Micro-Habits, here’s the lowdown
Were you about to click out of this post? Stop! This article could be beneficial for you. Read it, absorb it and then feel good that you did – and there’s one new micro habit for the day.
If you were already happy reading, please continue! But we wanted to open this Springday blog with the very thing we are going to examine this August. Micro habits – what exactly are they? And how do we introduce them into our lives in a way that is effective and sustainable?
A micro habit is a small but positive behaviour, one that you can complete every day, which over time builds into an established and long lasting healthy habit. It is worth noting that micro habits are not a one size fits all, in fact by subscribing to popular trends we might actually set ourselves up to fail.
‘Research shows high effort behaviour change can be easily derailed after only a few weeks, especially during busy or stressful times (like right now). To effectively build new habits for healthier behaviours, we must start with simple moves. Small changes accumulated overtime can make a huge difference.’
Na LIU (Ph.D) Lecturer – The University of Sydney
The key takeaway being, if something is too ‘effortful’ our success in completing it sharply declines. It has to be attainable and have special significance to the individual. Below are some examples of micro habits that have surfaced in recent years that whilst appearing simple are actually too steep a task for many on a daily basis.
- The 5AM club
- 10,000 steps a day
- A shot of apple cider vinegar every morning
It’s one thing to introduce micro habits into your daily routine but it is another thing entirely to sustain them. And to do this we must make them rewarding. A good quote to repeat mentally when you find yourself in a frustrating situation faced with a tedious task is:
It’s a way of thinking that you can wrap around micro habits to make them that much more effective. Finding gratification in the small or mundane will ensure those actions are repeated, creating a positive cycle of behaviour, which reinforces a sense of fulfilment or wellbeing known as a reward system. Below is a good example from Springday wellbeing partner The Intime Collective:
- Cue – Anchor your new habit to something you already do. For example, if you want to introduce the new habit of flossing every morning, anchor it to brushing your teeth every morning, which you already do.
- Routine – Do the flossing
- Reward – Reward yourself in some way. Perhaps it’s by ticking it off your list, or admiring your pearly whites. This is really important because it makes you feel good and helps to embed that new habit.
The merits of flossing aside, some of the most crucial micro habits are those around money. Spending throughout the pandemic seems easier and more prevalent than ever. With travel, concerts and events removed from the equation there is an itch to scratch in terms of that dopamine hit that those experiences would have otherwise provided.
Many of us have found ourselves more susceptible to online shopping, with the rapid rise in the share price of companies like Afterpay and Zip testament to that fact. But in a landscape where job scarcity and recession are on the rise it is critical we adopt a healthy attitude towards spending.
“Financial anxiety is second only to loneliness, as a driver of mental health issues right now” (Lifeline, April 2020)
This August we’ve partnered with the financial wellbeing experts from Spenditude to take a closer look at how to create and maintain effective money habits. The sooner we build up these key habits the better we will fare as we go through each stage of life.
“Look at your now and also consider your future self (just look ahead a couple of years) and continue to tweak along the way. We all have different dreams and expectations – and the current state of the world has added significant complexity to those plans.”
– Janine Robertson, Paul Gordon, authors of Spenditude
And finally, we will wrap up this months’ blog with this straightforward checklist from Spenditude a reminder that there are already a host of resources at your fingertips to overhaul your financial wellbeing and get on top of spending today.
Take stock of what you have in front of you:
- A tax effective savings plan called super
- Your bank, which can help you track your spending, so you are constantly in control of your money (our no cash society means it all washes through the bank).
- Entitlements via our government are changing regularly. Learn what you are entitled and keep up to date.
- A government website paid for by taxpayers. MoneySmart. It has a great range of calculators you might need to work out stuff – for now, for later.
Springday is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Workplace Wellness Festival, a world first virtual conference bringing together over 100 workplace wellbeing experts.
Want to meet the local people and companies transforming the way we stay healthy, happy and productive at work?
We’ve secured 50 x FREE VIP guest tickets to giveaway to our community – first come, first served.
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