Some things I learned from the book “Mini Habits” by Stephen Guise.
Positive Habits multiply our success and the results we have. The thing is that if you’ve ever tried to change an existing habit or even have tried to create a new one, you will absolutely understand how hard it can be.
We’re quick to blame ourselves for a lack of progress, but slow to blame our strategies.Stephen Guise
We usually fail, not because of intention but, because of bad strategies.
Big intentions are worthless if they don’t bring results.
Mini Habits, according to the author, were discovered by chance. He had been struggling to do his 30 minute workouts, so he decided to make a habit of doing 1 push-up a day. As silly as that sounds, it helped him to gradually build up his physical and mental strength while cultivating the habit of regular exercise. It reminds me of that quote, “Don’t despise small beginnings”. We may have to start small but it can turn into something huge.
Understanding The Mini Habits
A Mini Habit is a very small version of a positive new habit that you want to form. It’s so tiny that you will probably feel stupid even doing it. But it tricks your mind into not putting up a fight in the doing of it because it’s so ridiculously small.
You could minimize doing 50 push-ups a day down to 1 push-up a day. It doesn’t have to be that small but it does need to be small enough that your brain won’t fight it.
You could minimize reading a book a week down to 1 page a day or even 1 paragraph a day.
Facts about Habits
45% of our behaviors are from habits which means that that’s how many of our actions are on automatic pilot and require no conscious thought.
Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day.
There is a myth that most people have adopted as true that states, “It takes 21 to 30 days to form a habit”. But a European study has shown that it actually take 18 to 254 days to create a habit with 66 days being the average. So if we use the 66 days as the norm, then it actually takes 3 times longer than originally had been thought.
Research was also found to show that missing one day didn’t automatically derail a habit. The damage was more of a psychological impact from the person(s) feeling guilty or discouraged. Stress also played a factor due to the more stress, the less willpower someone would show.
Motivation vs Willpower
It has been well known that motivation is inconsistent and fluctuates depending on feelings. In fact, on a bad day, people sometimes don’t even feel like being motivated. So, motivation is unreliable because of our feeling being fluid and unpredictable.
Anything that is dependent on human emotion is completely unreliable.
Our willpower is better than motivation because you can force yourself to do something with willpower. It can be strengthened like a muscle. You can schedule a task and commit to it using willpower but you can’t force motivation. However, our willpower gets depleted with use so it has to be managed because if we fall back on our motivation we’ll get frustrated pretty quickly.
Why Mini Habit Work
The thought behind Mini Habits is to force yourself to take 1 to 4 ridiculously small strategic actions every day. Something so small that it doesn’t require self-control and that you’d have complete confidence in doing.
Mini Habits nullify the willpower-depleting factors because (a) it requires negligible effort, (b) are stupidly simple with zero perceived difficulty, (c) give off no negative feelings because of how small they are, and (d) can be achieved regardless of how tired you feel.
You never want to cheat on you Mini Habits because they’re small enough so you should have no resistance. If you do, then, minimize them further. If you happen to have any extra energy still, as you’re doing your mini habits, then you can do extra (bonus reps/more reading), but you don’t want to “raise the bar”, so to speak, until the habits become natural and automatic.
Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.Stephen Guise