Book review. Tiny Habits (2020)

I had mentioned about the Tiny Habits technique by BJ Fogg back in 2014. And now Dr. Fogg wrote an entire book on Tiny Habits. He also provides resources for the Tiny Habits technique freely at

Here you can read more about Dr. Fogg and his career on captology, the study of computers as persuasive technologies, and some controversy about his work on captology. Interesting stuff.

Coming back to the book, to me the book felt longer than needed. Some people may still find this long-form immersive experience useful, but I mostly skimmed through the slow text to get to the visuals and take-aways. Below are some of my highlights from Kindle, and some important visuals from the book.

This is a very useful book. As I wrote earlier, "Instilling useful "habits" is a great trick to conserve energy. When you make something a habit, you don't need to waste your energy for remembering to do it and more importantly for finding the willpower to do it. Habits make inertia work for you. The key to instilling habits is to start with baby steps." This book gives you the toolkit to instill useful new habits and to uninstall bad habits. No doubt, important primitives for upgrading your personal operating system.

Quotations from the Tiny Habits book

Building habits and creating positive change can be easy—if you have the right approach.

To design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things.
+ Stop judging yourself.
+ Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors.
+ Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.

Self-criticism is its own kind of habit. For some people, blaming yourself is just where your brain goes—it's like a sled in the snow, slipping into a well-worn path down the hill.

Once you remove any hint of judgment, your behavior becomes a science experiment. A sense of exploration and discovery is a prerequisite to success, not just an added bonus.

Even though I was a behavior scientist, I had to learn how to create habits in my own life.

There are only three things we can do that will create lasting change:
+ Have an epiphany,
+ change our environment, or
+ change our habits in tiny ways.
Tiny Habits gives us a new way to tap the power of environment and baby steps.

Over the last twenty years, I’ve found that the only consistent, sustainable way to grow big is to start small.

With the Tiny Habits method, you focus on small actions that you can do in less than thirty seconds. You will quickly wire in new habits, and then they will grow naturally. Starting tiny means you can begin creating a big change without worrying about the time involved.

When something is tiny, it’s easy to do—which means you don’t need to rely on the unreliable nature of motivation.

Tiny can also be undercover. You can start to change without making a big scene. No one will sabotage you. This reduces the pressure on you.

One tiny action, one small bite, might feel insignificant at first, but it allows you to gain the momentum you need to ramp up to bigger challenges and faster progress. The next thing you know, you’ve eaten the whole whale.

With the Tiny Habits method, you celebrate successes no matter how small they are. This is how we take advantage of our neurochemistry and quickly turn deliberate actions into automatic habits. Feeling successful helps us wire in new habits, and it motivates us to do more.

*I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.*

In my research, I’ve found that adults have many ways to tell themselves, “I did a bad job,” and very few ways of saying, “I did a good job.” We rarely recognize our successes and feel good about what we’ve done.

Think of the Maui Habit as a simple practice you do each morning in about three seconds.
Every morning, she woke up, put her feet on the floor, and said seven words out loud: “It’s going to be a great day.”
*Emotions create habits. Not repetition. Not frequency. Not fairy dust. Emotions.*


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