’re not intentional about getting outside regularly.
Reflect on what you’re grateful for
Creating a habit of gratitude will transform your life. Set aside a few minutes each morning or evening to think about things you are grateful for.
They can be very simple small things or bigger things, it really doesn’t matter. The habit of looking for the good and filling your mind with those positive thoughts is a great way to start or end the day.
Not sure where to start? Sign up to my 14 days of Gratitude challenge
Reflect on your goals or resolutions
Many people write resolutions every year and don’t look at them until the following year. Set yourself the practice of re-visiting your goals every day and you’ll be amazed how this keeps them in focus.
Do an act of kindness
While many habits that we create tend to be focused on self-improvement, this last one transforms your life by doing kind things for other people.
Acts of kindness don’t have to be time-intensive or extravagant. Something as simple as complimenting a stranger, opening the door for someone, or letting someone go ahead of you in line is a thoughtful gesture that will improve someone else’s day as well as yours. Look for a simple thing you can do each day to make someone else’s life better and you’ll reap the benefits too.