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What Are Micro Habits and How Do They Make a Difference?


Everyone has habits, both good and bad. Habits are anything we repeat time and time again. They are automatic behaviors that become so engrained we aren’t always aware of them. Habits are generally a reflection of how we think and operate. We aren’t always aware of why we develop some habits, while other habits we make consciously in an effort to start or stop doing something. We may make the decision to take a daily walk to start a healthy habit or decide to give up table salt to banish an unhealthy habit. Starting and/or stopping behaviors can help improve our lives.


What are Micro Habits?


Micro habits are super small actions that require very little commitment. They are tied to goals which are much bigger, loftier end games and help make them possible. Imagine you have the goal to read more. If you don’t already have the time set aside for reading, it may seem like you couldn’t possibly add reading to your long to do list. Creating the micro habit of reading one page per day is an excellent first step towards becoming an avid reader. Finding time in the day for one page in a book is nearly effortless. Once you establish the micro habit, it’s easier to expand your reading over time.


Micro Habits Are Great for Making Changes


A habit can be anything you repeat over and over again until it becomes automatic. Do you brush your teeth each night before bed? That’s a habit! Do you bite your nails? That’s a habit too. Some habits are desirable while others aren’t. Building or breaking habits can be easier when you break them down into micro actions that are easy to adopt. Micro habits are great for making changes because they require very little motivation or effort and have the staying power needed to shift behavior over time.


What’s the Difference Between Micro and Regular Habits?


If you think about a habit as a system, it can help you better understand how your system may, or may not, be working well. If your system is big and complicated it can be hard to stick to or could be missing important steps. Breaking things down into micro steps reduces activities and behaviors to very manageable micro habits. So, developing the habit of vegetarianism may feel overwhelming if you routinely polish off a steak during dinner, but starting your vegetarian journey with one meatless meal each week is easy and can lead to a more sustainable habit.


Micro habits are effortless and they make a big difference when trying to change behavior. Smaller habits, done routinely over time, can make a big impact on your health and your overall lifestyle.

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