Would you like to accomplish something big, but just can’t seem to make your goals a reality? Find out how to use micro habits to take charge and crush every goal!
As human beings, we like the idea of big goals. We want big changes. And we want results…now.
But it’s not always that simple.
Have you ever set a big goal before? One that ended up petering out after a while?
Don’t worry we all have.
But here’s the good news. You ARE capable of creating change in your life! Even if it seems impossible.
How? By creating micro habits.
What the heck are micro habits? Well, let’s just say they’re the secret ingredient to crushing your goals. Here’s why…
MICRO HABITS MATTER
Can we talk about the elephant in the room for a minute? The big, giant elephant that needs to be…eaten??
Don’t worry, no elephants will be harmed in this process. We’ll just be using one to demonstrate an excellent point.
I’m sure you’ve heard the common saying:
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
This saying is a perfect illustration of what we can accomplish if we break things down. Instead of focusing solely on the big change we want, we start with baby steps. Not only does this keep us from feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, but it also keeps us on a manageable and sustainable path.
Unfortunately, none of us can change our lives overnight. But we can develop micro habits that will bring the results we desire.
THE 4 S’S OF MICRO HABITS
Successful micro habits contain 4 key elements. Each habit is:
Let’s say that you wanted to be healthier. We’ll use this as our elephant. Your first step would be to determine which micro habit – or bite – you wanted to start with. Something that would get you closer to achieving this goal.
For this example, we’ll use the micro habit of exercising.
MICRO HABITS NEED TO BE SPECIFIC
The first thing you’ll need to do is define your micro habit.
“I want to exercise more.” There, you’re set. Right?
You can’t just say, “I want to exercise more,” and expect anything significant to happen. That’s nice that you want to exercise more, but what do you mean by “more”?
Are you starting from 0, or have you already been doing something? How many days a week? For how long? What kind of exercise will you do?
See what I mean? Your micro habit needs to be a little more specific.
For this example, we’ll say, “I’m going to do a YouTube HIIT video for 30 minutes, 3 times a week before my kids wake up.”
There! Now that’s specific! And much more likely to happen. (Even if it’s hard at first!)
MICRO HABITS NEED TO BE SIMPLE
Notice how the example above didn’t outline an extensive workout regimen that changed daily and included 100+ details.
But it did define a good starting point. Maybe once 3 times a week becomes doable, you could add more variety, time or days.
That’s the beauty of micro habits. They can evolve as you get better.
Use this as a rule of thumb: If you can’t sum it up in one sentence, it’s not simple enough.
MICRO HABITS NEED TO BE SUSTAINABLE
As human beings, sometimes we tend to bite off more than we can chew. And often that’s one of the reasons we can’t stick to our goals.
I’m not saying that you should dumb things down. Not at all! Set stretch goals for sure. But be realistic.
Continuing with our “exercise more” example, take note of where you’re starting. If running was your desire but you hadn’t run in years, it might not be best to say, “I’m going to run 5 miles, 7 days a week, no matter what!”
That’s a great goal, but let’s face it. Your legs and lungs aren’t ready to jump into something like that right away. And I would hate for you to give up on the second day, sore from head to toe, feeling like you narrowly escaped death the day before. Who would want to keep going after that?
Instead, start where you’re comfortable and build from there.
MICRO HABITS NEED TO BE SIGNIFICANT
Know your why. In other words: determine your elephant.
Going back to our example, why are you wanting to exercise more? How does it relate to a bigger goal?
We originally said it was because you wanted to be healthier. But why? Do you want more energy? Do you want to lose weight? Do you hope to see changes in your mood?
When your micro habits have significance or meaning, your chances of sticking with them are much higher. And with your mind focused on your why, you’ll be more aware of how the results are making changes in your life.
ONE LAST THING
Ok, to recap…if you want to crush your goals, you need to break them down into micro habits. And in order to make these micro habits stick, they must contain the 4 key elements. They must be specific, simple, sustainable and significant.
But there’s one more thing that will pretty much guarantee your success – one more “S”.
Micro habits need steps!
Once you’ve established the what, where, when, why and whatever else you need for your micro habit, you need the HOW. How are you going to establish this micro habit? What steps need to be taken in order for you to accomplish what you set out to do?
Back to our exercising example. We said, “I’m going to do a YouTube HIIT video for 30 minutes, 3 times a week before my kids wake up.”
Since this is happening first thing in the morning, your best bet might be to set up the night before. You might:
- Decide exactly what time you’ll wake up (Is there anything else that needs to happen before the kids wake up?)
- Determine which YouTube video you’ll do the next day
- Set out your clothes
- Get to be earlier
Now when your alarm goes off earlier than usual, you might actually make it out of that bed.
Exercising is just one example of a micro habit. Need more ideas? Here are 25 more examples to get your thoughts rolling:
- Organize or declutter parts of your house more often
- Eat one extra serving of vegetables per day
- Save snacking for one specific time a day
- Invite people over for dinner or dessert more often
- End each day with a clean kitchen
- Wake up earlier
- Read more
- Spend a little less time on social media
- Look over your budget/bank account on a more regular basis
- Move for at least 30 minutes per day
- Buy less junk food for the pantry
- Date your spouse at least once a week (At-home dates count!)
- Plan out and write down your day
- Only go to the grocery store once a week
- Get ready every day
- Look people in the eye when they speak to you (kids included!)
- Pick at least one 30 minute cleaning/organizing task a day
- Start a more simple, sustainable budget
- Be intentional about doing something as a family once a week
- Hold family meetings once a week to plan/discuss/teach relevant topics
- Control spending to pay off debts
- Complain less
- Establish a morning routine
- Create a nightly routine
- Be more affectionate
The possibilities are endless!
Good luck crushing your goals! You’ve got this!
What big goals are you hoping to crush this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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