Mini Habits

Stephen Guise:

What’s More Important Than Your Habits?

Nothing. Habits form about 45 percent of your total behavior, according to a Duke University study. Not only that, but they are behaviors that you repeat frequently, which compounds their significance in your life. Habits are your foundation, and if this foundation is weak, you won’t be happy with the way you live.

The reason people fail to change their lives, and fail to instill new habits, is because they try to do too much at once. In simplest terms, if your new habit requires more willpower than you can muster, you will fail. If your new habit requires less willpower than you can muster, you will succeed.

The concept of mini habits:

Mini habits are exactly as they sound. First, you choose a desired habit or change you’d like to make—it could be thinking more positively, writing 1,000 words a day, or reading two books per week.

Next, you shrink these habits down until they are “stupid small,” a term I made up because when you say the requirement out loud, it is so small that it sounds stupid. Here are mine:

  1. Write fifty words per day (article, story, etc.)
  2. Write fifty words per day (for the habits book I’m writing)
  3. Read two pages in a book per day

Easy, right? I could complete this list in ten minutes total. So far, I’ve met these daily requirements 100 percent of the time, and then much more.

I’ve actually written one to two thousand words and read ten to thirty pages per day, for these twelve days in a row and counting. Prior to this, I wasn’t reading at all and writing very little.

Ten Daily Mini Habit Ideas

  1. Compliment one person
  2. Think two positive thoughts
  3. Meditate for one minute
  4. Name three things you’re thankful for
  5. Do one push-up
  6. Write fifty words
  7. Read two pages
  8. Do ten jumping jacks
  9. Go outside and take 100 steps
  10. Drink one glass of water

You can change nearly any area of your life, and at one mini habit at a time, it’s easier than you think.

When you remove the pressure and expectations, you allow yourself to start.

What mini habit(s) will you start today?

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