Mini Habits

The Five Big Ideas

  1. “Doing a little bit is infinitely bigger and better than doing nothing (mathematically and practically speaking)”.
  2. “Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day”.
  3. “We’re quick to blame ourselves for lack of progress, but slow to blame our strategies”.
  4. “When you invest in yourself in key areas like fitness and learning, you tend to do it in other areas too”.
  5. “When you add good habits into your life, it illuminates another possible path, restores your confidence, and gives you hope”.

Mini Habits Summary

  • “Doing a little bit is infinitely bigger and better than doing nothing (mathematically and practically speaking)”.
  • “Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day”.
  • “We’re quick to blame ourselves for lack of progress but slow to blame our strategies”.
  • “Every great accomplishment rests on the foundation of what came before it; when you trace it back, you’ll see one small step that started it all”.
  • “In False Faces, you consider the opposite of what you’re currently thinking, and see what creative ideas emerge from that”.
  • “[False Faces] generates creative ideas by forcing your mind to zoom out and see the spectrum of possibilities”.
  • “When you invest in yourself in key areas like fitness and learning, you tend to do it in other areas too”.
  • “When you add good habits into your life, it illuminates another possible path, restores your confidence, and gives you hope”.
  • “A mini habit is basically a much smaller version of a new habit you want to form”.
  • “The foundation of the Mini Habits system is in ‘stupid small’ steps”.
  • “To summarize, a mini habit is a VERY small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day”.
  • “The only way to create habits is to teach the rest of your brain to like what the prefrontal cortex wants”.
  • “Motivation is unreliable because it’s based on how you feel, and we’ve known for centuries that human feelings are fluid and unpredictable”.
  • “As a behavior begins its transition into habit you will become less emotional about it. It will even begin to seem boring and mundane”.
  • “The five biggest factors found to cause ego depletion were effort perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels”.
  • “The Mini Habits strategy is forcing yourself to take 1-4 ‘stupid small’ strategic actions every day. These actions are too small to fail and too small to skip for special occasions”.
  • “Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to influence an outcome”.
  • “Make a quick list of habits you’d like to have at some point”.
  • “My rule of thumb is to minify my desired habit until it sounds stupid. When something sounds ‘stupid small’, your brain sees it as non-threatening”.
  • “Once you’ve listed your habits, identify why you want them. But don’t stop there. Ask why again. Continue to ask why until it becomes circular and repetitive, which means that you’ve found the core”.
  • “The two common habit cues are time-based and activity-based”.
  • “Small steps get us started and allow us to build momentum towards a meaningful goal, but it works the other way too. If you allow yourself small concessions, soon enough you’ll find them growing against your will”.
  • “Have you noticed that bad habits have multiple cues, while everyone suggests that a good habit should have one cue?”
  • “Another problem with specific cues is their additional load on your willpower”.
  • “Mini habits are too small to fail, even without a cue”.
  • “Writing something down instantly elevates it above all of your other thoughts”.

8 Small Steps to Big Change

  1. Step 1: Choose Your Mini Habits & Habit Plan
  2. Step 2: Use The Why Drill On Each Mini Habit
  3. Step 3: Define Your Habit Cues
  4. Step 4: Create Your Reward Plan
  5. Step 5: Write Everything Down
  6. Step 6: Think Small
  7. Step 7: Meet Your Schedule & Drop High Expectations
  8. Step 8: Watch For Signs Of Habit, But Be Careful Not to Jump the Gun

5 Signs That a Behavior Is a Habit

  1. No resistance. It feels easier to do the behavior than not to do it. Identity: you now identify with the behavior and would feel completely confident saying, “I read books” or “I’m a writer.”
  2. Mindless action. You’ll engage in the behavior without making an executive decision. You won’t think, Ok, I’ve decided to go to the gym. You’ll just gather your things and go because it’s Tuesday, or because it feels like it’s time.
  3. You don’t worry about it. Starting out, you might worry about missing a day or quitting early, but when a behavior is habit, you know that you’ll be doing it unless there’s an emergency.
  4. Normalization. Habits are non-emotional. You’re not going to be excited that “you’re really doing it!” once it is habit. When a behavior makes the transition to normalcy, it’s habit.
  5. It’s boring. Good habits are not exciting; they’re just good for you. You’ll be more excited about life because of your habits, but don’t expect it with the behavior itself.

8 Mini Habit Rules

  1. Never, Ever Cheat
  2. Be Happy With All Progress
  3. Reward Yourself Often, Especially After a Mini Habit
  4. Stay Level-headed
  5. If You Feel Strong Resistance, Back Off & Go Smaller
  6. Remind Yourself How Easy This Is
  7. Never Think A Step Is Too Small
  8. Put Extra Energy and Ambition Toward Bonus Reps, Not A Bigger Requirement

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