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27 Life-Changing Micro Habits That Require Only A Few Minutes

0 2 years ago

When people strive for self-improvement, a common mistake is to shoot too high. We make promises to be healthier, more mindful, more patient. But such lofty goals often go unmet. They’re just too vague, or too hard to track. (There’s a reason why 80 percent of New Year’s Resolutions are cast aside by February.) Even when a goal is more concrete (“I want to run a half marathon”; “I want to yell less”) it’s difficult to stay the course, especially when you have kids, because time is tight, progress requires consistency, and it feels unnatural to break tasks into very small chunks.

A different approach? Start smaller — muchsmaller — and instead strive to develop micro habits. Micro habits are simple daily actions that are easy to implement into your established routine and only require a few minutes of your time (if that). Drinking a cup of water in the morning before your coffee so you stay hydrated. Performing a minute of breathing exercises to help manage anger.Reading just one paragraph of a book that seems daunting.

While they sound insignificant, micro habits are much more achievable than traditional goals and resolutions — and often contain aspects of them broken down into smaller chunks. And, because stacking up small victories creates a snowball effect that encourages you to undertake more, and more ambitious, changes, micro habits may be more likely to lead to lasting change.

“When high achieving people set goals, they set big goals,” says Sabina Nawaz, a corporate coach who often advises the power of micro-habits in her practice. “There’s a lot of bravado, with people saying they should ‘go big or go home.’ The problem with setting big goals in the near term is that we are less likely to achieve them.”

The best micro habits require no more than two or three minutes and fit easily into your existing schedule. They can also be piggybacked off other tasks you already do — say, performing a wall squat while you brush your teeth, or writing down one thing you’re grateful for while you wait for the coffee to brew. In time, these become part of your routine and can be lengthened out or made more difficult.

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