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18 Best Micro Habits to Improve Your Life in Minutes

What are micro habits and how can you use them to bring positivity into your life?
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What are Micro Habits?

Micro habits are small yet meaningful practices that will improve your life when done consistently. They differ from regular habits in that they are simpler, and you can usually do them in a few minutes. But that doesn’t mean they are less impactful. Micro habits can be as simple as stretching for three minutes before work or journaling for five minutes after a hard day. Making positive micro habits and keeping them regularly can be an effective way to improve your life— whether that’s making you happier, healthier, more hopeful, or giving you a sense of purpose.

Benefits of Micro Habits

Woman sitting on her bed and writing in her journal about keeping her micro habits

Why try micro habits? With micro habits, the emphasis is truly on the small. What tiny changes can you add to your daily schedule that will make your day better? How much could your life benefit from doing something positive at least once a day? Benefits of micro habits include:

  • They are a productive way to make your everyday life better
  • They only take a few minutes out of your day
  • You can choose whatever micro habits work with your life
  • You can easily add them into your already busy schedule.

No need to upend how you spend your day or throw your calendar out the window. They are simple steps that can be taken within your current daily habits to bring more positivity to your life.

Here are some great examples of micro habits you can start today.

Micro Habits for Success

Businesswoman at her laptop looking excited after doing her micro habit for success

1. Wake Up Earlier

Setting your alarm for even fifteen minutes earlier than usual can help you get a jump start on your day. You’d be surprised how much adding in that small amount of time makes your mornings more relaxed and productive. What will you spend those extra minutes doing?

2. Make a To-Do List

As you sip your morning coffee or tea, make a short to-do list of what you want to get done that day. Whether you are looking for a productive day of errands and chores, or a relaxing day with rest and recuperation, write out your to-do’s with at least three things. A short list is a great micro habit to keep you on task.

3. Read an Inspiring Story

Reading about other people’s success stories can give us motivation and keep us inspired. Look up stories of people helping people or stories of hope and write down what lessons you can glean from them. Many stories can be read in a matter of minutes, making this a great micro habit. How can you bring important life lessons from these inspiring stories into your own life?

Micro Habits for Mondays

Coffee cup on a blue background with a sun showing micro habits for monday

4. Say a Monday Morning Prayer

We all know the slog of a Monday morning. It can be hard to feel positive when the fun-filled weekend is over, and the busy week is ahead of you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enter Monday with a positive attitude and some effective micro habits. Start your Monday morning off with an uplifting prayer. Show God your gratitude for a weekend of rest and tell Him what you would like to get done this week.

5. Sing a Song

According to Healthline, singing can relieve stress and improve your mood. Start your Monday morning off by singing one of your favorite songs. Be sure it is an upbeat song with inspiring lyrics. You can sing in the shower or in the car on your way to work. Dropping the kids off at school? Have them join in! Healthline also says singing with others can help us feel more connected to each other.

6. Learn Something New

Fostering a sense of wonder can be an amazing way to bring positivity into your life. What better way to do that than by learning something new? Mondays are a great day to commit to this because you may already be feeling motivated for the work week. Pick out the subject that interests you beforehand, like history, art, science, current news, or spirituality. Then research podcasts or online publications that cover the topics. Many of them offer bite-sized content you can quickly listen to or read during your Monday.

Micro Habits for Work

Businesswoman at her desk with a cup of coffee doing a micro habit for work

7. Set a Productivity Timer

Having difficulty concentrating at work? Setting a productivity timer will help you focus on the task at hand. You can set that timer for whatever amount of time you have—fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, sixty minutes—and develop the habit of working consistently during that period. Just remember, it’s not a race. The idea is not to work against the clock, but with the clock. Let these minutes be your time to be positive and productive.

8. Set a Break Timer

Much like the previous micro habit, set a break timer for yourself in between your periods of productivity. Taking a mental rest during work is vital to avoiding burnout. An ideal time to do this can be between meetings or after finishing a task. Set that timer and commit to giving yourself a break. Use that time to step away from your work. If your job has you on your feet, take a rest by sitting in a quiet space. If you sit at a desk, get up and walk around.

9. Stretch

No matter what your job is, we can all benefit from a good stretch. Take five minutes out of your workday to do some low impact stretches. Even just rolling your shoulders and stretching your arms above your head can make a difference. Pick times during the day when stretching will be the most effective for you, whether that’s right when you start work, during your lunch break, or at the end of the day.

