This one “tiny habit” changed my life forever.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when trying to cultivate meaningful habits. But once you understand the formula, it can change every aspect of your life. I realize that might seem idealistic, but I am speaking from personal experience.

I’ve spent enough time pursuing “quick fixes” and “productivity hacks” to know that real progress comes from consistently following correct principles.

A small realization can make a big difference

I’ve never been able to type very well. Even when I got a support job at a tech company I would pluck away using my first three fingers while looking periodically at the keyboard. On average, I could manage 30-40 wpm with a ton of effort and focus.

For some reason, taking the time to learn to type seemed too big a task. Especially since I didn’t learn how to do it earlier in life. Nevertheless, I always felt that I needed to learn to type correctly.

On a whim, I decided to practice typing just 10 minutes a day. A super small task that I would do first thing each morning. I realized that small, consistent effort would be better than no effort at all.

I began taking lessons on Most typing websites seem to be geared toward young children and teens, which seemed to only add to my insecurity. But I was determined to earn my place in the world of touch typing.

Cultivating tiny habits

It was difficult to slow down and not look at my fingers, I got frustrated easily, and on more than one occasion I thought about giving up. But, after 30 days, I could type 52 wpm with 97% accuracy. The growth from that point forward was small but consistent.

After another 30 days of typing, I hit 61 wpm with 97% accuracy. I was ecstatic! I was shocked by the amount of progress I saw in a short 60 days.

I told myself, “Self, if you can learn to type in 60 days, you can accomplish any goal.” So, I decided I wanted to be better at flossing. But this time I made a goal so incredibly small, it made me laugh. I took B.J. Fog’s advice (author of “Tiny Habits”(AFFILIATE LINK) and PhD at Stanford) and made a goal to floss one tooth after brushing my teeth at night. His model for creating habits looks like this:


“Behavior (B) happens when Motivation (M), Ability (A), and a Prompt (P) come together at the same moment.”

Using this model, I can take the behavior (flossing) and create a prompt that will remind me of my tiny habit (floss one tooth after I put my toothbrush away).

Assuming I have both the ability and the motivation, I can form any habit. Here is a list of some of my goals and prompts: Open after I turn on my computer in the morning Floss one tooth after I put my toothbrush away at night Listen to 60 seconds of instructional audio after I start my truck


When you assign a prompt to a behavior it becomes so much easier to create a habit. If you do this enough, you’ll have created hundreds of tiny habits that will change your life forever.

Remember: (B)ehavior = (M)otivation (A)bility (P)rompt

In order to create any behavior, good or bad, you need the motivation to do, the ability to act, and a prompt to tie the new action to an existing one.

Additionally, each habit you create will foster the confidence and motivation to do hard things. The more you do hard things, the more your self-discipline is strengthened and increased.

We may be small and simple, but by consistently following correct principles, we can make great things happen.

What tiny habit will be the one that changes your life forever?

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