The journey into Lean Self blogging is very fascinating for me. Sometimes I come up with patently absurd ideas, like micro-meditation or the Lean diary. Then I discover somebody else who made a cool method out of it before.
Today I want to share with you my excitement about the book “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” by Stephen Guise. It is a journey into the world of habit building, motivation, willpower and habit science.
Stephen Guise’s idea is simple: by setting yourself stupidly small daily goals, you can achieve much more than with ambitious goals. Here are some examples from his book:
- One push-up a day
- Write 50 words
- Drink one(!) glass of water a day
- Read 2 pages in a book
The trick is that with such small goals you cannot fail, and over-achievement is easy. Or, how he says it:
“Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.”
The book is full of practical advice and also cites interesting scientific results about habit forming. For example, the myth “it takes 30 days to build a habit” is busted by science (I fell for that too, also I still think in its essence my post about re-inventing yourself 30 times is still valid).
What I also like is his view on motivation versus willpower. The idea of mini habits is simply this, in my words:
OK, now the idea is to find mini habits you can bring into your days. A mini habit should be something that takes at most a minute. Stephen suggests that you take up at most three mini habits per day. I suggest to start with this mini-habit first:
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen.
- Write one mini habit you would like to start with onto the list.
- Do this every day for one week. No excuses, no exceptions.
After this first week, you already have successfully implemented a mini habit. Now look at the list and choose one. Simplify it. For example, make “Drink one glass of water” out of “Drink five glasses of water”. Then start this one mini habit.
I’m curious, what do you put on the list right after reading this post? Just leave a message.