Inside: Does the idea of changing your habits feel overwhelming? It doesn’t have to. Use these micro habits to transform your life.

We are all creatures of habit.

Whether or not you recognize it, your habits shape many of the things you do – or don’t do – on a daily basis.

From the coffee you drink each morning to the skincare routine you complete each night before you go to bed, you’re often relying on the habits you’ve built to get through the day.

And when you’re looking to make a change in your life or shift your routine, developing new habits – or breaking old ones – can be a powerful tool in that transformation.

But many of us find it easier said than done to incorporate new habits into our lives.

That’s why micro habits are so great. Micro habits are defined as small, simple actions you can take every day that’ll help you achieve big results.

You can use micro habits to transform virtually any facet of your life; by starting small and keeping the big picture in mind, you’ll make it much easier for yourself to ease into those transformations.

Whether you’re hoping to eat healthier, exercise more often, watch less television, spend more time in nature, or something else, micro habits can help you make it happen.

micro habits

Why Are Micro Habits So Helpful?

Micro habits are so helpful because they’re small, yet meaningful, ways to drive you toward your ultimate goal. 

Think about it. Making a big change and developing a new habit can be hard. Let’s say your goal is to make running a habit. You’d love to get out and run three miles every morning – but you aren’t a runner.

Putting on your shoes and running three miles with no preparation and no training will be hard. You’ll get discouraged quickly, and chances are high that you’ll abandon those daily runs before you’ve had a chance to make it a habit.

But by starting small and leveraging micro-habits, you can make it much easier to embrace a new way of being. Don’t commit to running three miles – commit to running around the block. See how that feels.

Get comfortable with that little shift, and once you are, push your limits just a little bit more. 

You can find a micro habit to influence virtually any aspect of your life, from your health and wellbeing to your hobbies and relationships. By embracing micro habits, you’ll be empowered to make the shifts you want to see in your life – without getting overwhelmed and setting yourself up for failure.

woman drinking water

10 Micro Habits to Transform Your Life

Virtually anything can be broken down and transformed into micro habits, depending on what your goals look like.

Not sure where to start? Here are a handful of micro habits you can incorporate into your life today to set yourself up for success. 

1. Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up.

Staying hydrated is important for our health – but many of us are guilty of going straight for a cup of coffee in the morning. Break that habit and replace it with a simple glass of water.

Put it on your nightstand, or on your bathroom counter. Set a reminder along with your morning alarm. Enjoy a glass while you’re brewing your morning coffee.

By starting your day off with a little hydration, you’ll feel the benefits for hours to come – and make yourself more inclined to refill that glass throughout the day. 

2. Meditate or pray for one minute every day.

Meditation is “a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.” (source)

From increasing self-awareness to better stress management, meditation is known to bring a ton of benefits to your mental wellbeing.

If you’ve wanted to make prayer or meditation a habit but are struggling to sit still or clear your mind and focus, start small – with a one-minute.

Before long, you’ll be able to increase that time to five, ten, and even twenty minutes, but for now? You’ll still benefit from a moment of stillness.

micro habits

3. Write for five minutes in the morning.

Journaling is a habit that brings some serious benefits to your mental health. Getting your thoughts out of your mind and onto paper can be incredibly therapeutic, and it can help you overcome challenges and gain valuable perspective.

If you’re struggling to start a journaling habit, or haven’t even tried, start small. Get a notebook and tell yourself you’ll write for five minutes.

No topic, no specific number of pages – just set a five-minute timer and jot down whatever comes to mind. Before long, you’ll find yourself looking forward to your daily journaling session, and you won’t need a timer to tell you when to stop.

Check out these journaling prompts to help you get started.

4. Put things back when you’re finished using them.

Some of us are super tidy; others struggle with clutter. If you relate with the latter, make a micro-habit of putting things away after you’ve used them.

You can start with a single item – for example, when you get home and take off your jacket, commit to putting that back in the closet instead of throwing it on the back of your couch or hanging it on a chair. Or commit to putting your coffee mug in the dishwasher when you’re finished instead of leaving it on the counter.

Or for a different approach, make a micro habit of dedicating five minutes each day to tidying up your space. Set a timer, put on your favorite song, and make as much progress as you can before that timer goes off. 

Creating decluttering habits in your home will keep it tidy and help you to relax more in your space.

micro habits

5. Read one or two pages each day.

Want to make reading a habit, but can’t seem to finish a book? Break it down into smaller, bite-sized chunks by making a micro habit of reading one or two pages a day.

It’ll only take you a few minutes, and you’ll still be making progress toward your goal of finally finishing that book.

Give it a few weeks, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to sitting down with your book and making some progress – and when you’re ready, you can increase that page count without feeling overwhelmed, distracted, or bored.

6. Eat one fruit or veggie with every meal.

Looking to improve your health? Most of us take a dramatic approach and try to totally change our eating habits at once – which is a great way to set ourselves up for failure. 

Instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, try to incorporate one micro habit into each meal – adding at least one fruit or veggie into the mix.

Adding a handful of berries to your breakfast, a salad with lunch, or a veggie side with the foods you already love is going to be significantly easier than trying to change everything at one time.

And once you see how easy it can be to make that small shift, you’ll be more encouraged to make other positive changes, too. 

woman texting

7. Text a friend

Have a friend that you’re thinking of or that you’ve been missing? Send them a quick text to check-in. Let them know that you’re thinking of them.

