If you want to change and transform your life, start with your habits. And if changing your habit feels too overwhelming and difficult, start with micro habits.
Transforming and changing our lives isn’t as hard as we think it is.
It is simply a process of doing seemingly small things and making seemingly tiny changes every day that in turn produces long-lasting change.
You need not adopt big habits all at once, but just tiny ones.
We set it in our mindset that changing our life is hard.
We think that to change our lives requires a lot of discipline (that we believe we don’t have).
But you don’t need a lot of it. You just need to be willing and you can start to see changes just within a week. (No kidding!)
I didn’t make big changes all of a sudden. It was just some micro habits that I started adopting.
I didn’t go from lazy to disciplined overnight, but I did set an intention to be good from now on.
I decided to see if I could change my life and that willingness itself led me to make tiny changes day after day and I could feel the change in just a week and a month.
Of course, it’s a forward and backward journey, but I can say that it was/is micro habits that transformed/is transforming my life each day.
What are micro habits?
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Micro habits are habits that are small, easy-to-do actions that might seem insignificant on their own but can add up to significant positive changes over time.
For example, if your major goal is to be fit and exercise every day, then the micro habit for that would be to first simply focus on movement and start with easy exercises you can do in 10-15 minutes.
Doing so will help you first to build the habit of exercise and over time you will see yourself progressing.
Another example is, if you want to start reading books this year, you start with the micro habit of reading at least 2-3 pages every day and build the habit of reading instead of saying you will read 3 books every month.
Micro habits are simply the bite-sized version of the bigger habits you want to cultivate and they help you level up by making tiny changes every day.
Why are Micro Habits helpful?
1. Micro habits help us stick to habits better.
It’s also psychology. We are more likely to do that which we are not afraid of. We can easily do 10 minutes of exercise. We think we can do it. And we do it.
But if we start by working out for 1 hour straight in the gym, we might do it for a few days, but then it starts to scare us and we think it requires a lot of work.
That is why people already quit on their goals by the end of January.
But micro habits will help us sustain over the long run. There is no pressure. No intimidation. No extremity is involved.
With micro habits, we adopt the tortoise approach instead of the Hare. And we all know is the tortoise that wins in the end with its small tiny steps.
So if you want to start a new habit and adopt a new lifestyle, adopt the micro version of it.
2. Micro habits are easy to add to your routine
Micro habits are easy to put into our daily routine without much disruption and that is why it makes it easier to stick.
We can easily put in 10-20 minutes. We can easily give 30 minutes from our day.
And so this way they stick into our routines better.
3. They give us a sense of accomplishment
Micro habits, even though tiny, but completing them and doing them gives us a sense of accomplishment. They are tiny wins in our day and it boosts our confidence and encourages us to take the next action too.
Thus, tiny habits are helpful because they help in building a good habit without much effort but still feel all its effectiveness in changing and transforming our lives.
Micro Habits That Changed My Life
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1. Keeping a weekly planner
The habit of keeping a weekly planner is so small but the change it brings me in how I get things done in my days is amazing.
I have a physical weekly planner that I use every week and plan for my week every Monday Morning.
I try not to write down too many things in the weekly planner and just keep the one most important task that I must get done in the day through the week.
Then, if I want to track something too, I keep that 1-2 things in my weekly planner.
P.S Here is how I plan my week to reach my weekly goals
Here is a free weekly planner I made to set down my weekly goals. You can just print 4 of them to last you for a month.
Thus keeping a weekly planner automatically helps me set a daily planner and I know what is the most important thing I need to get each day and seeing it in front of my eyes, I can accomplish them.
2. Writing my goals down
Most of us are in the habit of keeping goals just in our heads and never writing them down.
It’s the reason why we forget it so fast.
Writing down my goals- yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and then daily helps me stay on track of my game. I know what I need to get done and it makes me want to do them.
3. Not checking phone first thing in the morning
This micro habit of not checking my phone first thing in the morning and instead sitting down to complete my morning rituals transformed my life.
