It all started with your habits. No matter what you want to achieve and accomplish in life, it all started with what you do, day-in and day-out. Success is not the result of a one-time action, but rather, the result of consistent actions. That means if you want to be successful and live your dreams, start by adopting the right, tiny habits that will get you the results you want.
And this is exactly what we’re going to talk about in this article. Tiny habits.
Change is difficult, but what if you can initiate change that is small and insignificant, but over the long-term, gives you tremendous results?
Take saving as an example. It may be difficult to save $1,000 if you don’t have much left at the end of the month. But what if you make it a habit to save just $1 a day? Don’t you think it is easier to save $1 than to save $1,000?
Let me tell you this, it doesn’t really matter how much you save. The amount doesn’t matter. What matters most is your habit.
If you can’t save $1 when you have $10, don’t expect you will save $1,000 when you have $10,000. It is the habit that counts.
It is the same in every area of your life. You need to learn to donate $1 before you are willing to donate $1,000.
You must train yourself to write a 1,000 words article before you can build the habit to write up a book.
You must develop the habit of training consistently before you can become an Olympic champion.
It all started small, with tiny habits, my friend.
So if you want to be successful and achieve amazing results in life, you must start by adopting small, tiny habits that will completely transform your life after a year or two.
The key is consistency.
Dale Carnegie, the best-selling author started his book idea by printed the principles on a card. He then made it bigger by printed the principles on a leaflet, then booklets, and then articles, detailed articles, and so on.
And after 15 years of hard work, he came up with his groundbreaking book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
It all started small, and snowball into something bigger. The same goes for the success you desire in life – it started small.
But what makes these small changes that can lead to tremendous results is consistency.
You must do it each day and each week. When you build up the consistency, you develop tiny habits that will lead you to success.
Here are 13 small habits that can hugely transform your life within a year. Check them out and adopt them when possible:
1. Read, read, and read some more
I bet by now you should have known that one of the key success habits of highly successful people is reading. Yes, successful people read a lot. They read books, magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc., to improve their knowledge and keep themselves up to date.
What about you? When was your last time you read a book?
I love how Robin Sharma puts it:
“Ordinary people have big TVs. Extraordinary people have big libraries.”
According to CNBC, Warren Buffett starts his every morning by reading the newspaper to keep himself updated with the current affairs. And Buffett also spends as much as 80% of his day reading.
The more you read, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the better you can be. When your knowledge and skills level improved, you can achieve greater success in whatever you do in life.
So make it your habit to read every day. Of course, you don’t have to be like Buffett and spend hours into reading, just start with 30 minutes or an hour a day.
2. Keep a daily journal and write every day
Most people have the idea that journaling is about writing down the events of your life, which is really not necessarily the case. There is so much more you can do with your journals.
For instance, you can write down your goals, what you have done yesterday, what you want to accomplish in the future, record your wins and losses, write down things that you’re grateful for, and more.
This is what Dr. Stacia Pierce, author, and life coach says about keeping a daily journal in this article:
“For years I’ve kept a journal to chronicle my life, plan for my dreams and strategize my goals. It is one of the important success habits that I do daily. Journaling empowers me to take my ideas and turn them into reality. What’s written is real. Once the words and images hit the paper, you have now crystallized a thought or idea. You can use the power of pen and paper to strategize and create anything you want. Journaling is one of the best methods of self-care therapy. When you’re journaling consistently, you tend to ask questions about life, your direction, and your business.”
What I like about journaling is writing down my goals and reminding myself of my wins and my future targets.
Most people keep their goals in their head. They don’t bother about writing them down. Even if they did, they only did it once. This is why most people fail to achieve their goals.
Hence, stop being like most people. Instead, choose to learn from the successful.
Make it your tiny habit to write each day. Keep your journal and write down whatever you want to write about.
