The world’s leading expert on habit formation shows how you can have a happier, healthier life: by starting small.
Dr. BJ Fogg is a behavior scientist, credited for founding the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Habits and the creator of the Fogg Behavior Model that has helped thousands of people design for behavior change.
Tiny habits are what the name suggests: take things in tiny measures and work on small goals as opposed to larger ones that so often fail. When you break down a new habit to its smallest element, you feel less resistance to do it, and it becomes easier to incorporate that into your routine.
This post is an example of 100 tiny habits you can use to build or break some of the most popular habits people around the world are working on.
Part One: Building A New Habit
Here are some of the most common habits people around the world are trying to build. If you can relate to any of these, feel free to try out our examples of tiny habits to incorporate these new habits into your life and make them a part of your routine.
- Put on your workout clothes.
- Roll out your Yoga mat.
- Do one push-up or one sit-up.
Drink more water
4. Fill your water bottle in the morning.
5. If you prefer drinking from a cup, fill it and keep it close when you start working.
6. Invest in a water bottle that has portions marked for how much water to drink at what times of the day. That way, you’ll have your goals right in front of your eyes.
7. Take one deep breath.
8. Sit (or stand still) for one minute.
9. Go for a walk without music playing in your headphones.
10. Read one review on Goodreads of the book you’re planning to read.
11. Pick the book up and keep it near you.
12. Read one page.
Sleep on time/Wake up early
13. Sleep early by five minutes each day.
14. Turn off all screens for an hour before you sleep.
15. Prepare a running playlist.
16. Put on your running shoes.
Write in a journal
17. Buy a nice journal.
18. Invest in high-quality stationery.
19. Visualize what you’re planning to do for the rest of the day (if you plan to journal in the morning) or how the day went (if you’re planning to journal at night).
20. Roll out your Yoga mat.
21. Put on your Yoga clothes.
22. Prepare a playlist of videos on YouTube you can learn from or join a class.
Go to the gym
23. Prepare a gym playlist of the songs you can hear while working out.
24. Prepare your gym bag.
25. Start tracking your expenses.
26. Read a book or watch a video on personal finance.
27. Borrow before you buy for big purchases.
28. Hold your toothbrush in front of the mirror.
29. Eat raw fruits or vegetables with every meal.
30. Add nuts and dry fruits to your morning breakfast.
31. Keep your refrigerator stocked with fruit juices.
32. Stretch the first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed.
33. Stand up and stretch every hour in between work.
34. Have a cup of coffee in the morning so you start feeling hungry.
35. Wake up fifteen minutes earlier than your usual time.
Walk 10,000 steps
36. Take the longest route to the washroom.
37. Get down from the cab or park your car a few blocks away and walk the rest of the way home.
38. Walk every time you talk on the phone.
39. Keep a 30-minute slot free on your schedule in the morning or evening so you can go for a walk.
40. Put on your walking shoes.
Stop and enjoy life
41. Take one picture every day.
42. Savor your experiences and allow yourself to bask in the glory of the small, happy moments in day-to-day life.
43. Put your phone away when you are trying out something new for the first time.
44. Fold clothes after you dry your laundry.
45. Tackle one cluttered corner every day.
46. Don’t buy anything new before you have used all of its alternatives you have back at home.
Keep in touch with friends
47. Send one message a day to an old friend.
48. Write out thank you notes when you have nothing to do and send them by mail to your friends.
49. Write a single sentence.
50. Join a writer’s group and connect with fellow writers.
51. Prepare an outline of what you plan to write.
Keep in touch with parents
52. Create a WhatsApp group with your parents and other family members.
53. Send one message every day.
54. Set up calendar invites for calls so you don’t have an excuse to skip, saying you “forgot” you were supposed to call.
Learn a new language
55. Set up an account on Duolingo or any app that helps you learn a foreign language.
56. Log in to the app for a few minutes every day.
57. Practice saying one sentence in the new language every day.
58. Do a plank for thirty seconds before you shower.
59. Do one crunch before you get out of bed.
60. Make a list of ab workout videos on YouTube you can watch and learn from.
Do a weekly review
61. Schedule a slot every Friday on your calendar.
62. Buy a journal for your weekly reviews and keep it within reach every Friday.
63. If you like to do your weekly reviews on an app, set a reminder to open that app every Friday.
Listen to a podcast
64. Read a review of a podcast.
65. Ask friends for podcast recommendations.
66. Carry your headphones along each time you go outside for a walk or a menial chore that doesn’t require much mental effort.
67. Make a list of all the podcasts that interest you.
Set priorities for the day
68. Spend a few moments each morning visualizing all that you intend to get done for the day.
69. Keep a journal right by your bedside table so you can wake up, and reach for it immediately.
70. Before sleeping each night, do a quick review of the day so you can understand how your priorities for the day were fulfilled.
Go to work on time
71. Wake up fifteen minutes earlier than your usual time.
72. Before retiring for the night, keep your work clothes pressed and ready.
73. Check if your tires are alright and your car has enough fuel so you don’t have to blame technical errors for getting late to work.
74. Have more fluids for breakfast so you can sip on them on your way to work each morning.
Learn something new every day
75. Read a blog post on a topic that interests your every day.
76. While talking with friends, steer the conversation in a direction that you’re more willing to learn.
77. Watch a TED talk before going to bed.
78. Say one good thing about yourself every morning.
79. Pick a word for the day and set your intention. This means if you pick a word like “joy”, you’ll strive to find joy in whatever you do throughout the day.
80. Visualize good things for the day before getting out of bed each morning.
81. Prepare a list of all the medications you have to take during the day and sort them accordingly.
82. Keep your medicines within sight so you don’t have the excuse that you “forgot” them.
Part Two: Breaking An Old Habit
Here are some of the most common habits people around the world are trying to break. If you can relate to any of these, feel free to try out our examples of tiny habits to remove these habits from your life.
83. Buy unflavored gum and chew on it each time you feel the craving to have something sweet.
84. For desserts after meals, include fruits in your diet.
85. Don’t keep sugar inside your house or pantry.
86. Every time you crave to drink soda or sugary drinks, drink some water.
87. Don’t keep any alcohol in your refrigerator.
88. If a bar or an alcohol shop falls on your daily commute route, change the route and pick a different way to drive.
89. Explore new ways to cope like reading a book or maintaining a journal.
90. Stay hydrated.
91. Talk to a doctor or book an appointment with an addiction expert.
92. Find new ways to relax like going to a massage spa, pampering yourself with a hot bath, finding purpose in a new hobby, or rediscovering your love for reading.
93. Avoid drinking if that serves as your trigger to crave smoking.
94. Get rid of all the reminders of your smoker lifestyle like ashtrays, old cigarette packets, stubs, etc.
95. Get your body moving. Do a few stretches when you feel stressed.
96. Drink a glass of water if you feel the craving.
No watching TV
97. Cut off your cable connection or only take subscriptions to OTT platforms on a monthly basis, so you can discontinue whenever you desire.
98. Practice a few minutes of a new hobby every day.
99. Keep a curtain over your television so you have to work hard to turn it on.
100. Be mindful while eating so you don’t feel the need to watch something while having your meals.
Whenever you are building a new habit or breaking an old one, the most important element is consistency. Find a friend to do it with so you can keep track of your daily progress and make sure you don’t relapse. In case you can’t find anyone trustworthy, you can also hire an accountability coach from the directory here at coach.me.
You can also download a habit tracker for free to keep track of the days you managed to accomplish your daily goal. Tracking your progress is a wonderfully effective way to hold yourself accountable.