You’ve decided to make some changes in your life. You’ve even come up with some new habits – small ones – to make the whole process easier. You’ve even put some of those micro-habits into motion. Good going, You!
Now comes the hard part – making the Micro Habits stick. How do you make small changes that last? Read on for some tips that will help keep you on track fairly indefinitely:
1. Start with using your smartphone. By scheduling reminders, you keep the habit front and center in your life. Decide specific times where you want to get this micro habit done and then set up your phone to let you know when that specific time rolls around. If you don’t have a smartphone, or like the low-tech option, scribble your reminder on a sticky note and put it where you’re sure to see it. Something along the lines of “Water – 1:00 pm” should suffice to get the point across.
2. Try a new dialogue with yourself. If your micro habit isn’t time-based, then find other ways to make this micro habit a part of who you are. Start with “if-then” statements. Something along the lines of “If it’s Tuesday, then today I’m taking the bus and walking the rest of the way to work,” reminds you of that small habit to walk to work more often. By paying attention to how you speak to yourself, you start to rewire the old thought patterns and make your new micro habit a more natural part of your life.
3. Simplify the routine. Remember, these are supposed to be micro-habits, not major ones. So don’t get caught up in trying to make grand sweeping changes. Instead, focus on the small things that you can easily build into your existing routine.
4. Take away the old choice. If your goal is to drink more water, then stop buying soda and juice. If you want to walk more, don’t park near the building. By removing the old way, all you have left is your new way. Think about what needs to disappear out of your life to make your new micro-habits a success.
It’s not hard to make micro-habits stick. Mostly, you want to stay intentional in what you’re doing and keep focused on the habit itself rather than letting it get lost in the shuffle of day to day life. By using these tips, you’ll stay on track to make that habit a daily part of your life.