Author: Stephen Guise
|Mini Habits (2013) is a guidebook that sheds light on the process of habit formation. It explains how we can break or make habits and how our brain works through this whole process.|
Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results is about developing a good and healthy lifestyle step by step instead of taking a huge jump. If you are tired of ignoring your physical health, if you have gotten into the habit of shopping endlessly online, or if you have been telling yourself that you will wake up early tomorrow for the past month; this book is for you. You will learn to form a healthy and better version of yourself without exhausting your mental and physical strength.
Forming Mini habits takes far less effort than you think. For this purpose, you just need to know which habits you want to form, set realistic and achievable daily goals, keep a track of your progress through a planner and exercise your willpower.
Mini Habits Key Points
Basal Ganglia and Habit Formation
No, Basal Ganglia is not the name of a fancy Italian herb. It is the part of our brain that governs habit formation. When we keep repeating certain actions, they become very common for us. They get engraved in our brains. After a while, we hardly think before performing that activity. We just do it without giving the process an actual thought. Let us take the example of grocery shopping, every week you go and buy fresh produce. You always get certain herbs and primary vegetables like onions. Now, do you think every time before buying onions every week? Chances are you just go through that aisle, put onions in your cart, and stroll away. Without thinking much about it. That has become a pattern or habit for you.
So, if you want something to register in your brain and became an automatic pattern; you need to register that thing in your Basal Ganglia through consistency. Soon it will become a pattern and you will be doing it without overthinking.
Do not Overburden Yourself
You might have listened to motivational gurus and several TED talk hosts telling you to push yourself, set a huge goal, and just dive into it. While that advice sounds great and very appealing due to that huge magnificent goal; the author Stephen Guise advises you to be easy on yourself and take it slow. Having a huge goal might impress you and those around you but when we start with a huge goal the chances of falling back are even bigger. Writing a whole chapter for your next book, running six kilometers every morning, and waking up at 4 AM from noon sounds perfect.
However, as a human, we should not be putting this much burden on ourselves. Going from zero effort to maximum effort in a day can only work for a short time. You can only stay consistent if you are not exhausting yourself. So, start small. Maybe start by writing a single paragraph every day if your goal is to write a novel. This task will not exhaust you and you will not be at zero progress level as well. When you get used to this, increase the amount of work gradually. You can go to writing two and then three paragraphs every day.
Take Out Those Planners Fellas
Just like athletes need regular training you also need to be trained regularly if you want to improve and build good habits. Always remember that consistency is the key to forming good and healthy habits that stick with you. So how can you stay consistent and regular? By keeping track and a record. The planners in the market and those on the app store are not just some fancy millennial inventions. You can get a lot out of them. If you are not a digital person, get a physical planner. It does not have to be a fancy or bougie diary with a calendar and a cute pen. A simple notebook can work as a planner.
Note down the habits you want to form. Each day remembers to check your planner and mark the things you have done. In this way, you will be able to find out which habits are the ones you struggle to form. Also, give yourself a pat on the back when you have been consistent with a habit for a good amount of time. Remember, this is not only about developing a single good habit. It is about forming a lifestyle.
Mini Habits and Willpower
Everyone who has achieved great things in life has confessed and shared this thing with their audience by now. They were not always motivated. Motivation did not occur every morning. They had to push themselves and be consistent. Motivation mostly occurs when you are doing something you love. Some days we feel motivated; some days we do not.
But what about the times you need to do something hard and something undesired? You use willpower. Willpower works where motivation does not. But as humans we do not have a giant pool of willpower inside ourselves, our willpower is exhaustible and limited. So, to use our willpower efficiently to reap the maximum benefit, we need to form ‘mini’ habits. Habits that do not deprive us of all the energy but take us towards betterment at the same time.
Mini Habits Quotes
“Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.” ― Stephen Guise
“Every giant accomplishment is made of very small steps… and to take them one at a time like this is not weak, but precise.” ― Stephen Guise
Mini Habits Review
Ah! What an easy book about habit formation! I have read several books on the subject of breaking and making habits; this one explains the process most easily. The reader feels motivated to form healthy habits instead of feeling intimidated. Would recommend this to anyone who is trying to become better.
To Whom I Would Recommend Mini Habits
- To the eighteen-year-old student who is trying to develop better habits before joining college.
- To the thirty-two-year-old mom who is working from home and gets no time to form a healthy lifestyle for herself.
- And to anyone who likes being productive.