Mini habits

A mini habit is a very small positive behaviour that you force yourself to do every day. The phrase was coined in popular culture by Stephen Guise in 2013 in his bestselling book with the subheading “smaller habits, bigger results” (1).

The application is in areas such as learning a new skill or setting goals – for example ‘lifestyle changes’ or increasing efficiency/ productivity at work. These attempts often end in failure as the goal becomes too daunting – it requires “you to fight against your subconscious brain (a fight not easily won)” (1).

When related to Dentistry and in particular learning or implementing communication skills the concept is a very good fit. These skills can seem abstract and often don’t flow in a linear pathway – practicing effective listening is not the same stepwise process as the prosthetic phase of a dental implant.

In order to show the application to communication skills in Dentistry I will post a series of mini habits that I find helpful – some obvious, some less so – the cumulative effect of all these ‘baby-steps’ helps me to be an effective provider of patient-centred Dental care.

I would also really value any thoughts or ideas you have in the comments section.

“A terrace nine storeys high

Rises from hodfuls of earth;

A journey of a thousand miles

Starts with a single step.” (2)



  1. Guise, S. Mini habits: Smaller habits, Bigger results. 2013
  2. Lao Tzu (translated by DC Lau). Tao Te Ching. Penguin. 1963




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