Mini habits are sparks with unlimited potential.
Stephen Guise, the author, describes the foundation, strategy, and process to help us ultimately create the habitual behaviors we want.
The brain resists big changes.
Your brain latches on to any repetition you throw at it.
By creating habits that are very small, we overcome our resistance, require minimum willpower, and motivation becomes unnecessary. Small daily actions enable consistency and build confidence.
Mini habits are deceptively powerful because they are not a ceiling, like most goals, but a floor. You can always do more than your (mini)mum habit, but, importantly, you will always do something, which is infinitely better than doing nothing.
The basic steps:
- Pick something that is too small to fail and embrace it as the full goal. The author says: “My rule of thumb is to minify my desired habit until it sounds stupid. When something sounds “stupid small,” your brain sees it as nonthreatening.”
- Identify why you want the habit.
- Define the cues
- Create your reward plan
- Write everything down
- Start small
- Meet your schedule and drop high expectations
- Watch for signs of habit, but be careful not to jump the gun. You’ll know if you have a habit if:
- It feels easier to do the behavior than not to do it.
- You identify with the behavior
- It has become mindless action
- You don’t worry about it
- It feels normal
- It’s boring
If you ever find yourself stalling, remind yourself of how small your task is.
Doing a little bit every day has a greater impact than doing a lot on one day
When we find ourselves resistant to making the habit changes needed to accomplish the desired progress toward a goal, stepping back could help. Consider starting with a mini-habit. Success will build confidence and a foundation for creating momentum toward the ultimate goal.
Elastic Habits was written by the same author. If you haven’t read either, I’d skip Mini Habits and go direct to Elastic Habits. In the new book, he describes the Mini Habit framework and expands on it.