Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any health program.
Before we get into the topic of micro habits, it's important to understand that before you try to create any new habit, it's first important to visualize your future self - who you want to become and what you want to do. This way, you can determine what type of habits are needed to make your vision a reality.
Okay, so now let's define micro habits.
What are micro habits?
Micro habits are simple, everyday behaviors that compound over time, and can lead to big changes. While they may seem small at first, the cumulative power of these micro steps can lead to serious benefits.
Micro habits are an effective tool for developing healthy habits and achieving long-term goals. The idea is to start with something achievable and build on it day by day. By breaking down the larger goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, it’s possible to make steady progress towards your goal without overwhelming yourself.
For example, if your goal is to run a half marathon, starting with micro habits, such as going for a 10-minute walk every day, can be a great place to begin. As you get stronger and more comfortable with exercise, the duration of your walks can gradually increase until you’re ready to start jogging. Eventually, you can work up to longer distances and complete the half marathon.
Because micro habits are small, they’re easy to stick to and can help you avoid burnout. Most importantly, they can lead to massive changes over time. So if you’re looking for a way to reach your health and wellness goals in a sustainable manner, micro habits are the way to go.
Now that you know what a micro habit is, let's get into some examples to spark ideas for creating your own.
Note: micro habits and tiny habits are used interchangeably and refer to the same concept.
Healthy micro habits examples
Some of the best micro habits are simple and easy to implement in your day-to-day. Below are examples of some healthy micro habits:
Turn off all notifications on your phone for 30 minutes each day, and use that time to focus on yourself instead of being constantly distracted. This will help you stay focused and productive during the day, as well as give you a chance to relax and clear your mind.
Commit to taking a 10-minute walk after every meal, no matter how busy you are. This helps improve digestion, but also helps reduce stress levels, make you more alert, and boost energy levels throughout the day.
Drink one glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up. This helps kickstart your metabolism and keeps your body hydrated throughout the day, since most people don’t drink enough water as it is.
Set aside at least 5 minutes each day for self-reflection and gratitude exercises. Taking this time to reflect on what brings you joy in life can help improve your mood and sense of wellbeing throughout the day - plus, it doesn’t take much effort or time out of your schedule.
Instead of scrolling through social media before bed, read a few pages from an actual book or magazine - something that isn’t related to work or other responsibilities, so that it’s more restful for your mind before sleeping. This is also a great way to wind down at night without having to rely too much on screens or technology right before bedtime.
Take five deep breaths for one full minute in the morning and evening. This helps reduce stress levels and center your focus, as well as give your body an extra dose of oxygen. Taking a few moments to meditate or practice mindfulness can also help with relaxation and improve mental clarity.
Create your meal for the next day while you cook dinner. This will make it easier to eat healthier throughout the day, since you’ll already have a plan in place. You can also use this time to meal-prep for later in the week, so that you have easy, healthy snacks and meals available when hunger strikes.
Do a brain dump once you finish working for the day. Writing one or two pages of your thoughts, worries and ideas can help declutter your mind and make it easier to relax in the evenings. This serves more as a cathartic exercise than one that requires a lot of effort from you.
Enjoy your morning coffee or tea in silence. This gives you time to appreciate the morning and mentally prepare for the day ahead while enjoying your morning beverage - something that can easily become part of your daily routine without taking too much extra time out of your morning.
We hope the habits listed above gave you some ideas to start creating your own micro habits.
Now let's discuss how you develop and stick to new habits for long-term success.
How to develop a micro habit
If you want to start having great habits, you have to think small. So small that it would be hard to fail due to a lack of time. The idea is to make a habit that only takes a few minutes a day to start, like drinking a glass of water when you wake up. The reason for this is because you need to make it easier to succeed than to fail. You want to eliminate any opportunity for your mind to produce an excuse for not doing the habit.
To create micro habits in your own life, follow these steps:
- Identify a small, specific behavior you want to incorporate into your daily routine. This could be something like drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, or doing a few push-ups before you start your day.
- Set a specific time and place to do the behavior. For example, you could decide to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up, and to do it in the kitchen.
- Start small and focus on consistency. It's more important to do the habit regularly, even if it's just a small amount, than to try to do too much at once.
- Use a reminder or cue to trigger the behavior. For example, you could place a glass of water by your bedside so you see it as soon as you wake up, or you could set a reminder on your phone to do push-ups before you start your day.
- Track your progress and celebrate small wins. Keep a journal or use a habit tracking app to track how many days in a row you've done the behavior, and take a moment to celebrate when you reach a milestone (such as doing a behavior for a week straight).
- Gradually increase the frequency and/or duration of the behavior, as you feel comfortable. Once you've successfully done the micro habit for a while, you can slowly increase the amount or time you spend on it.
- Repeat the same process for another small behavior that you want to make a habit. Once you've successfully made one micro habit a regular part of your life, you can start working on another.
As you begin to solidify one micro habit, you can then try habit stacking, which is a powerful tool for combining multiple good habits into a daily routine.
You don't have to understand psychology or human behavior to develop great habits. Just remember that micro habits require intention and consistency, and once you get going, you’ll start to see remarkable results.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and need help creating health habits, certified health coaches on our platform can be a great resource. With their assistance, it's easier to create a plan that works specifically for your lifestyle, so you can lead a happier and healthier life.