Mini Habits/Goals

I have been struggling with consistently meeting by daily exercise and calorie goals.

I read about mini habits and decided to give it a go. The idea is that you don't wait for motivation to trigger you to achieve big goals because finding the motivation is rare. You create a mini goal that is so easy to achieve so that your willpower can easily get you started.

Basically you set out up to 4 mini goals that you must consistently achieve everyday - without fail. You make the goal very, very easy so that even on your worst day you can still achieve the goals.

The theory is that by making the goal easy, it's harder to make an excuse. Also once you get started, you often feel like you can do a bit more. But the key is - if you only achieve your minimum goal, you must be satisfied and not beat yourself up because you haven't exceeded your goal. The aim is daily consistency to create a reliable mini habit.

My mini goals are: eat one stick of celery per day, exercise for at least 5 minutes per day, eat no more than 2 pieces of bread per day. But my most beneficial mini goal is if I want something to eat outside meals, I sit down, start a timer and wait for 5 minutes. During the 5 minutes I look at calorie allowance to see what impact it will have and think about whether I actually want the snack. At the end of the 5 minutes, if I still want the snack, I still have it but at least I acknowledge the impact it is having to my calorie intake.

I also keep a chart with my 4 mini goals so I get visual feedback of an unbroken chain showing my consistency.

What do you think? Have you tried something similar? Do you have any mini goals/habits you want to share?


  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 878 Member
    This isn't so much a theory as a very well established basis of behavioural psychology.

    Habits are easier to form if done incrementally with easily achievable steps.

    I overhauled my entire lifestyle this way. When I started building my exercise goal, I didn't even start with 5 minutes, I just started with putting on my gym clothes.

    If a healthy habit is hard for you to maintain, then just keep breaking it down into its component parts until it is manageable, then do that totally manageable thing until it becomes a self-sustaining habit, and then take on the next step.
  • MichelleMcKeeRN
    MichelleMcKeeRN Posts: 427 Member
    I think small goals are the way to go. Right now, I feel pretty established with my macros. My daily goal right now is a minimum of a 250 calorie deficit per day. I am feeling like I might increase the deficit but it has been working
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,312 Member
    I think it sounds really smart, and like a good plan. I'm not that structured myself, but philosophically on that same wavelength. Motivation and discipline aren't my strongest skills, but I can still accomplish some good-sized goals with time, patience, and persistence. It's the old "How to eat an elephant? One bite at the time." thing.

    Losing weight, improving fitness, and getting better nutrition are not projects with an end date, they're lifelong endeavors (ideally). That puts a premium on finding achievable habits - which is what your approach is doing. Good show!

    P.S. I don't eat elephants, being vegetarian. 😉😆
  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,493 Member
    I've tried something similar, and found it helpful.

    The approach that works for you is the one that works :-)