Mini Habits By Stephen Guise – A Book Review in 500 Words

A quick summary of Mini Habits

What if there was a strategy we could apply into our lives that actually brought about the changes we desire? Instead of just hoping we make them through taking big leaps which ultimately burn us out in time. Life change can be made through the smallest of actions.

These tiny actions can act as a starting point for us to build habits and then grow bigger from there. Tiny habits give us the momentum and power to effortlessly make long lasting changes, without getting burnt out or disillusioned.

We can beat the resistance to making change through the smallest of steps. Overcoming resistance is key to this because it’s usually what stops us from taking the actions. So when take actions that are stupidly small, we sneak past the resistance. This in time will produce the compound effect.

My 3 favourite quotes from the book

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

“Emotions will either serve or master, depending who is in charge.” – Jim Rohn

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins

Actionable insights I gained from Mini Habits

Doing a little bit is better than doing nothing. I used to always go by the notion that the smallest amount of doing was pointless. And yet it never occurred to me why I always gave up when approaching things through trying do too much at once.

I’ve learnt that doing just a little slice of an activity keeps me encouraged to continue with building the habit because it builds momentum.

Consistency is better than quantity when it comes to building habits. When we practice the behaviour everyday in a small way, it will still turn into a habit. There’s a reason why starting small is paramount because it doesn’t require extra motivation or willpower.

It’s not the human which is the problem, it’s the strategy in place. When we change our strategy into a more sustainable one, we begin to make the changes we’ve always hoped for.

Setting ourselves tiny requirements each day takes the pressure off. For example, the author set a mini requirement of 50 words a day for his writing habit. Whenever he reached his 50 words, it was a success. He felt naturally inspired to do more.

He didn’t have to do more because he was satisfied with the tiny requirement, but because he already hit success, nothing stopped him from writing more.

This tiny strategy is key. If he’d set a daily target of say 1000 words, it would of looked daunting and overwhelming. Jumping straight into the deep end can be counterproductive.

When we start as small as possible and then achieve it, we have succeeded. So because we don’t feel like a failure, we can continue doing as much as we like as we have nothing to lose. Stephen often wrote more than 50 words at a time because he didn’t set himself a limit, just a tiny target.

Because it was easy to reach this target, he didn’t need any willpower. Small starting points can help us climb mountains which looked insurmountable coming from the ‘deep end approach’.