Tiny Habits book summary

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Book Summary - Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg

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Trying to change your life is harder than it looks. You may have the best of intentions when you decide you’re going to finally lose that weight, practice yoga daily, or read more books. Jumping in, you make big changes and you’re excited to see results.

Time passes. Life happens. And you’re back to your old ways. You really wanted to change, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for you. Why?

The short answer is that you asked too much of yourself too soon. Humans are creatures of habit. Replacing old habits with new ones is harder than it looks.

But change is possible. You just have to break it down into a series of “tiny habits” that get you closer to your big goal. Tiny Habits is all about setting yourself up for incremental success. In...

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If you want to improve your life, you probably have to accept that it won’t happen immediately. Meaningful change requires building habits. Making drastic alterations to your lifestyle will not result in making habits you can maintain. Instead, you need tiny habits.

Tiny habits take an aspiration, like living a healthier lifestyle, and breaks it into one-minute chunks that you can start doing right away. Incorporating these behaviors into your routine creates habits.

Behaviors occur as a result of your desire to do them, your ability to do them, and a prompt triggering you to do them. Ideally, you should have all three of these to build a habit. You’re probably already motivated to change. You just have to figure out what you are capable of doing and what stimulus will work best to prompt you to do it.

The best prompt is an action prompt. You take an action that is already a habit and you use that to anchor your new, desirable behavior to it. If your prompt fits your desired habit by location, frequency, and theme, you have a good chance at cementing that tiny habit.

Each tiny habit on its own may not seem like much. But it is all progress. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything. Just keep changing one thing at a time. It all adds up to the life you want to be living.

About the Author

BJ Fogg, founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, is a social scientist. He specializes in the science of changing behavior for the purpose of improving lives. In addition to individual behavior changes, he also works with innovators looking to design products that help people achieve these improvements.

Before pioneering his methods in behavior design, Fogg attended Brigham Young University for his first two degrees before completing his doctorate at Stanford University. As a student at Stanford, he studied how technology could change people’s actions and mindsets. He named the field “persuasive technology” and it continues to be an active academic topic.

Tiny Habits is Fogg’s fifth book. He has previously written on persuasive technology and digital platforms. The methods from Tiny Habits are part of a separate project involving coaching those seeking to make lasting change. Fogg is aiming to scale it with trained coaches using technological solutions to reach more people.


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Tiny Habits