5 Small Habits That Changed My Life

5 Small Habits That Changed My Life

The kids and I recently planted a garden in our backyard.

Nothing fancy. Just some strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, and herbs.

You can feel the kid's excitement. My son goes out at least once a day to see if the strawberries are ready to eat. While far from ready, both of them are taking care of the garden.

They check on it daily, water it regularly, and are learning how to care for it.

As much as they’d like to have all the food ready to eat today, they’re finding out that its going to take some time. They need to water and care for the plants in order for them to grow.

While I do not consider myself a gardener, I know that this is good for our family. It's teaching the kids to see the importance of working daily towards a goal.

If we planted the garden and strawberries were available the next day, it'd be too easy. They wouldn't learn the importance of putting in the daily work.

The daily habits of watering and caring for the plants is teaching them so much more than gardening.

They are learning about the importance of small habits.

The small habits in your life hold the key to unlocking your big goals. BJ Fogg, a Stanford University behavior scientist, wrote a book called Tiny Habits. In it, he introduces a framework for creating lasting habits through small steps.

The best way to develop big changes in your life consist of implementing small habits.

This video captures what the impact of small action can have on your big goals:


This same concept applies to your goals.

For example, if you want to read every day, start with a paragraph. If you want to exercise consistently, start with two jumping jacks. If you want to floss regularly, start with one tooth.

These small, simple changes lead to much bigger impacts. They help you feel successful and progress toward the larger goal you’re working towards.

Small habits are the key to achieving big changes.

Here are 5 small habits I implemented in my life that massive changes:

Practicing Gratitude: I started this during the chaos of COVID pandemic. I would watch TV and read the news, trying to keep up with everything, and I got nothing but exhausted. That’s when I introduced a gratitude practice to my life. I realized all the things I was grateful for, the people, the memories, and the opportunities I had. It changed my perspective on life with only a few minutes a day. I’ve been practicing gratitude ever since.

Journaling for 2 Minutes: I’ve found journaling to be a lifesaver when my brain is feeling overwhelmed. Even though it’s 2 minutes, it helps me calm down. Getting everything out of my head and onto paper helps me to see what I have been spinning my wheels on. Once its out of my head, I can better deal with it. Again, it doesn't need to be a long journaling session. Just a few minutes to do a brain dump helps me to clear my mind.

Going on Walks: getting out for a walk has been my recent go-to when I’m feeling stressed. Something about being outside in nature is life-giving. My thoughts flow and I always come back refreshed and with a new perspective. Sometimes they are long walks, but most often its a few minutes outside, enjoying the fresh air.

Prioritizing Family: several years ago, I used to come home completely drained. I invested all my energy at the office but would be completely worn out by the time I got home. The problem is that I wasn't reserving any of my energy for my family. Instead of getting the best parts of me, they would get the worst. I hated myself for it. After realizing my priorities were completely upside down, I shifted my time to focus on my family. I’d still come home at the same time, but I made sure I had time for my family. I always had plenty of energy left to be present with them.

Being Active Daily: I had the hardest time stay consistent with my workouts. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make it a habit. What I decided to do was to create my BAD habit (Be Active Daily). So rather than trying to do a certain number of workouts a week, I decided to be active each day for at least 5 minutes. I mean, if I can’t make 5 minutes a day to be active, I have much bigger issues. Even though 5 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, its what got me consistent with working out. I would exercise for 5 minutes and then decide I could go a little longer. Now, I am consistently working out several times a week all thanks to my BAD habit.

From these examples, you can see how consistent small habits will transform your life.

I know everyone is busy. We all feel overloaded. It's hard to find the time to invest in the most important things.

But, this is where the beauty of small, consistent habits comes in.

Once you start you don’t want to stop.

You will see how much better you feel.

You will know you’re making progress on your goals.

You will experience the joy of accomplishing tasks on your list.

Big changes don’t happen overnight. You create them with small, consistent habits.

What small habits do you want to install?

Your action this week is to identify a small habit to implement that will have a domino effect in your life.

Here are some ideas based on what I mentioned earlier:

  • Practice Gratitude: start each day by listing 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Journal Daily: set aside a few minutes at the end of your day to journal a few wins you had that day.
  • Be Active: committ to being active for 5 minutes a day.

Again, it doesn't take a lot for these small habits to have big results.

There's no excuse not to get started today.