The new year has begun and resolutions are ringing out around the world.
Unfortunately, many people are going to make a fatal mistake: they’re going to commit to massive, sweeping changes, like completely overhauling their appalling diets or going all-in on their quest to “get ripped or die trying” or taming their urge to accumulate as much debt as possible…and they’re probably going to fail like 92% of people resolving to do the same exact things.
Resolving to tackle the whole enchilada is enticing. It feels good to puff our chests out, put our foots down, and know that this is the moment you stop buying the junk food and start saying “no” to the doughnuts every morning. Where you begin showing up in the gym every day and kill your workouts like you own the place and ritually sacrifice the credit cards to free your soul from their evil enchantment.
It never goes like this, though. The pistol fires, the race starts, you close your eyes and run like hell until you’re breathing pepper spray and then open them back up to realize the horrible truth: you’ve moved about an inch. And you signed up for the ultramarathon.
The reality is ripping out some major unwanted part of us and neatly replacing it with something shiny and pretty is about as easy as swallowing the sun. And yet we keep trying it over and over, wondering why we can’t do the impossible.
To be fair, there are people reading this that don’t know what I’m talking about. They just finished what’s sure to be their sixth bestselling novel, which they wrote while motorcycling through South America and running their multimillion-dollar online businesses on 4-hour workweeks. Bless their hearts. (If you’re one of them, just know your friends secretly hate you and can’t help but fantasize about small, bad things that God must have planned to restore cosmic balance.)
But, for the rest of us plebeians, we have to tame our appetites and go for sun-motes instead. That is, tiny, almost inconsequential acts of change are easily digestible, and a steady diet of them is, in time, just as nourishing as the feast.
Here’s how BJ Fogg, creator of Tiny Habits, explains it:
Want the TLDR version? Here it is:
The easiest way to do big things is to learn to do and celebrate really, really small things first. And that’s what Mini-Habits is all about.
Want to write a book? Park that away and just commit to writing 50 measly words per day instead. Want to lose 30 pounds? Great. Start with sticking to a proper meal plan for just a week and see how you feel. Want to exercise more? You can start with 10 big ol’ pushups per day.
This book is short, simple, and powerful, and it walks you through the ins and outs of this eminently practical method of getting things done. A perfect read to help you attack the year ahead.