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17 Life-Changing Micro Habits That Require Only 5 Minutes (or Less)

Breakthroughs don’t change your life; micro-habits do


New Year’s resolutions. We all make them, myself included. Drink more water, hit the gym, cut back on social media, be more present, get more sleep, save money… the list goes on. But by midyear, I could barely remember what I resolved to do. I finally realized it was because my resolutions were too vague. Last year, I narrowed down my list to things I thought I could actually accomplish, and I added a crucial element: when, where, and how. To turn these resolutions into habits, I had to be “specific.”

So, here Dhana Rhaka shares with you some micro habits that can drive a huge difference in your life in 2023. You may also find the original article in this link.

Never do this before you go to bed

One micro habit that can make a huge difference in your life is to never go to bed with a dirty kitchen.

The importance of having a clean and tidy kitchen before bedtime cannot be overstated. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it also helps keep your home healthy and safe from pests and other contaminants.

Plus, you’ll feel more organized and ready to tackle the next day’s tasks.



Park the Car a Thousand Yards Away From Your Home/Office

The benefits of walking are not new to us but our sedentary lifestyle doesn’t allow us to walk too often.

According to an online study, an adult must walk at least 10k steps daily to stay healthy. But this colossal target intimidates us. So, parking your car a thousand yards from your home or office can fetch you almost 3000 steps. The rest of your daily activities can make up for 4000 –5000 steps.

That isn’t bad at all to start with. This simple workout is more effective than a rigorous gym workout to balance the long desk work hours. Besides, there’s a famous saying, “a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body.” After adopting this micro-habit, I could reach the 10k mark almost every day. This achievement boosted my self-confidence a lot.


Follow One Minute Rule

Author Gretchen Rubin of the famous book “The Happiness Project” writes:

One simple way to stay on top of things is to take care of tasks that take less than a minute to complete immediately. This might mean recycling junk mail, hanging up your coat, responding to a text, closing a silverware drawer, or screwing the lid on a jar of peanut butter.

These small tasks may not seem like much on their own, but they can quickly add up and become overwhelming if we put them off.

By tackling them right away, we can avoid the negative cycle of procrastination and prevent the build-up of additional responsibilities.

When it comes to arranging the living room or shoe rack or leaving the dirty dishes at night, I remind myself daily, “If I can’t do it today, what makes me think I am going to do it tomorrow.”



A Small Zipper Bag Hack

Hunger directly affects the brain; it makes us do impossible things. Whenever we’re away from home and starving, we reach a ravenous point where we eat almost anything without counting calories.

If you want to eat healthier, watch your weight, and follow a diet regime, packing a small bag of nuts or dry fruits can prevent you from eating unhealthy.

It supplies you with high-protein, selenium, and healthy fats.

Plus, you save money you might have spent on eating unhealthy junk.



Floss Your Teeth — It Takes Just a Few Minutes

Every six months, when I visit my dentist for a cleaning — I get to hear a lecture about the importance of flossing our teeth.

As a reminder, I’ve posted a sticky note on the bathroom mirror. With regular practice, it became a habit.

Fun Fact: A toothache is considered as painful as giving birth, according to a news source. So, flossing might look insignificant, but it brings some serious benefits.



Do This Before You Get Your Morning Coffee

Making your bed before you get your morning coffee looks like a micro habit, but it gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. Such small wins boost your productivity; it encourages you to do another task to perfection.

By the end of the day, you’ll feel those little things elevate your bad mood.



Count Till Ten in Your Head Before Replying to Any Out-of-the-Blue Questions

We often regret saying things that we aren’t supposed to. Red-faced, we try to make amends to make things right and waste a significant part of our energy and time.

So, whenever someone comes up with an out-of-the-blue question, instead of blurting out some nonsense, stay paused for at least 10 seconds. You’ll get some time to think about an appropriate answer.

You can even drop something like a pen or paper, so the time you pick it up, you get a chance to think. But the main point is to make it a habit by any means so that you don’t reply instantly, even unconsciously.

Instead of having “a slip of the tongue” moment, hold onto your tongue for ten seconds. This micro habit could save us a lot of unnecessary mental stress.



Do This With Your Goals at Least Once a Day

Revising our goals helps us stay connected with our motivation. Otherwise, a lot of things happen during the day that shift our focus from our motives.

