Back to wellbeing

20 life-changing tips every working mum needs to try

By Bj Fogg 2 min read

In order to design successful habits and change your behaviours, you should do three things.

Building habits and creating positive change can be easy—if you have the right approach. A system based on how human psychology really works. A process that makes change easier. Tools that don’t rely on guesswork or faulty principles.

Popular thinking about habit formation and change feeds into our impulse to set unrealistic expectations. We know habits matter; we just need more good habits and fewer bad ones. But here we are, still struggling to change. Still thinking it’s our fault. All my research and hands-on experience tell me that this is exactly the wrong mindset. In order to design successful habits and change your behaviours, you should do three things.

  1. Stop judging yourself.
  2. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviours.
  3. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.

Tiny habits for working mums

While the following habits are sequential, you don't have to do all of them at once. Simply pick and focus on one tiny habit to work on before moving to the next.

  1. After I hear my alarm, I will turn it off immediately (no snooze).
  2. After I put my feet on the floor in the morning, I will say, “It’s going to be a great day!”
  3. After I walk into the kitchen, I will drink a big glass of water.
  4. After I finish drinking, I will get out the lunch boxes.
  5. After I get the eggs cooking, I will get out my vitamins.
  6. After I turn on the shower, I will do three squats (and maybe more).
  7. After I make my bed, I will put clothes into the washer and set a timer.
  8. After my children leave for school, I will get out my to-do list for work.
  9. After I buckle my seat belt, I will press play on my audiobook.
  10. After I pull into the car park at work, I will park in the farthest parking space.
  11. After I sit down at my desk, I will put my phone on airplane mode.
  12. After I sort through my spam folder, I will walk around and quickly greet my teammates.
  13. After I get back to my desk after my morning meeting, I will list my top priority for the day.
  14. After I eat lunch, I will walk around the building at least once.
  15. After I put my computer to sleep at the end of the day, I will tidy my work desk quickly.
  16. After I drive out of the parking lot at work, I will turn toward the gym.
  17. After I walk in the door after work, I will give my children a hug.
  18. After I start the dishwasher, I will tidy up at least one thing on the counter.
  19. After I say good night to my children, I will think of one person I love whom I might call.
  20. After I get in bed, I will open the Scriptures and read at least one verse.

Edited extract from Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, published by Virgin Books on 7 January 2020, RRP $32.99

BJ Fogg is the founder and director of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford. In addition to his research, BJ teaches Boot Camps in Behaviour Design for industry innovators and also leads the Tiny Habits Academy helping people around the world.