It helped me focus on my goals better, helped me work on my intentions, and improved my energy levels so much.
Just doing or rather not doing this micro habit- of checking my phone first thing in the morning transformed how I go about the rest of my day.
You can feel the difference so soon.
4. Habit of just sitting down
Currently, I have been realizing how much life-transforming this habit is- to just sit down.
For most of the things that we want to do- whether it is reading, writing, exercising, studying, painting or whatever our heart calls us to do, the doing is not the hard part.
It is the sitting down to do it that is the hardest.
Once we only sit down and get started with it, the rest is not that bad.
So now a micro habit that has been major for me currently is the habit of just sitting down.
I know now that if I just sit down without thinking, I can get ahead with it pretty quickly.
It won’t be that bad.
So instead of waiting for the perfect time, I just sit down- with whatever I am supposed to do and then I am compelled to do it and then it’s not that bad.
I hope you got me.
Try this micro habit- just sit down with what you want to do and see how it goes.
5. Journaling 3 pages every morning
I write down 3 pages every morning in my diary on most days and sometimes just one page.
Somedays I have even more than 5 pages to write, and the aftermath is always so healing.
I write whatever that comes into my mind at the moment.
It is kind of like a clearing session for me and I get clarity of the things I am feeling and also get guidance from my inner self.
Journaling is something I sit down to do first thing in the morning and it helps make way for my other morning rituals.
P.S. I have created a 21-Day Journaling Guide for Self-discovery, growth and healing.
If you haven’t taken any other challenge of mine, you can join this challenge.
You will receive journal prompts and guidance from me for the next 21 days to inspire you every day.
6. Writing and reading an affirmation
After I finish my daily journaling, I end my entry these days with my daily list of schedule with things to do and write down an affirmation for the day and read it.
I have also started keeping a monthly affirmation and I read it out loud every day.
This micro habit hardly takes 3-4 minutes, but has proved to be so powerful.
Here is an affirmation I wrote this morning,
“Today, no person, place or thing can irritate or annoy me. I choose to be at peace. I choose to work well with people and understand everyone. My Buddhahood allows other people’s Buddhahood to shine through. My good nature manifests good nature in others. Everything happens at the right time and I fully trust the timing of the Universe. Everything I need is revealed to me.”
I also speak some affirmations out loud looking in the mirror to myself and I feel so energized and powerful.
7. Reading 3-5 pages each day
If you want to read more this year or want to read at least one book this year, just get into the habit of reading 3-5 pages every morning or evening at the time that suits you.
Set a time you want to read before or after something you are already doing.
For example, you have dinner every day, so set a reading routine to read 3-5 pages every day after dinner or before dinner.
Or read before or after your evening tea or morning tea.
For me personally, I read after my morning journal session and because I have already sat down to write in my journal, sitting down to read is easy.
8. Keeping a commonplace book
A commonplace book is a notebook where you keep a collection of quotes, thoughts, and sayings from various sources for future reference.
For every book I read, I always take notes of the lines, quotes and thoughts that I liked when I read.
This makes me return to the things that I liked and know the most essential teachings at a glance.
This keeps my reading organized and I enjoy my reading much better.
P.S Here is how and why to keep a commonplace book to get you encouraged to keep one too.
9. Learning something new each month
A micro habit of learning something new each month is good to have.
We spend so much time feeling bored and not knowing what to do, but there are so many skills one can learn.
My personal goal is to take up one course or an e-book every month and give time to learning it.
If you have no idea what you should take on learning, here are 30 things to learn when bored.
In my teenage years and early twenties, I had made a notebook of the words I didn’t know the meaning of and I had made my personal dictionary.
Whenever I would come across a word whose meaning I didn’t know, I would write its meaning down.
This helped me improve my vocabulary so much. I still have those notebooks with me.
Of course, Some things will take more than a month to learn, and it’s okay. Give yourself time.
When a new month sets in, I decide on what I want to invest in learning and do it.
Here are 12 things to do at the start of every month and they are all great micro habits to do monthly.
