Question: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer: One. But the lightbulb must want to change.

You’ve probably heard that riddle before. But even though it may make you smile it does get down to the heart of the matter of changing your life. To change your life, you must want it.

Our habits drive our lives. They make things easier because we don’t have to think about them. We just do them.

We brush our teeth twice a day. We have that morning cup of coffee to get us going. We take a shower daily.

Habits are powerful. We don’t have to make decisions about many of the things we do daily. They are simple habits.

Have you ever tried to change a habit and replace it with a new one that serves you better? I know I have. But most of the time, I failed. I tried to change too much all at once. Or I tried to change too many things.

When I tried to count calories by writing down everything I ate, I failed. When I tried to cut out all sugar in my diet, I failed. When I tried to exercise 30 minutes every day, I failed.

So, what did I do? I quit trying.

But what if I changed one tiny thing consistently? How might that affect my life?

Check out this short video about what I did.

(Since I created this video, I moved the “My One Thing Daily Habit Tracker” to my Etsy shop. So, click on the links at the end of this post to access your FREE habit tracker!)

And you know what? If you start doing one thing differently until it becomes a habit, it changes your perspective about things. I found that what I drank at meals or snack time wasn’t that important. I could focus more on enjoying the food I ate. I also found that I started feeling better by drinking water instead of Pepsi. And then, I started feeling better about myself because I was successful at doing something to improve my health.

It was a tiny microhabit. But it had powerful results.

So why is it better to make tiny, incremental change in your life instead of revamping your entire life at once? Because microhabits are simply doable

They are easier to start.

Often, the reason we have such a hard time making changes in our lives is that we just don’t know where to begin. The whole process seems so daunting and overwhelming. With microhabits, the difficulty is removed. When you’re only changing one very small thing, it barely feels like a change at all. In fact, it can be kind of fun trying out an incremental change just to see what kind of result you get.

They are easier to sustain.

While big changes tend to get real old really fast (like changing from a diet full of processed foods to something Keto or Paleo), micro-changes (like adding a vegetable to every meal) never feel hard at all. The simplicity of incremental change carries momentum all on its own.

They are fairly painless.

Big changes are sometimes so sweeping that they can actually hurt. Imagine throwing out every piece of unhealthy food in your kitchen. Then imagine standing there staring into the abyss of an empty refrigerator trying to figure out what to eat. You have nothing left that you actually liked to eat!

The nice thing about microhabits is that the change is incremental. So, if you’re working to change your diet, you may be only changing one food – like giving up soda – while still enjoying the things you love.

And ultimately, you may find it much easier to start adding other healthy microhabits in your life.

They use less energy.

Those great big changes are only going to wear you out. It’s like going for a full-fledged workout when you typically rarely leave the couch. Your body certainly isn’t ready for that kind of work, and the whole process (finding workout clothes and equipment, going to the gym, knowing what machine to use and how long, and for how many reps) can be pretty daunting.

Microhabits encourage you to take things slow, leaving you with more energy for the rest of your day. So instead of worrying about all that time at the gym, maybe you’re just deciding to take the stairs at work or to park further away from the building, so you get that extra walking in. That bypasses all that energy you’d spend going to and from the gym, and still gives you some exercise you wouldn’t normally get.

They keep you motivated.

Great big goals can feel a million miles away and easily leave you discouraged.

Microhabits set smaller goals that are achieved in tiny increments. This means you get to your destination a lot faster, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment. That feeling helps keep you motivated as you continue to work towards change. Creating microhabits is a self-sustaining cycle of change and momentum.

While these might not seem like big achievements, the feeling of having done something special is still perfectly valid and will make you feel good about yourself, and what you’re doing.

Is there something you would like to change in your life? Can you simplify it into a microhabit?

Here is a simple habit tracker I designed that you could download for free! My One Thing Daily Habit Tracker is an undated printable that you could print out to complete or use in digital format and save in a file. You have a choice of three colors – green, pink, or white, and can use it over and over because it is undated.

Go to my Etsy Shop to get your free copy! Just click HERE!

And start your tiny, incremental change toward huge rewards in your life today!

(If the coupon for the habit tracker has expired in this post, contact me for a new code!)

Disclosure: My blog posts sometimes contain affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, which is at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

I’m Vicki Peel, former home economics teacher and educational administrator. If you are not receiving my emails, coupons, and freebies, look for the Subscribe block (below right) and submit your contact information. I will not share your information with anyone, and all the content you will receive as part of our community is free. I may occasionally promote someone else’s paid content, offer a product for your consideration or share an item that I think might be of use to you. However, you are under no obligation to purchase anything – ever. So, sign up now so you won’t miss anything!