A baby who is learning how to walk does not become a walker overnight. They will first roll over, then soon they will be crawling, and before you know it, the baby is beginning to take their first steps. Once mobile, their goal of exploring the rest of the house on their own can be fulfilled. What then can we learn about goals and habits from babies?
Two words – baby steps.
When we have goals, we often neglect the part where we think small. Oftentimes, we focus on the end result so much that we forget that big things start from small beginnings. While the big, hairy, audacious goals we come up with can motivate us, it is the small, baby steps that help us reach those goals.
Micro habits are those baby steps we can take that can get us to our bigger goals. These small, seemingly trivial actions, when repeatedly and consistently done, can lead to life-changing results. Micro habits provide the foundation for bigger and more profound changes or goals in your life.
The idea here is that these micro habits are small and do not require too much effort on your part to carry out. Because you are not putting your willpower to the test, it is almost impossible to fail at doing them. It is easier to stick to these habits, and over time, achieve your desired outcome.
What micro habits you form depends on the bigger habits or goals that you wish to achieve eventually. Incorporating many micro habits over time can greatly transform a person’s life for the better.
Here are some micro habits you can start doing that can make a big difference in your life.
Read A Page Of A Book Every Night
Reading for pleasure has a lot of benefits – an increase in vocabulary, better critical thinking, and a more developed self-awareness are just some of the many positive results of reading for pleasure. But for some, the act of reading a book is just not a habit, because the time has rarely been set aside to do it. You can start by reading a single page every night. No matter how tired you are, try to make time to read just one page. Before you know it, you will have finished the entire book.
Prepare For The Next Day Before Going To Bed
For most of us, our mornings are usually rushed – missed breakfast, a hurried shower, etc. To avoid the rush in the morning, do something that your morning self will thank you for by preparing for the next day before calling it a night. It can be as simple as preparing your clothes for tomorrow or prepping your lunch.
Even just decluttering your work bag can create a big change in terms of your productivity. Spending less time on these trivial things at a critical time will allow you to spend more time on things that truly matter.
Change The Bad Habit One Step At A Time
All of us have formed negative habits over the years, whether it be smoking or staying up too late. One reason why these habits were formed is that we get immediate gratification from doing it as opposed to forming positive habits that may take longer. One way to lessen and eventually banish a bad habit is to gradually decrease it.
If you want to quit smoking, you can start by smoking one less cigarette a day and maybe replace it with a healthier habit of talking a five-minute walk, the same amount of time that will take you to finish that one smoke.
If you wish to have a longer and more restful sleep, start by going to bed an hour earlier than your usual time. You might not get to sleep immediately, but by going to bed an hour earlier, you have already started to form a micro habit that will give you more sleep.
These are potentially life-changing micro habits and you can come up with more depending on your desired outcome.
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” By this principle, we know that habits are formed over time with repeated and consistent practice. Micro habits help us achieve bigger goals by turning those seemingly monumental goals into small, bite-sized pieces that are almost fail-proof. Having big goals is great, and it is these micro habits that help us get there.