Mini-habits are tiny daily routines, rituals, or actions that take just a few minutes to perform, but can compound over time, delivering huge returns in the overall quality of your life. They’re one of the best ways to form major habits, because mini-habits can be built upon—bit by bit—over time.
And if you have a hard time starting things, you’ll find that mini-habits are helpful with getting you to take action towards making progress on your goals…
Mini-habits are all about incremental improvement—opting for the gradual and granular approach to success…
Mini-habits make your ambitions approachable.
For many folks, the idea of taking “massive action” can feel intimidating. (e.g. “How am I supposed to take massive action if I can barely get off the couch?”)
But by nudging yourself forward with tiny actions taken daily, you’ll eventually succeed.
Since the reason you want to form a habit in the first place is to achieve or maintain a given goal, doing something (even if it’s little) is exponentially better than getting overwhelmed at the sheer enormity of your goal and giving up because of it.
Incremental steps will ultimately lead to success. Taking any kind of action is better than taking none.
Mini-habits are called “mini” because they have a low level of commitment:
- Do just one pushup a day.
- Walk just five minutes a day.
- Wake up just 10 minutes earlier.
- Write just one page of your book.
- Create a single slide for your presentation.
Let’s say you want to start a journaling habit. If you think about journaling several pages a day, you can easily become overwhelmed and convince yourself to abandon it all together before you ever get started.
Or, maybe you get pumped-up and start journaling page after page for the first week or two… But then life gets in the way and you get out of the habit.
But what if you just journaled five sentences a day? That’s manageable, right? Of course!
That’s the power of a mini-habit: the low level of commitment required to execute makes it easy to do over and over again… Until it eventually becomes automatic.
And once it’s automatic, you can decide if you want to maintain this mini-habit or challenge yourself to create a full-on habit out of it (e.g. writing a page a day instead of five sentences a day; waking up 20 minutes earlier instead of 10)
Consistency is key when it comes to forming new habits.
Mini-habits make your ambitions more approachable, which makes it easier to get started and remain consistent.
- Get started by asking yourself this: “What’s a mini-habit I can start right now that’s so small it’s impossible to fail?”
- Choose something so simple you’d feel silly for not doing, something you know you can do every day no matter what (oftentimes, once you start, you’ll find yourself doing more than you intended.)
- Keep in mind, you can build upon your mini-habit and turn it into a major habit if you choose.
Also published on Medium.