10. Praying everyday
This year I am trying to keep prayer the centre of my life and leading my days with a ‘prayer first’ approach.
I can see the changes. I am much more intentional in how I spend my days. I remember my goals much better. I have much more energy and enthusiasm and I can handle life’s ups and downs in a much wiser and calm way.
I’ve written in much more detail about How to pray and why I pray every day.
11. Meditating for 10-15 mins
Start by meditating for at least 5-10 minutes and just sit down.
Notice your breath or you can listen to some meditative music too.
Here is a meditation channel that I love these days.
12. Going without complaints for 24 hours
Take up this micro habit and go without complaints for 24 hours.
If you’re an avid complainer, as so many of us are when we are living without awareness and not careful with our speech, it won’t be easy and you’ll find yourself complaining many times.
But if you only become aware, that’s progress too.
As you become more aware that you just complained and it was unnecessary, you will slowly stop complaining and become more aware of your speech.
13. Daily stretch and exercise for 20-30 mins
When I started exercising, I was already very skinny. People always body-shamed me for being too skinny and they had so many things to say.
But I only exercised because I wanted to be fit and get some movement for my body.
Slowly I started to gain weight too and I ended up coming to my ideal weight.
So I’d say, in the beginning, don’t exercise to lose weight, but exercise just because you want to keep your body fit and healthy.
You’ll reach your goals eventually if you first set up a micro habit and then progress from there.
14. Writing down little achievements and a gratitude list for every month
At the start of every month, I write down my achievements and gratitude list for the previous month and then only I feel like my month has begun.
I also look at my daily log for this and go through my phone’s gallery from the month and note down my little achievements to make my gratitude list.
This micro habit just takes 15-20 minutes of your time once each month, but it helps in starting the month on such a positive note.
15. Drinking warm water in the morning
I keep warm water in my big water bottle the night before and in the morning I drink it as I complete my morning rituals.
16. Eating fruits for breakfast
Eating fruits for breakfast along with flax seeds, nuts and berries is another micro habit that I’ve adopted over the past few months and that’s how I get my daily fruit dose.
17. Always make my bed
The micro habit of making bed every morning also keeps my mind fresh and tidy and I feel much more focused and enthusiastic about starting my day with a fresh mindset.
18. Putting things where they belong right away
We’re lazy, but just this small micro habit of putting things where they belong right after using it helps in keeping the house tidy and also saves so much time.
I always fold my clothes after I use them instead of just throwing them away for tackling later.
I keep scissors after I use them where they are and keep everything in its place.
This helps me keep things organised and I always find them when I am searching for them.
Here are other tiny habits to keep things organised.
19. Putting notifications and social media logged off
Keeping my notifications off on my phone helps me check my phone. I also track my screen time and see how much I am averaging in a day.
20. Removing shopping apps from phone
This helps me avoid useless scrolling on the phone checking clothes and buying clothes that I don’t really need. I mostly only shop offline these days and this has been a good tiny change I’ve made in simplifying my life.
Here are other ways I have simplified my life.
21. Keeping a daily log
Lastly, another micro habit is keeping a daily log of the things you do throughout the day just before going to bed.
This will be a time to collect your thoughts and then bless each activity, and each person you met in the day and bless each one of them and sleep with a grateful and clear heart.
So these are the micro habits that transformed/are transforming my life
It’s not enough to just read about them.
Please start applying them-even one or two and slowly pick them up.
It might seem like a lot of things to do, but over you will find that these will be just as natural as all the negative habits we might be currently engaged in.
We don’t think the negative and bad habits as work. We just do them naturally.
Over time, these micro habits will also become so.
Consciously take an interest in working on yourself.
Have fun with yourself. Put in time and do things joyfully.
Don’t treat doing these tiny habits as work- but just do them joyfully as a chance you get to do with this wonderful life. It will give the highest of rewards.
You might also like:
- 10 Toxic habits to remove from your life
- How to build self-discipline- 3 tips
- Mindset shifts that will change your life
- 10 Powerful self-love habits to change your life