Simple Micro-habits You Can Implement Today for a Better Life
They require minimal effort
The quality of your life is determined by the small things you do repeatedly.
To shrink the distance between the person you are and the person you want to be, you don’t need to uproot our whole life. The failed attempts of changing your daily routines are due to the unrealistic standards and expectations you set.
In the quest for bettering your life, you get blinded by promises of total transformation, so you embrace an “all or nothing” mentality. You underestimate how hard it will be to change your way of doing things and adopt a new way of life. The cycle goes like this: you get overly excited for change — you manage to stick with a new routine for a few days or weeks — eventually you fall off the wagon for various reasons — you feel disappointment. But this cycle can be broken.
Micro-habits are small actions that take no more than 5 minutes to do. They are usually performed in conjunction with other activities, to facilitate an easier integration into your life. Think of them as a small addition to the things you’re already doing, or a change in attitude.
Savoring refers to opening ourselves up to notice more aspects of our experience. It will reveal elements that you didn’t see before. Like tastes, colors, textures or sensations.
Savoring can teach us to tap into the pure joy of being. This simple act of connecting deeper to what you’re doing can have a positive impact on your well-being.
It can be used in any moment. Whether you’re outside, at an art gallery, shopping or enjoying a simple meal, the context doesn’t matter. (Of course, it needs to be a pleasant or at least neutral experience.) Bring all your senses into it.
This way, you can learn to develop a taste for appreciating life.
Train yourself to notice and relish moments of beauty, no matter how mundane, and your overall mood will greatly improve.
There are no excuses not to bring a few moments of presence to your day. You don’t need to turn into a monk. Just pick an action you do several times a day and use it as a prompt to do a 10 second meditation. For example, every morning when you press the button on your electric kettle, use this action as a trigger to bring your awareness to the present moment. Imagine stepping back from being your mind to noticing it. Interjecting these kinds of moments into your day will bring a bit more clarity to your life.
Do 1 more
When you’re working out, answering email or folding laundry, push yourself to do one more. One more rep, one more reply or fold one more shirt. In the long run, it’s going to make a difference. It will teach you the power of going beyond what we thought was possible. Needless to say, don’t overdo it.
Do 1 less
Unless there’s a deadline, or something needs to be done right then and there, see if you can hold back and leave your project a bit unfinished. Don’t empty your willpower all the way. Let’s say you’re writing an article. Stop while you still have some ideas flowing. This will make you develop a more sustainable relationship with that habit, because you know you’ll have to come back to it tomorrow to continue your work. It will also create a sense of excitement and expectation.
(Clearly, I’ve given you 2 contradictory ideas. Do 1 more and Do 1 less. So how are you to know which to use? You’ll have to be the judge of that and decide for yourself. Every situation is different and all advice needs to be applied in the right context. So think about what will bring you the desired result. Do you need to power through or do you need to keep the momentum going?)
2 minute rule
If a task only takes 2 minutes do get done, then do it right then and there. Simple as that.
Every 30 minutes or at least once an hour, set an alarm to remind you to take a short break.
Breaks are important for 2 reasons. First, they give your mind and body time to replenish their energy. Second, and perhaps more importantly, they break your mental frame and allow you to re-orient. When your eyes are glued to a screen for too long, you lose the bigger picture, literally. So use the break to evaluate your progress and put it into context. Is your project on the right path? Are you stuck? What can you do about it?
Before going to bed, take a few minutes to do a daily review. Think about how your day went. There are plenty of ways to do this, but this is the formula that I use: I write the highlight of my day, any small wins, what was top of mind today, something I should have done but didn’t and something I shouldn’t have done but did. Choose whatever is relevant to you. Don’t underestimate the power of looking objectively at your character.
Unsubscribe from content that doesn’t serve you anymore
Ever have that newsletter that pops up in your inbox but you never read it? Or that Twitter account that kinda annoys you, but you don’t do anything about it?
Take the extra minute to unsubscribe or unfollow. Get rid of everything that’s not conductive to your growth.
Before going out the door, do a quick mental check of everything you need to bring with you. This simple habit will make make you more organized and prepared.
As you go about your day, get into the habit of expressing gratitude towards mundane objects or facts that you take for granted. Your kitchen table, the ability to walk, the birds outside your window. Just 1 moment of acknowledgement is enough to change your state of mind.