Micro Habits for Spiritual Growth

Woman at sunset praying as a micro habit for spiritual growth

10. Pray or Meditate for One Minute a Day

What if we all took one minute out of our day to slow down and connect with something bigger than ourselves? How could this benefit our lives and the world around us? Take some time to pray or do spiritual meditation daily. Find a quiet place to sit, slow your breathing, and close your eyes. Whether you are reaching out to God with your hopes or looking for a moment of peace, doing just one minute of prayer or meditation can improve your entire day.

11. Step Outside

Even if we have jam packed schedules or the weather is too chilly for a long walk, stepping outside for a few minutes can still do wonders. Look up at the sky—at the sunrise, clouds, birds moving overhead, or the sunset. Breathe in the fresh air and try to pinpoint the smells, like flowers, dirt, bonfires, or the salty sea air. Listen to the sound of nature around you, from the wind moving through the leaves to the dulcet melodies of birdsong.

12. Read a Bible Verse

Looking for some spiritual motivation during a long day? Make the micro habit of turning to the Bible for some inspiration. You can pick a beloved verse to revisit and add it to your daily prayer. Or think about something you want to accomplish that day—whether it’s something productive or taking time for rest—and find a piece of Scripture to guide you through it. Try opening the Bible once a day to a random page and seeing what words God has in store for you.

Micro Habits for Happiness

Young couple dancing in their kitchen after doing a micro habit for happiness

13. Laugh at Least Once a Day

What you choose to do during your day to day will have an impact on your happiness. Take a few minutes out of your day to laugh at least once. You can do this by calling up a friend to tell them a funny story, reaching out to a family member to reminisce about something hilarious that happened, or even looking up videos of animals doing funny things. The laughs are out there, you just need to make the micro habit of finding them.

14. Text a Friend

As we find happiness in our own life, what can we do to bring happiness to others? Take two minutes out of your day to text a friend and tell them how much you care about them. List out how they have had a positive effect on your life. You’ll be surprised how much this micro habit will bring a smile to their face, and your own. Nothing creates happiness faster than spreading it.

15. Count Your Blessings

Gratitude is an important part of feeling happier in our daily life. Pick a time during the day to make a list of the blessings in your life. You can do it in the morning before your day, or at night before you go to sleep. Keep the list nearby and add to it as you go. Return to the list and reflect on it when you need a pick-me-up. You can even use a gratitude journal to guide your feelings of thankfulness all year long.

Micro Habits for Good Sleep

Woman sleeping in bed after doing her micro habits for better sleep

16. Make Tea

As you wind down for the evening, pick up a mindful practice that will help your mind wind down. Making tea can be a great way to do this. As you take a teacup out of the cabinet and open the tea package, focus on your movements, and calm your breathing. Say a quick prayer as you wait for the water to boil. As you let the tea steep, watch the tea leaves blend with the water. Choose a tea with no caffeine that promotes a sense of calm. Many teas only take a few minutes to steep, so this is a great micro habit before bed.

17. Read One Chapter

Many people try to take up the habit of reading in bed. According to Healthline, reading a book before going to bed can ease stress, help with insomnia, and improve the quality of your sleep. Unfortunately, between cleaning up after dinner, preparing for the next day, tucking the kids in, and brushing our teeth, that habit sometimes doesn’t happen. So, take on the micro habit of reading just one chapter in bed. Even just five minutes of reading before you sleep can make a difference.

18. Relax Your Body One Muscle at a Time

Sometimes when we finally let our heads hit the pillow, our body is still on high alert from a busy day. As you lie in bed, take a few minutes to turn your focus on your body. Mindfully relax each of your muscles, starting from your toes and slowly moving up toward your head. If you find your mind drifting away from the practice, simply bring your attention back to your body and pick up where you left off. This micro habit can be done in a few minutes, all while you are lying down.

You may be finishing this list thinking, “how can just a few minutes bring more positivity into my life?” It’s all about how you spend those minutes. If you commit to doing something to improve your life, whether that is stretching, praying, or making a calming cup of tea, those minutes could be the most important part of your day. And you’ll be surprised how long those minutes will end up feeling. That’s the beauty of micro habits! They don’t require much of your time, yet they can still have a big impact on your life.


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