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How to break bad habits
How habits are formed
The importance of consistency
Also, enjoy the ease of your new small steps, recognize why they work, and don’t set bigger goals – just repeat your new mini habit a few extra times.
To make changes last, you need to stop fighting against your brain.
Instead, decide that you’re better off taking a step, even a small step, than staying in the same place. Taking one small step daily leads you in the right direction and sets you on your way to developing a lifelong habit. The small step requires little willpower, but its results are enormous.
Mini habits are low-willpower Trojan horses that can leverage their easy access into the brains control room into big results.
Smart willpower management is key to personal development as smart money management is key to financial success.
Contrary to common belief, the average time it takes to form a habit is not 21 to 30 days. Studies show it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a habit. The average person needs 66 days.
You’ll know when a behavior becomes a habit when you experience a decrease in resistance. Instead of forcing yourself to meet your one push-up goal, for example, you’ll head to the gym without giving it much thought.
An inverse relationship connects motivation and willpower.
When an aspirational activity requires lots of willpower, you’re less likely to stick with it.
You already have all the inspiration you need inside you, but it may be dormant. Awaken it with mini habits.
Studies show that human beings have only a limited supply of willpower.
The five primary causes of weakening willpower or self-control – called “ego depletion” – are:
If you have one primary goal, such as getting in shape, the Single Mini Plan will be the more effective approach.
Ask yourself why you want to instill a mini habit into your life, and delve deeply into the answer by asking the question more than once.
Make sure that your mini habits align with your values.
Habits are either “time-based” or “activity-based.” Identify which cue works for each new mini habit.
Do you want to exercise at a specific time, such as nine every morning, or give yourself more flexibility, such as before dinner? If specific cues tax your willpower, assign yourself general cues, such as completing the mini habit before bedtime.
Many habits don’t offer immediate rewards. Sculpting your abs, for example, takes time. Give yourself mini rewards to accompany your mini habits.
For example, allow yourself a 10-minute power nap or watch a fun video as a reward for meeting your mini goal.
Writing something down grants it importance. Visually track your mini habit success to reinforce your sense of accomplishment.
Crossing your performance off on a calendar each day gives you a graphic representation of your progress. Several digital apps can help you reinforce your mini habit by tracking your development.
The advantage of mini habits is that repetition strengthens your willpower. Each task requires just a little willpower to complete and the frequency of repetition forms a habit over time.
Once a habit is in place, you can build on it more easily. That’s why stupid small is powerful.
While having a positive belief in your capabilities is good, setting your expectations too high can hold you back.
When you’ve exceeded your stupid small goal several days in a row, your expectations will naturally rise. You won’t be content with one push-up when you’ve done 25 every day. Resist the urge to increase the mini goal to match your elevated expectations. Feel good about your accomplishment and focus on consistency.
Several signs will tell you that you’ve developed a positive habit:
Following the rules of the mini-habits program will keep you on track and ensure success:
"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health." - Thoreau
Personal development blogger Stephen Guise offers a self-improvement program that is “too small to fail.”
View all Mini Habits Book Summaries
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