3 Tiny Habits to Meet My New Year’s Resolutions

I shared my goals for 2012 with you on Monday, but I make New Year’s resolutions, too—and finally, this year, I feel like I might actually get somewhere with them!

While my goals are about big things I want to achieve, my resolutions are more about habits I want to adopt.  You know, the little things like:

  • Drink more water.
  • Take my vitamins.
  • Put my shoes in the closet promptly.
  • Remove my eye makeup at night.  (Ew, gross.  I know.)

My husband joined a 3 Tiny Habits group back in December.  He picked his 3 tiny habits to work on, and I thought it sounded like such a good idea that I decided to pick some, too.  Now I’ve been working on these habits for nearly a month, and I’m carrying that momentum into the New Year.  Here are my 3 tiny habits:

  1. After my alarm clock goes off, then I will turn on the light.
  2. After I pour myself a cup of coffee, then I will pour myself a glass of water.
  3. After I take off my shoes, then I will put them in the closet.

Do you see the after…then in my 3 habits?  That’s on purpose.  The tiny habits are supposed to be contextual.  You find something that you’re already doing, and you build on it in order to form a new habit.

And do you see how these are tiny things?  They are not hard, but if I follow through on them, I get out of bed on time, take better care of my body, and reduce the clutter in my bedroom–and those are big things for me.

I’m only tackling 3 habits at a time so that I won’t get overwhelmed.  It’s working:  I’ve been doing my 3 tiny habits successfully for a month, and I think I’m nearly ready to tackle 3 more.

What habits do you want to form in 2012?



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  1. brie. says:

    such a great idea! i’ve already requested to join the next ‘habit’ session – thanks for the link 🙂 i’d like to form the habit of putting away the laundry as soon as it’s in the basket and of giving myself more time to get where i need to be!

  2. Katie says:

    Wow. That “after…then…” format makes so much sense. What a good idea! I’ve found that writing down those tiny habits so I can check them off a list every day helps, too. It’s an ongoing process, though. ^_^

  3. Malisa says:

    I don’t know why, but I’ve never thought about associating a new habit with a behavior I already do. No wonder your habits are forming and working! Good for you Anne. I need to think about some things to associate new behaviors with.

  4. Tiny Habits I can do! I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit stick. I’ve owned a WaterPik flosser for about 3 years and I could count on one hand the number of times I’d used it. A few weeks ago, I started using it again and I can’t believe how great my gums are now which reinforces the habit.

    I need to adopt your coffee one though! I need to drink more water for sure. and finish laundry, which is sitting at my feet as I type.

  5. Georgia says:

    Hello and happy new year! Talking about habits, I have discovered a site – http://www.dailyfeats.com – that helps you change little things in your everyday life by checking in and getting rewards ( if you are living in the States,and as I don’ t, I ll have to be happy with the moral reward only)… It works more as a reminder though…
    For me it is about stuff like praying, worshiping and relaxing to be punctual and to clean the fridge once a week ( I am working and relatively newlywed so I need to think about doing such things!!!) It seems practical – let s see if it will work for me through the year…Wish me luck!

    • Anne says:

      Georgia, that sounds great! I just checked it out; I can’t believe they give you actual rewards for following through! (Or at least, they give rewards to U.S. residents–sorry about that!) I hope the moral reward and accountability is good motivation for you–it sounds like it is.

  6. Oh, jeepers. So many habits! I need to clean up the house more—or at all. Maybe a, “After I’m done using something, then I will put it away.” Instead of letting it pile up on the hutch or the end tables or my dresser or the desk or my nightstand or the kitchen table or the counters or…well, you get the picture. 🙂

  7. Your advice sounds a lot like ideas from Switch, the book you recommended for summer reading. I’m trying to use tiny habits for fitness–things like, after I drop something, I will bend at the knees to pick it up.

    I’m also embarking on a self-improvement voyage this year, but I’m focusing on one part of myself at the time. January is for self-care. (I had a baby more than a year ago. It’s way past time to kick the frumpy duds to the curb and feel good about the way I look again!)

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