One baby step at a time creates permanent, better habits


The bigger a task seems, the less likely we are to do it.


It’s just too much effort, isn’t it?

My experience is, if you really want to form better habits, you need to start really small. In fact, you need to start with baby steps.

In a lot of ways, we are our habits. Research even shows us that close to half our activities are habitual.

The smaller your habit is, the easier it is to establish. I get that change can be tough. It’s hard work. But, does it have to be?

If you’re anything like me, there’s plenty you’ve thought about doing over the years. Whether it’s changing careers, learning to play an instrument, or running a marathon. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? But for some reason, you’ve had trouble getting started?

My challenge has been taking the first step.

Let’s take marathon running as an example. I feel that if you’ve never really been a runner, this is going to seem like an incredibly daunting challenge if you have minimal experience as a runner. So, where do you start?

The key is to commit to taking baby steps every day towards that bigger goal.

For instance, your first baby step towards a marathon could be spending 5 minutes every day on the treadmill. Once you’ve got that habit down, you may expand to 10 minutes, and so on.

Gearing Up for Your First Baby Step

Everything meaningful, I’ve found, starts with that very first baby step. It usually involves noticing what’s going on with yourself right now.

So, think about that bigger goal. Now, become mindful and notice:
  • How you hold yourself
  • What, how, and when you eat
  • Your thoughts right now
  • How you spend your time today
  • How much tension you’re feeling in different parts of your body at this very moment
  • Your emotions right now
Now, take it a little further. Think about that goal.

Think about what your life will be like on a daily basis when you achieve that goal.

  • What time will you start getting up?
  • What are you going to eat for breakfast?
  • Who will be around you?
  • What will you do on a daily basis?
  • What kinds of activities will you do?
  • How will you respond to different people in your daily life?
Taking Your First Baby Step

The above points center on practicing mindfulness. It’s about focusing on the now to gear you up for those baby steps.

Now, think about that one small step you can take right now.

What one thing could you easily do toward your goal?

A few points to consider may be:
  • Sign up for a workout class
  • Take a walk in your lunch break
  • Clear out junk food from the pantry
  • Sign up for a new language class
  • Take a second to think before you respond to someone in the heat of the moment
  • Google something you’ve always wanted to learn
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Read the first chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to start
You Have Support

Just as a new toddler needs a hand to take those first few baby steps.

Maybe down a list of several baby steps you can take later today, tomorrow, and perhaps for the next few days just to get you started on your destination toward better habits?

Stay mindful in each moment.

Notice how you feel when you take each step. Notice how your life is changing for the good.

Just like babies taking their first steps, we all need a little help now and then. Just like a baby will fall at first, so might you. Get up and keep trying until you have conquered one step at a time.

I’ve been there. But, let me tell you this; the toughest and most important step is deciding to take your very first step towards a better habit or goal.

Don’t feel defeated if you deviate from your goal. Sometimes a diversion may just lead you to a more exciting experience or habit. Plans change. We need to be flexible. We need to be open to new adventures.

Now, go and take that first baby step.


“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.”

-Lewis Howes




Keep up with my baby steps at


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