How to Achieve Your Goals with Easy, Small Habits

(Last Updated On: December 20, 2020)

Strive to Achieve Your Goal(s) a Little Bit Each Day

A few years ago, I came across the writings of BJ Fogg, PhD, a behavior scientist at Stanford, who has studied and even trademarked  – Tiny Habits®. Fogg has studied human behavior for 20 years and has established that only three things that will change behavior in the long term:

  1. Have an epiphany (a rare occurrence)
  2. Change your environment (your surroundings)
  3. Take baby steps

His method is simple – by changing your environment and taking baby steps toward a goal, you can make permanent, lasting changes. Really just following teeny, tiny steps to your goal will make it a reality. Simply breaking the path to your goal into the smallest pieces and then diligently following them, pushing a little bit each day, actually accomplishes drives to your goal, the desired change, and makes the change stick!

Mini Habits, Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

There are other Tiny Habit fans like Stephen Guise, who’s book on habits follows the similar credo. In this book, Guise suggests that readers read two pages per day and establish the start of a mini habit.

He frames up his advice with the following:

  • Doing a little bit is infinitely bigger and better than doing nothing.
  • Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day.

Maintaining Your Fitness in Small Ways

It’s overwhelming to think about maintaining your weight and fitness for a lifetime. I am naturally a goal-oriented person – I love setting goals in all sorts of ways. That’s where I find the concept of building a new habit in small, incremental ways, far more effective than making dramatic changes all at once.

Trying new exercise routines as well as new recipes are great ways to keep yourself engaged with taking care of yourself. In particular, committing to try new programs with small everyday changes can really make a difference over the long haul. Just write down your plan. This always gives your goal a permanent feel.

How to Get Started

  • Set a goal with a reasonable time of accomplishing this.

Example: Do 60 sit-ups per day by the end of four weeks.

  • Break it down to the smallest segment by day.

Example: 2 sit-ups every day

  • Determine how much you will increase by day

Example: Add 2 sit-ups every day (i.e. by day 10, I am at 20 sit-ups per day)

  • Write it down as a daily reminder in your calendar

At the end of four weeks, you will be doing 60 sit-ups per day.

I’ve established a meditation habit by doing this approach – everyday doing a little bit and moving towards my goal. The key is an everyday commitment.

Creating Good Habits Vs. Breaking Bad Habits with Small Habits

While building towards a new habit/goal is very effective to creating a new habit, the same unfortunately  is not true for breaking a bad habit. That apparently requires different techniques. However, I did read that you can attach a good habit to a bad one that might help break a bad habit. For instance, if you always have a dessert every night and you want to stop that habit, add a piece of fruit to your effort. It might make it easier to cut back.

Commit to Achieve

So try it. Commit to a fitness goal and break it down into small daily habits. See what you can achieve!


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One Comment

  1. J.L. Karlin

    Good points! I started my own exercise program a few years ago after a long period of non-activity. I began with ten minutes on an exercise bike and worked my way up to doing a century ride (100 miles). Now daily exercise is a part of my routine.

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