3. Work out and exercise for stronger physical and mental health
One of the best books I have read, What Most Successful People Before Breakfast, the author, Laura Vanderkam interviewed many extraordinary people and she discovered that most of them exercise before they start their day.
We all know the benefits of exercise and we all know that we need to exercise regularly. The problem is that we just don’t do it.
From today on, stop procrastinating and stop making any more excuses.
Schedule exercise time to your calendar and block out time to work out. Exercise improves your energy, focus, and ability to overcome setbacks, which are great qualities of a successful person.
If you want to be successful, make time to exercise. Besides making you healthy, exercise can develop stronger mental health that increases your chances of success.
And remember, you don’t need to spend 2 hours to exercise daily. Practice what works for you.
You can exercise for just 15 minutes each day or work out an hour 3 times a week. Find out what works for you and make it your habit.
4. Create time for serenity and unplugged from technology
In today’s world, the more things to discover, more things to do, and more things to take our attention away and distract us from serenity.
We’re constantly plugged in. When we’re free, we check Facebook and Instagram. Even when we’re not free and when we’re supposed to get things done, we’re constantly distracted by our phones and computers.
Being in serenity, calm, and moment of peace is important according to plenty of studies and research.
And this article from Bustle listed down 5 scientifically proven benefits one can get from unplugging and being in serenity:
- Your overall quality of life may improve
- Unplugging after work helps you recharge
- You may sleep better
- It might make it easier to get over tough times
- It can improve your interpersonal communications
Thus, make time to unplug and be in serenity. Here are some suggestions on how you can do so:
- Step away – get disconnected from your routine and work, even if it is only for a little while.
- Get fresh air – take a walk in a park or garden and breath in some fresh air.
- Practice mindfulness – stop everything you’re doing and take deep breathes. Be conscious of your thoughts.
- Smile – Smile more and take time to see the brighter side can elevate your life.
- Make a gratitude list – write down all the things that you’re grateful for. It makes you feel better.
5. Spend time with other successful people
Here’s another tiny habit you can adopt that will completely transform your life after a year – spend more time with other successful people.
First, identify the people who are more successful than you are in your industry. Or simply find out the ‘gurus’ or people who you want to learn from.
Next, find ways to spend more time with them. You want to adopt their beliefs and thinking pattern. In other words, you want to replicate their thoughts so that you too, can be successful.
You have heard the famous quote from Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you hang around with most.” Hence, you want to deliberately schedule time with those titans in your industry.
There are many ways how you can spend more time with successful people:
- Make friends with them.
- Buy and read their books.
- Attend their seminars and workshops.
- Make them your mentors and coaches.
- Watch their speeches and presentations on YouTube.
- Follow their work on the internet.
Like reading a book, you can develop this tiny habit by spending 30 minutes a day or an hour or two a week to study and learn from the successful people you want to become.
6. Keep your promise and commitment, even if it is a small one
This is one of the most powerful and life-changing micro-habits you can develop. And if you make this your habit, rest assured, you can accomplish more within a year than you ever imagine.
Keep all the promises you make to others and yourself, and more importantly, keep all the commitment that you have made too.
For example, when you make a commitment to achieve your goal, mean it. Don’t procrastinate and never allow anything else gets in your way. Keep your commitment and take action to achieve your goal.
You see, most people fail to achieve the success they want because they’re simply not committed enough. When you don’t commit to your goals, you will never achieve them.
It is when you truly commit and you keep that commitment, you will do whatever it takes to get the results that you want.
Why do you think extraordinary people are able to produce outstanding success in their lives? Well, because they’re 100% committed. They don’t allow themselves to make lousy excuses. They don’t let others stop them. They know what they want, and they make it happen.
When you are truly committed, you can achieve anything you want in life.
The good news is that our commitment works exactly like our muscles. You can train your commitment by keeping it.
The more you keep your commitment, the more you will have it.