It will only take a minute of your time and it could really help brighten their day. In the midst of life and busyness, relationships can often get neglected.

You can be more intentional in your life by adding this micro habit and it will help deepen your friendships in the process.

8. Go outside

In modern life, people are inside more than ever. Set aside a few minutes each day to take a break from technology and get some fresh air.

This micro-habit could be as simple as opening a window and listening to nature for a couple of minutes. Or, if you have a bit more time, take a short walk around your neighborhood.

There are so many benefits to be gained from the outdoors and it’s easy to miss them if you’re not intentional about getting outside regularly.

gratitude list

9. Reflect on what you’re grateful for

Creating a habit of gratitude will transform your life. Set aside a few minutes each morning or evening to think about things you are grateful for.

They can be very simple small things or bigger things, it really doesn’t matter. The habit of looking for the good and filling your mind with those positive thoughts is a great way to start or end the day.

Not sure where to start? Here is my life of 77 simple joys in life.

10. Do an act of kindness

While many habits that we create tend to be focused on self-improvement, this last one transforms your life by doing kind things for other people.

Acts of kindness don’t have to be time-intensive or extravagant. Something as simple as complimenting a stranger, opening the door for someone, or letting someone go ahead of you in line is a thoughtful gesture that will improve someone else’s day as well as yours.

It feels great to do something kind for someone else. And I’ve read numerous stories about how someone’s simple act of kindness transformed the life of the recipient. You never know the difference you might make.

Look for a simple thing you can do each day to make someone else’s life better and you’ll reap the benefits too.

Which micro habits are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments section!

Micro habits require very little commitment which makes them a great way to start a new habit if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. Small steps can lead to really great results when you’re consistent with your efforts.

See how these small changes add up in your life!

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  1. I am soooo inspired by the practicality of this!!!!
    It’s first myself and I also want to share it with a cousin of mine I want to encourage!!

    1. wow article is great and it will surely helpful for so many people as now a days I am working on my self so when I read this I feel great that I have 8 habits out of 10. I need to work on going outside n writing each day.

  2. Love this post Julianna! These are great habits. I already do a lot of them. I have changed my world with micro habits this year. I write for 10 minutes every afternoon. I learn a language with a fun app every morning. I do crunches right before I get dressed. You name it. For every goal I have found a micro habit of 10 minutes or less every day will get you where you’ve been trying to go for a long time!

  3. I love this post as well. I’m always telling myself I don’t have time to take care of myself. But really, it only takes a couple of minutes to do some things.
    I keep water in my bedside table, so now, I’m going to try to drink that water every morning while I’m making the bed, and coffee is brewing.
    Such great ideas, all of them! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Very encouraging, Julianna! I have some of these habits, but I want to work on getting outside more and picking up after myself. Thank you for the ideas!

  5. Really good article!! Everyone should inact micro habits to work towards bigger habits!!

  6. I think I need to read this every day to remind myself that I need to change and how to start. A well written article – thank you

  7. I like the one, do an act of kindness. I do several every day to many different people, but without really being aware of the blessing I might be offering someone. My habit will be to be more intentional with focusing on that person. Thank you!

  8. I already do many of these micro habits but will work on random acts of kindness. Love it. Thanks also eat more fruit and vegetables😊

  9. This is great. I realized that I already do about six of these things, but without specific intention or enough regularity.
    Making a little space and time for myself is not selfish or lazy…it’s necessary.
    I know this realization may seem painfully obvious, cliché even, but this post put that simple truth into a perspective that I can actually understand and apply. (I’m neuro-divergent, so sometimes it takes me a while to comprehend stuff that’s obvious to neuro-typical folks)

    I think that putting these things to the front of my mind WITH intention is not only doable, but I believe that it will bring about an ease of productivity and increase my overall joy.
    Thank You. Sincerely.
    I’m starting all ten as daily practices tomorrow. I’m excited.

  10. Such a helpful article, I can see how it will also help mental health. Been struggling with being consistent with exercise, eating healthy and a few of the other self-help areas you touched upon. Think I’ll create an after work schedule to help me on my journey to being a better me. Can’t wait to share your article with my gf’s!

  11. Am so inspired by the writer and am putting them in action then wait for the results from now.
    May God of all the mighty bless you my people.

  12. I have been practicing all of the above except practice number 2, 3 and five.
    I can see benefit doing them and will start it soon.
    One more thing we can add here is start learning something new. O have started going to gym for weight exercises since Jan 2022. Started learning new things on Udemy website. By doing something new, one looks forward to something and that creates superb positive attitude towards life

  13. Thanks Juliana. Writing daily for a few minutes, being regular still a challenge for me. But certainly exciting…

    1. Thank you for your inspiring words. I already do 8 of the 10 regularly. When my permits, I am able to do the other 2. I look forward to trying out your worksheet.

  14. Thank you! I will read one or two pages, put things back in their place and drink a glass of water when I wake up.

  15. When I really had trouble getting into an exercise routine, I started with the microhabit of just getting dressed to workout – putting on my shorts, running shoes, etc. And yes, there were a few morning when that was ALL I did. But most mornings, once I was dressed, it seemed kind of silly not to do SOME exercise.

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