Our small daily habits add up to our success or failure in areas of life. Understanding and mastering our habits (the big ones and the small ones) is a key secret of success.

There are truths I’ve come to realize about habits, whether they are considered good or bad habits, and whether people are trying to start new habits or shed undesirable ones.

If you’re looking to make change in your life, these six truths are sure to help.

1. Baby Steps Add Up

When trying to change a habit, the cold turkey approach is most often a recipe for frustration. I find that little itty bitty incremental shifts in behaviors is usually a far better way to ensure long-term change.

For example, if you want to incorporate more exercise into your life, you don’t need to say, “I’m going to join a gym and go for an hour every morning before work.” Instead start easily, such as resolving to walk around the block every evening and doing 5 sit-ups. Baby steps!


Once you start changing a habit with baby steps, you can build on that success. That walk around the block becomes too short, so you extend it to the next block. You find you don’t stop at 5 sit-ups, you keep going and add a couple more.

It’s all about momentum; an object in motion tends to stay in motion, both literally and figuratively. Once change is kicked into gear, more change happens!

3. Avoiding Triggers is Critical

Actions often happen as reactions to an event, situation, or other stimuli; habits are often prompted by an outside trigger. Recognizing what these triggers are can go a long way towards changing your behavior.

For example, want to stop gossiping? Maybe skip that coffee date that seems to revolve around who’s doing what in the neighborhood.

Want to stop snacking at night while you watch TV? Maybe read a book in a different room instead of turning on that sitcom. (I know, I know, easier said than done!)

4. Be Mindful and Aware

Do you reach for the sugar packets every time you have a latte, without even considering going without? Be aware of your actions and realize that you do have the choice to skip the sugar.

As you go through your day cognizant of what you are doing and the choices you have, you’ll likely be surprised at how much you do on a daily basis goes unnoticed because it’s second nature.

5. Believe in Your Calling

Know that as you are living out your calling, through the power of Jesus, you are capable of achieving whatever it is you are called to do. You can conquer those bad habits, and you can adopt those good ones. But the entire house of cards can fall down if you don’t start with a solid foundation of confidence in your God-given ability to do so.

6. Embrace (little) Failures

What? Failure? Include it? Yes. If you aren’t failing now and again, then you aren’t challenging yourself. The person who never risks anything obviously isn’t going to fail, because they are playing it safe. Failure is just a stepping stone on the way to success!

Real change can’t happen if you don’t push yourself, and pushing yourself means potential failure on occasion. Fight the urge to be a perfectionist and allow the road to be a little bumpy on the way to your destination.


There you go. Six truths about the power of habits in your life that help you find success. Which truth about habits resonated with you? Let me know in the comments.

And if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends on Facebook!

Alli Worthington

Alli Worthington is the author of Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy, speaker, blogger, and the Executive Director of Propel Women. Alli has helped individuals, small business owners and Fortune 500 companies be more successful. She lives outside Nashville with her husband, Mark, and their five sons. You can connect with Alli at


Join the discussion

Susan Gruener June 12, 2017 at 2:39pm

Some great advice here! I want to be more Mindful and Aware of what I am doing at all times, especially when I eat. I don't really overeat, but when I am having breakfast or lunch, I want to be 'in the moment' and not distracted doing this and that, and then wonder where my food just went... I think being Mindful and Aware at all times can actually help us hear the Lord's voice more clearly as well.
Thanks for this!

Krystle P. June 12, 2017 at 4:48am

Great article Ally! Two of the truths especially resonated with me. I really have to remember to take baby steps. Lately I've been frustrated due to lack of progress and I now realized that taking baby steps is more effective. Having confidence in my calling is the second truth that I can relate to. Confidence in God is key to life. Thank you for sharing your truths

Chris June 11, 2017 at 6:28am

Thanks for the point about failure. Unfortunately most of our failures affect someone else which makes a ripple effect. But we need to learn to trust them to Jesus too. I often have wished I had a magic wand to fix everyone's stuff. But that's Jesus!

Cynthia June 11, 2017 at 5:10am

Alli, thanks so much for sharing this article. There are two things you mentioned that resonate with me; the first is taking little steps to changing habits. More than often, I have tried to make changes doing it the "cold turkey" way. When it crumbled...I tucked it away and didn't want to think about trying again. Being reminded that I can do it in steps encourages me, knowing I can begin again and succeed with this approach. The second is your reminder that as we do the will of God, we are doing it through the power of Jesus...not alone, not on our own and we can't help but win with Jesus on our side! No need to fear in this regard either! Very encouraging words! Thank you again!

Beira June 11, 2017 at 1:47am

Great insights, Alli! The baby steps seem like such an obvious truth, but the overachiever in me always wants to go full steam ahead; yet, it's never a sustainable pace in the long run. Little by little. Thanks for the reminder 😊

Becky mundie June 11, 2017 at 12:38am

Very encouraging advice. Change is hard,and it's good to remember that baby steps are important. Thanks for your wisdom😊

Vickie June 9, 2017 at 1:47pm

Wow! So very helpful! Thank you!