When your alarm goes off at 6 AM, wake up immediately. Don’t hit the snooze button and don’t sleep back on your bed. I know it is more comfortable to choose to continue to sleep and it is difficult to wake up. But make the tough choice. Get up immediately and train your willpower.
It happens across every area of your life. The more you train your willpower, the stronger your commitment muscle.
So, keep your word and the commitment you make.
When you say you’re going to write a 1,000 words article, do it. Even if you have to skip your favorite TV show, keep your commitment and get the article written.
If you have committed to go for a run but it rains, don’t give up. Exercise indoors. Do what you have committed, and you’ll feel so much better after that.
Here’s the thing, you must keep all your commitment, even if it is just a small one. In fact, small commitments are the best training grounds for building up your willpower muscle.
If you can’t keep a small commitment, do you think you can keep a big one? Think about it. It’s the habit that counts.
I suggest you read my previous about to learn more about committing to your goals:
7. Plan ahead
The next tiny habit you should develop is none other than planning ahead. And when it comes to planning, I love how Larry Winget puts it:
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”
If you say that planning is not necessary because things are changing way too fast, you’re right. Things may not fall through according to your plan, but having a plan is still necessary.
One of the most important benefits of planning is to put yourself in a proactive mode. When you know what you need to do, you’ll just do it.
But what if you don’t have a plan? Well, you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. You’ll do whatever that comes to you. You become reactive rather than proactive.
This is why planning is important. Things may not happen according to your plan, but planning is necessary because it makes you much better prepared.
When we talk about planning, we’re talking about planning in the overall. You should plan your life, plan your goals, plan for what you want in life, and plan your year, month, week, and also day.
In other words, plan everything. Sometimes you should be precise, and sometimes you can be a little vague. But when it comes to your goals, be as precise as possible.
Before you start planning for your days, weeks, and months, check out these action plan templates from one of my articles.
8. Challenge yourself and do something new
How often do you challenge yourself and do something new? Most people don’t, and that is why they are not improving.
One of the best ways to learn and improve quickly is by constantly challenging yourself. While it is true that you’re trying to build tiny habits that help, you also want to challenge yourself to do something different from time to time.
When you challenge yourself to do something new, like eating in a new restaurant or learning a new skill, you’re basically doing the hard stuff.
First, you increase your self-belief and boost your self-confidence when you challenge yourself. Second, you get to discover more about yourself. Not just that, you also learn the new thing and become better at doing it.
This is why challenging yourself is important.
Unsuccessful people see challenges as setbacks and problems, while successful people take on the challenges and overcome them.
Here’s a good article from Huffington Post you should read:
9. Watch what you eat
There is no point to become financially free but don’t have the health and energy to enjoy it. I’m someone who believes in total success – success in every area of life.
Therefore, you must watch what you put into your mouth. Stop eating junk food and eat more vegetables and fruits.
Your energy level and your overall health are directly affected by the foods you eat. Try to eat sugary foods at lunch and you will feel sleepy after that. What you eat will influence your energy, your productivity, and ultimately, your life.
While I’m not an expert in this, I can point you in the right direction. So what food should you eat? Here’s a good list from Healthline.com:
Treat your body as a temple. Don’t overeat. And stop taking that much junk food. The healthier you are, the more energy and focused you will have.
10. Build quality relationships with people you loved
How much time do you spend with the people you loved each day? Regardless of whether you’re single, a father, or a grandfather, you need to spend time building quality relationships with the ones you loved.
There is no point to succeed alone. Real success is when there are people who share and celebrate your success together.
There is a saying, “Success starts at home”, which also means that if you can’t manage your family relationship, you can’t handle success.
When you build a strong and intimate relationship with people who care about, they inspire you to achieve more. They become your supporter and they want you to succeed. And so you can put in 100% attention into building the business or career or pursuing the dreams you desire.
On the other hand, when your relationship with your family or lover isn’t helping, you can’t concentrate at your work.
If you want to do something great and something impactful, start with the people you loved. Success starts at home, remember?
