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Mini Habits

Dr. Susan Autry, Academic Supervisor

This summer, all the faculty at Oakwood School read the book “Mini Habits” by Stephen Guise.  Mr. Guise has developed the idea of using mini habits versus big goals to change our behaviors and increase healthy, positive habits.

He noted that many people set big goals for themselves (such as New Year’s Resolutions to exercise every day) and then have difficulty sustaining the effort. They can easily find excuses to not exercise –too tired, not enough time to do a full workout, etc.) 

Mr. Guise found that if he set a smaller goal, or mini   habit each day, he was more successful. One of his mini habits was to do one push-up per day.  He discovered that he could “trick” his brain into doing the one push-up and, as long as he was on the floor, he might as well do another one, and another one, etc. 

We find this concept intriguing. We are often helping our students set goals for themselves –what do they want to be able to do by the end of the year? We know this goal needs to be divided up into steps –using mini habits can help us do that! 

Some of the classes decided to do a whole class mini habit.  In other classes, students wrote mini habits in their journals and are tracking their progress. Focusing on these “too small to fail” habits, helps us grow beneficial behaviors that the brain does automatically. When a habit becomes ingrained, a person doesn’t need willpower!

If you are interested in learning more, check out Stephen Guise’s website,

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