Mini habits are one of the most transformational methods I have come across to form new healthy habits. I can’t take the credit for inventing the idea, that was Stephen Guise in his book Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. I have used his method myself though and it is deceptively powerful.
So how does it work?
You choose something that you want to do more of eg. eat fruit, do push-ups and you break this down into the smallest step you can do for each day and commit to that. It needs to be a small enough step that you can still achieve it on a bad day. For example, I used this technique to increase the amount of fruit that I eat (I’ve always loved veg, not always crazy about fruit). I simply committed to eating 1 portion of fruit per day, because I knew I could manage that even on a bad day. This is your goal and the only commitment you make to yourself, to eat at least one portion of fruit per day. Crucially, you can exceed your goal if you wish and you often will, but by making your goal super achievable, you are always going to succeed.
Why does it work?
We are setting ourselves up to succeed. This is the total opposite of what most of us do when we want to get healthier. We set an unrealistic goal that we may be able to achieve for a short time, but eventually our willpower runs out, or something happens in our life and we fall off the wagon. Once we have fallen off the wagon it is much harder to get back on, if we ever do. Consistency is the key to forming new habits and consistency is the key to real health. It is what we eat and how we take care of ourselves the majority of the time that is important, not what we do every now and then. This is also the basis of my Yo-Yo Dieting Escape Plan, if we take care of ourselves most of the time, then we can afford to go off-piste every now and then. Success also breeds success, the more you take care of yourself, the more you want to because you notice positive results. No more guilt, as you can always achieve your goal and if you have an exceptional day where you don’t achieve it, it is easy to restart the next day, because it is such a small goal.
As I have said, I have found this really powerful technique and a breath of fresh air compared to most advice regarding getting healthier. It has worked for me personally and I use it in my health coaching practice.