Reviewing our goals once a day helps us create new plans and accommodate any possible changes in our lives. This way, we don’t get disillusioned by other priorities and stay focused on what we really want.

Remember, big goals, lofty goals, and big results don’t need great habits — just staying aware of what you have to do.



Start “J-a-M-Ming” Your Day Hour by Hour

J-a-m-ming stands for “just a minute, meditating.” (every hour)

Many stressful things happen during the day that doesn’t allow us to stay peaceful during the night. But breaking the entire day into small hours becomes easy to handle.

I have been following this jamming technique for two years, and I have found my calm. Every hour I meditate for a minute, reflecting upon any anxiety triggers (for the past hour). This technique empowers me to change them for the next hour, and this way, stress doesn’t accumulate in my mind.

I use a playlist called JAM (Just a Minute) on the Insight Timer App. They have a wide range of one-minute guided meditations that we can do anywhere.

A small step towards developing a mindful habit can help us stay at ease and at peace.



Think of One Good Thing About Your Day

Positive and negative things — all happen during the day. But most of the time, we hold onto the negative thoughts and keep repeating them in our minds. We sleep thinking about it, and when we wake up, the same negativity bothers us. However, I made a strict rule for myself to focus only on the positives.

I try to count as many positives as I can from my day. I hardly remember if I stay awake after this mental activity.

But this feeling of fulfillment improved my sleep quality. Not only did I sleep well, but I also woke up in an energized and cheerful mood.


After Hanging up Any Call, Sip Some Water

We all know how essential water is and the importance of staying hydrated. However, we cannot drink enough water throughout the day to retain 60% of our bodies’ water.

Health experts use the 8 * 8 rule to measure the amount of water we drink. This rule means we must drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water during the day.

However, this does not account for the fact that you may require more water if you exercise or if you live in a very hot region. To remember to stay hydrated, I sip some water every time I hang up a call.



Follow the 50–30–20 Budgeting Rule

No one ever became rich by earning money. But saving small amounts can help you become richer till the age you retire.

I was a shopaholic once and used to buy all the unwanted stuff from the market until I realized it one day. My paycheck was still days away, and I had no money, not even for meals. Then I realized — I couldn’t eat extra cushion covers, artifacts, or an additional four pairs of shoes. I then adopted a budgeting rule.

Such small changes lead to big shifts in life.



Get off the Elevator One Floor Before Your Destination

Research says that walking up two flights of stairs daily is a sufficient exercise to keep you in shape. This type of small change will not only help you stay fit but also improve your metabolism.

Taking the stairs is like a mini workout for me now. I find it truly refreshing and energizing, especially on days when I am feeling low or lethargic. It helps me regain my energy in no time!


A Micro Habit of Banishing Screens From the Dining Area

We are so busy with life — our phones and laptops that we have lost the joy of eating. We often check our work emails and messages or post updates on social media during meals. But this type of multitasking is killing us slowly, as it leads to overeating and other health issues.

I created a boundary for myself not to use any electronic device during a meal.

This helped me stay stress-free, focused on what I eat, and be more mindful of my eating habits. It also gave me time to talk and share moments with family or friends while having meals.


An Underrated Good Habit Of Muting All Notifications

The blue screen of our smartphones is like a magnet, which attracts us no matter what we are doing. As a result, the productivity rate goes down because we get distracted very easily.

Muting all the notifications from social media and other applications can help save time and energy to stay focused on what matters the most.

So take a break from the virtual world and start living in the moment!



Stack a 60-Second Workout With a Bathroom Break

The 60-second workout rule is something I started practicing a few months ago. Every time I visit the restroom, I do some form of physical activity for at least sixty seconds.

These activities can range from simple stretches and lunges to squats and jumping jacks. This habit has helped me stay active throughout the day as it adds up to 10 minutes of daily exercise.

These micro steps create a lasting change in your life. Every change is an investment for a better future.


Apply Sunscreen Before Heading Out

No matter what the weather is like applying sunscreen should be a must before stepping out. This habit not only protects your skin from sunburn and wrinkles but also prevents skin cancer in the long run.

Plus, it helps keep your skin looking young and fresh.


Final Words

Micro habits may seem insignificant at first, but they create a snowball effect that can cause life-changing transformations.

It’s never too late to make tiny changes that will benefit your well-being and have a lasting impact on your life. Start with any of the micro habits mentioned above, or create your own micro habits that will help you reach your goals faster.