Therefore, make it your habit and spend quality time to nurture your relationships with the ones you care about.
11. Focus on productivity
Another super powerful tiny habit you must build to produce amazing results in life is to focus on productivity. You must prioritize your work and your tasks.
You don’t want to just do whatever that comes to you, you want to use your time to work on things that truly matter to you.
You see, we all have 24 hours a day. Yet, some people can create extreme wealth and success from these hours. But most choose to waste their time on things that are not important.
If you want to see real results, you must schedule your most important task and get it done. Learn to prioritize your work and not just focusing on being busy.
Being busy and being productive are two different things.
So, ask yourself constantly, “Is this the most result-yielding activity I should be doing?” If it is not, then find out the activity that gives you the most result and do it.
Focus on productivity, not on being busy.
Imagine what you can accomplish within a year or two if every day, you focus and act on the most important and most result-yielding tasks.
I’m a believer in productivity. I believe in working smart first and then on working hard. Don’t get me wrong, work hard is important, but you have to make sure you’re working hard on the right thing.
Hence, develop this tiny habit of being productive. Here’s what you need to do – every time when you’re planning, prioritize your action steps. Do what is most important first.
And if you want to learn the secret to ultimate productivity, I recommend you read this book from Michael Hyatt called Free To Focus. I have just finished reading this book, it gives me great insight into getting important things done.
12. Program yourself to think positively each day
If you want to see positive changes in your life after a year, you need to constantly program your mind with positive thoughts.
It is hard to control the thoughts that go into your mind, so what you need to do is to constantly feed your mind with positive things.
One great way to do so is to read good books. Besides that, you can also practice visualization and affirmations to program positive thoughts into your mind.
The key is to consciously do so. You don’t want to wait for good things to happen only to feel positive. You want to do it on purpose and constantly program your mind with positive thoughts.
To make this your daily tiny habit, here are a couple of suggestions:
- Start your day with positive affirmations.
- Review your goals and visualize the success you want each morning.
- Focus on the good things, no matter how small they are.
- Turn your failures into feedback and lessons.
- Listen to uplifting and inspirational audio.
- Watch motivational videos.
- Maintain a good posture and sit straight up.
There are many things you can do to feel good and change your thinking positive. RNCentral.com has come up with a list of 100 positive thinking exercises that will make you happier and healthier. Check it out.
13. Stop making excuses and start doing
Finally, make it your habit to stop making excuses and start executing. You see, no matter what you have learned, you must apply.
Stop making the excuses by telling yourself that you don’t have the time or things will not work out for you. Just do it.
Most people fail to unleash their inner potential because they always make lousy excuses and they don’t take action.
After they have read a book or learn something new, they tell themselves that it will never work. And hence, they don’t bother to try it out. If this is explaining you, you need to put a stop to it.
Every time when you find yourself making lousy excuses, shout “Cancel” out loud. Make it your habit to do so.
You want to disrupt the negative thinking pattern in your head and change it to the positive. If you constantly making excuses, you will eventually buy into them and never make a real, positive change in your life.
So stop making excuses and start taking action on your goals, plans, and the knowledge you have gained.
You’ve come a long way, congratulations.
Now, you’ve just learned the 13 tiny habits that will completely change your life for the better in a year or two.
What you need to do now is to decide on which small habits you want to develop and then stick to them over the long term:
- Read books and useful materials
- Keep a daily journal and write every day
- Exercise daily
- Make time for serenity
- Network and surround yourself with successful people
- Keep your promise and commitment
- Plan ahead
- Challenge yourself and do something new
- Be mindful of what you eat
- Build quality relationships with people you love
- Focus being productive, not being busy
- Think positive deliberately
- Stop making excuses
There you go. If you want to see positive changes in your life a year from now, you need to start now and not a year later. It is what you do now that will make a difference in the future of your life.
So, which tiny habits you think are the most powerful and how are you going to implement them?