Develop Small Habits For Success

Last Update: November 16, 2019

“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”

- Sean Covey

Developing Small Habits For Success

Small habits, or micro habits are so small that they are easy to develop without too much effort. They are the low hanging fruit to change and equip yourself with success habits.

Taking on big changes can be daunting will and become frustrating if one fail too often.

The good news is, you develop small habits for success with just three simple steps:

Focus on one small habit at a time

''Big intentions are worthless if they don't bring results. For example, I can say that I will exercise for two hours every day, but if I never do it, the size of the intention doesn't matter. In fact, intention without action harms self-confidence.''

- Stephen Guise, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

Just because these are small habits, you will be likely to think you can take a "big bite" and create a whole slew of them. After all, they're just small changes, right

The problem is that even small changes can add up, especially when you have a whole big long list of them.

So rather than getting caught up trying to remake yourself entirely, pick just one micro habit to establish.

Then don’t allow yourself to pick up another one until the first is already well-established.

Associate the new small habit to one that’s already in place

''Doing a little every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day. How much greater? Profoundly so, because a little every day is enough to grow into a lifelong foundational habit, and those are a big deal.''

- Stephen Guise, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

First, look at what you’re trying to establish. Then see if there is another similar habit you already have in place to which you can associate with this new small habit.

For example, suppose you want to start flossing your teeth. You could connect it to the already established routine in place for brushing your teeth.

The act of brushing your teeth then becomes a trigger for the new micro habit, and so it becomes easy to remember to do it.

Some creativity helps with this process. Sometimes you will have difficulty trying to figure out what to habits associate to.

Asking questions help.

What time of day do you want to perform this micro habit? I

Is there something else I do at that time every day?

Is this micro habit somehow related to something I’m already doing regularly?

Can I somehow link it to something else entirely but still see some alignment in my mind?

A mind-mapping exercise is also useful.

Set it in stone

''If you fail using a particular strategy more than a few times, you need to try another one. It doesn't matter if it works for everyone else if it doesn't work for you!''

- Stephen Guise, Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

Commitments are essential to ensure success. At the very least, you need to put it into your plan and schedule it.

If your goal is proper hydration, even a small habit such as drinking more water need to be established by simply setting a timer on your phone to remind you to drink every hour.

Use your calendar, your timer, even a post-it note on a physical calendar hanging on your wall to remind yourself that you have set aside time just for this small habit.

These simple steps will ensure any small habit can be easily set up for success.

If you’re still struggling after all this, think of a small reward you can use to encourage yourself to perform this particular small habit.

Sometimes, increasing the motivation helps.

Will developing small success habits help you achieve your goals?

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timstime20 Premium
I guess you are right .... great minds think alike
Great post
Stanleycmng Premium
Ha! Ha! Thanks, Tim.
Jacquie8 Premium
Thanks Stanley!
This is a great reminder for me right now as I try to establish the right set of habits to succeed here at WA.

You've inspired me to take a look at how I can break things down further and focus on one thing at a time. I've watched myself over the last week get a little scattered, and literally run out of time. If I spread myself too thin, each project has less of me to get it going.

I'm going to have a strategic sit-down with myself now!

Best wishes,

Stanleycmng Premium
Always good to have that important meeting!
Jacquie8 Premium
Sure is! the most important "me" time there is.
DRhoads1 Premium
Our habits are everything. I been trying so hard to change a few of mine. One habit I have changed is hanging around be who meant me no good. That 1 habit change has had a butterfly effect which has made me change other habits I weren't conscious of. Good article
Stanleycmng Premium
Changing unconscious habits are most difficult. Get a friend to give feedback but you need to be open minded to accept it wholesale.
JHermes Premium
You are so correct. When depression sets in the small actions fall to the side as insignificant; so it is good to keep them in operation. I read a small book titled "The Slight Edge" by Joel Olson. That became my read through several times. You are right on here. Thanks for the encouragement toward excellence. Jeffrey
Stanleycmng Premium
Yes, small habits give you many slight edges over time...
DaveSw Premium
Soooooo true...The little habits, good or bad, lead to bigger impact habits, good or bad. Starting with the little ones is also an easier way to make that incremental change that may be required...

It is almost like the New Year's Resolutions most people make. They are so broad that they cannot hope to follow them and a few weeks (or less) after they are made, they are forgotten...

What if they drilled down and said by x I will do x, and after that I will x by x, etc.? Might want to build some rewards in as well, and then tactile action may help (i.e. marking off the task on a calendar set up with target dates, etc.)...

Good post, thanks for sharing!

Dave : )
Stanleycmng Premium
Dave, thanks for adding your experience to the post. Small habits successfully implemented is much better that trying a bit change that you struggle with, because it will take you more time, more effort and may discourage you when you are not successful. Take the small wins, they add up.
jm77 Premium
Great! Awsome prospective
Stanleycmng Premium
Thanks, Joseph.