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Book Freak #61: Achieve Goals Through Tiny Habits


Book Freak

July 28 · Issue #61 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books

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BJ Fogg, PhD, founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. In addition to his research, Fogg teaches industry innovators how human behavior really works. Here are four pieces of advice from his book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything
Change your behavior with this 3-step plan
“In order 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.”
Before making a decision, ask yourself these two questions
“Will it help you do what you already want to do? Will it help you feel successful? The answers to those questions is freeing because if the change program doesn’t satisfy these two requirements, it’s not worth your time. ”
Form habits through emotion, not repetition
“In my own research, I found that habits can form very quickly, often in just a few days, as long as people have a strong positive emotion connected to the behavior… When I teach people about human behavior, I boil it down to three words to make the point crystal clear: emotions create habits. Not repetition. Not frequency. Not fairy dust. Emotions.”
Find specific habits to focus on
“When it comes to stopping a bad habit, a common mistake is trying to motivate yourself toward abstraction, such as ‘stop stressing out at work’ or ‘stop eating junk food.’ Those both sound specific, but they are not. They are abstract labels for a tangle of habits, what I call the General Habit. If you focus only on the General Habit, you probably won’t make much progress, just like if you focus on the entire knot at once, you can’t untangle it. You need to focus on specific tangles in order to make progress. That means finding specific habits to focus on.”
Book Freak is published by Cool Tools Lab, a small company of three people. We run the Cool Tools website, a podcast, a video review YouTube channel, and a couple other newsletters, including Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales, What’s in my bag? and Recomendo. I hope you’ll check them out. You can support our work by becoming a patron via Patreon.
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