Focus on “Microhabits” to Change Your Behaviour

High achievers often have lofty aspirations for self-improvement. But big goals — such as “meditate for an hour every day,” or “read more” — are often more burdensome than they are sustainable. 

So, start small by focusing on “microhabits” — more achievable behaviours that you build over long periods of time. These habits should be ridiculously small, like meditating for 30 seconds or reading a paragraph each night. 

To minimize effort, piggyback on a daily task. Perform your new action at the same time as (or right before) something you already do every day. Read that one paragraph while brushing your teeth. Meditate while waiting for your coffee to brew. Then, track your progress, but keep it simple. 

Try using a “yes list” where you write down the desired action, and under each date simply note a Y or N to indicate if you completed the task. Once you’ve accrued several weeks of Ys, you can increase your microhabit by a small increment, say 10% or just 1%. Continue these tiny, incremental adjustments until the new habit is part of your muscle memory. By starting small, you can achieve big results, it's amazing the compound impact tiny 1% improvements can make, from a small impact you can create many ripples and great waves.

Adapted from  @HBR To Achieve Big Goals, Start with Small Habits,” by Sabina Nawaz