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Creating Lasting Change with Micro-Habits

January 1st, 2024

In today’s world, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Between work, family, friends, and other obligations, it can be challenging to find the time to make meaningful changes to improve our health. And that’s why I want to introduce you to micro-habits.

But before you start to try to create any new habit, it’s first important to visualize your future self – who you want to become and what you want to do.  This way, you can determine what type of habits are needed to make your vision a reality.

Now let’s talk about micro-habits.

Hi, I’m Krista! I am a Registered Dietitian on a mission to show people how to feel better in their bodies without diets! Healthy eating shouldn’t be so restrictive + complicated. Instead, I preach balance. Eating balanced means nourishing your body and your soul so you can optimize physical health without sacrificing your mental health.

What are micro-habits?

Think of micro-habits as tiny, simple habits you can incorporate into your daily routine. They may seem insignificant on their own, but over time, they can have a significant impact on your health, life, and body.

Whether it’s drinking a glass of water in the morning, moving your body during your lunch break, or taking a few minutes to read, pray or meditate before bed, these tiny habits can help you build lasting change without taking up too much time or energy.

In my opinion, micro-habits are the key to success!

WHY?

You are more likely to stick to them, because:

  • they feel easy to do
  • they are realistic to fit into your schedule
  • they start to help you to feel different (better)


All of these things are the catalyst to creating lasting change.

On the flip side, if your new habit is too all-consuming, or relies on your constant determination, perseverance and willpower – it’s going to burn out. It may last a few weeks or a few months but it won’t last forever.

To create lasting change, avoid perfectionism.

From my experience in working with people who are looking to change their eating habits and lifestyle, people often come to me with 100 different ideas on how they could eat better or move their bodies more. I also notice that their goals are often rooted in perfectionism – such as starting to exercise every day, or no longer eating out.

When it comes to health change goals, it’s important to remember that perfectionism can be more harmful than helpful. While setting high standards for yourself is admirable, aiming for perfection can lead to feelings of failure and frustration if you don’t measure up to your own expectations. Rather than striving for perfection, it’s better to focus on progress and building small, sustainable, micro-habits over time.

To avoid perfectionism, plan to add realistic micro-habits that take into account your current lifestyle.

For example, if you’re just starting to exercise, it’s probably not realistic to aim for a 5-mile run right away. Instead, start with a 10-minute walk and gradually increase your time and intensity as you get stronger. Also, don’t force yourself to exercise every single day. All this does is sets you up for burnout, feeling like a failure, and quitting.

15 healthy micro-habit ideas

  1. walk for ten minutes on your lunch break
  2.  have fruit with your breakfast
  3. turn off your phone for 30 minutes before bed
  4. instead of scrolling before bed, read a couple of pages from a book
  5. set aside 5 minutes of your morning for journaling or practicing gratitude
  6. eat more home-cooked meals
  7. add vegetables to your lunch
  8. add 10 minutes of strength exercises on 2 days per week
  9. drink a glass of water each morning
  10. prioritize taking your vitamin(s) each day
  11. move your body in a way you enjoy after dinner
  12. spend 5 minutes in silence each day
  13. pack your lunch instead of eating out
  14. connect with nature for 15 minutes
  15. prioritize protein at your snack
 
I hope this list can provide you with some inspiration to create micro-habits that work for you based on your goals and your current lifestyle.

How to develop a micro-habit

The key to making micro-habits work for you is to start small and be consistent.
 
1. Choose one or two habits that you want to incorporate into your routine that feel easy and realistic.
2. Commit to these habits for at least a few weeks, or months.
3. Use a habit tracker, a bullet journal or a calendar to track your progress.
4. Celebrate your wins – even if they feel small!
5. Over time, you can gradually increase the difficulty or add new micro-habits to your routine.
 
With patience and consistency, you can become a healthier version of yourself: one micro-habit at a time.

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