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Tiny Improvements for big changes

What I've learned from forming new habits...

Hey, that's the name of the show!

Today I want to talk about why my newsletter is called Tiny Improvements. For me, personal growth has come by way of small, incremental changes that have compounded over time.

I've always relied on building intentional personal habits to stay productive. When the pandemic hit in 2020 and we found ourselves in an extended lockdown, something changed.

I found myself instinctually leaning on habits to help me stay grounded and optimistic. I've always found small habits to be helpful, and during the pandemic, I used my routines to gradually build towards big changes in my life. It was a time where there was little consistency in the world to rely on, and I found that my habits were a source of stability.

Since then, these are three habits that have stuck around in my daily routine:

The morning ritual

Every morning, I make myself an espresso, and sit down at my kitchen counter while the sun comes up. I set a timer for 5 minutes, and start writing anything that comes to mind.

I've been using journaling as a form of self-reflection and mental decluttering. By using a simple template in my note-taking app, I jot down any thoughts that cross my mind, no matter how trivial or insignificant they may seem. This daily practice has allowed me to better understand my thought patterns and emotions while setting a clear, focused tone for the day ahead.

I also try to a few minutes each day meditating. I've been using Headspace for this (that's a referral link for 30 days free, btw!), and it has made a world of difference for stress management and mental clarity. I generally do 3 or 5 minute sessions - it's shocking how much difference that little bit of time makes.

A photo of a latte sitting on my countertop
Many of my mornings start with a bit of coffee and a bit of writing.

Language Learning

For the past 1,000 days, I've been using Duolingo to sharpen my Spanish skills and learn Japanese and Mandarin. A thousand days! Do you know what you were doing 1,000 days ago? I had to look it up -- that would be July of 2020.

Doubling down on language learning has proved invaluable as I work on my new business, Craftwork. Many of my new colleagues speak Spanish as their first language, and although I'm far from fluent, it will certainly help to build relationships and trust with my new teammates.

I've also been learning Japanese and Mandarin -- these are languages I'd love to be able to understand, and although it's been a massive challenge to get started, I'm making progress. I'm not sure if I'll ever be fluent, but I'm enjoying the process of learning something new.

My top tip for practicing a second language is to get out of your comfort zone and try to communicate with native speakers whenever possible. I have never had a bad experience with this - people are generally very kind and appreciative, and it's a great way to learn.


Launching my website and Tiny Improvements has given me a platform to showcase my professional work and share my opinions with others. Writing consistently has not only helped me refine my thoughts and ideas but find likeminided people who appreciate my perspective.

Taking small steps has made a big difference

These three habits, though seemingly small, have played a significant role in shaping my career, and creating opportunities that I never would have found otherwise. Your own series of Tiny Improvements will surprise you as they accumulate over time, ultimately leading to profound and lasting changes.

Resources for building habits

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear is the de facto guide to building habits. James has made an incredible career out of building habits for himself.
  • My journaling habit is loosely based on Morning Pages, writing technique created by artist Julia Cameron. I love the idea of writing without judgement or expectation, but I rarely have it in me to bash out 3 pages of notes... and I am definitely not hand-writing mine. Do what works for you!
  • If you use Roam Research for taking notes, feel free to grab my Morning Pages Template. It is hyper-minimal by design to avoid overcomplicating my writing process.

New from me this week

Thanks for reading Tiny Improvements. If you found this helpful, I'd love it if you shared this with a friend. It helps me out a great deal.

Until next time - be excellent to each other!

Mike Bifulco headshot

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    Tiny Improvements for big changes

    Discover how tiny habits like journaling, language learning, & writing helped me stay grounded during the pandemic & achieve personal growth.

    © 2019-2023 Mike Bifulco

    Get in touch to → Sponsor Tiny Improvements

    Disclaimer: 👋🏽 Hi there. I work as a co-founder & CTO at Craftwork. These are my opinions, and not necessarily the views of my employer.
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