Forums » The Coaching Corner

Mini Habits are Easy Steps to Healthy Habits

  • January 10, 2017 1:34 PM EST

    What is a mini habit?  It's some small task you choose to do that can easily be repeated daily, and that will soon build into a habit or something that you do automatically. Think about things that you can do that take 5 minutes or less. The goal here is to get you to engage in a pattern - on a daily basis - that supports your health. Bigger goals often fail because they are too hard to fit into your busy schedule.

    Derek Doepker wrote a book on The Healthy Habit Revolution. Refer to this book for the full program on how mini habits can be developed in 21 days.

    What I liked the most from this book was the process of starting small and getting into the habit of making that one small change, and then building on it. This seems very practical for very busy people. 

    The idea of practicing a mini habit is helpful for getting you started in achieving any goal. Pick 1 to 3 habits and plan on practicing each one for 1 to 5 minutes daily for 21 days. Think that sounds too easy? Wrong, it is a proven way to get you started. Momentum creates motivation. So, doing one push up every day or eating one extra carrot a day will soon turn into something that you will implement on a routine basis.

    What would 5 minutes of quiet time do for you? Would it help you rest your brain?

    Practicing a mini habit works because it is so easy to implement. You really have no excuse to avoid it or to not do this new healthy habit. While you might skip a 15 to 20 minute exercise routine on a busy day, you are much less likely to skip 1 to 3 minutes of exercise.

    Will 3 minutes of exercise make you more fit? Not today, but think of 3 minutes x 21 days and consider how much exercise you just added to your overall activity level.

    If you have ever failed at goals or resolutions, the method of mini healthy habits is a good option for you to try.

    Here are some guidelines to choosing good mini habits:

    • Take your mini habit seriously - choose one that you personally want to improve or change
    • Your habit has to require some effort - make it significant for your needs
    • Avoid the temptation to make it too long - your goal is daily success
    • Remember you can always choose to overachieve and to add more each day
    • Set up accountability for your mini habit - tell people what you are doing

    At the end of 21 days, you will have set up patterns that give you a solid foundation to keep building on your health. This is proven - small steps lead to bigger actions. The success that you have in creating small mini habits will lead you to expand and improve into healthy habits for life. So, this year start small for bigger gains.

    Contact Coach Gwen for accountability that will keep you on track.