Book Summary: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Rating 5/5

 
3 Big Ideas:
  1. Create a constellation of habits, tiny in size but big on impact
  2. B = MAP – Behaviour happens when motivation & ability & prompt converge at the same moment
  3. Behaviour change is a skill that can be mastered
 
2 Quotes:

“There are three ways to change behaviour: have an epiphany, change environment, change habits in tiny ways.”

“There are 7 steps in Behaviour Design:

  1. Clarify the aspiration
  2. Explore behaviour options
  3. Match with specific behaviours
  4. Start tiny
  5. Find a good prompt
  6. Celebrate successes
  7. Troubleshoot, Iterate & Expand”
1  Question:
How can you make the habit easier?
 

Big Idea 1 – Create a constellation of habits, tiny in size but big on impact

Anatomy of Tiny Habits method (ABC):
  1. Anchor moment
  2. New Tiny Behaviour
  3. Instance Celebration
Tiny Habit Maxims:
  1. Help people do what they already want to do
  2. Help people feel successful
Change creators:
  1. Have epiphany
  2. Change environment
  3. Change habits in tiny ways (Most likely to lead to change)
Core Concepts:
  • Start with three very small behaviours, even just one
  • Create a constellation of habits, tiny in size but big on impact
  • Keep changes small and expectations low
  • People change by feeling good, not by feeling bad
  • B = MAP – Behaviour happens when motivation & ability & prompt converge at the same moment
  • Willpower is a myth. Bad habits are due to design flaws not character flaws
  • Removing a prompt is the best first move to stop a behaviour happening (e.g. remove chocolate from the fridge, remove phone from bedroom)

Big Idea 2 – Behaviour happens when motivation & ability & prompt converge at the same moment (B=MAP)

Image result for bmap bj fogg
Motivation:
  • Lack of behaviour is not a motivation issue. Its often an ability or prompt issue.
  • Motivation is a bad lever to push. The motivation monkey tricks us into setting unreasonable goals.
  • Motivation is like a party-animal friend. Great for a night out but not someone you would rely on to pick you up from the airport.
  • Motivation is a like a wave. It arrives in temporary surges. It’s unpredictable and unreliable
  • Hope and Fear strongly influence motivation. They push against each other.
  • Motivation and Ability have a compensatory relationship
Ability Chain:
Things that make the habit easier/harder
  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Physical Effort
  4. Mental Effort
  5. Routine
Untangle habits using same process you grow them. Break the ability chain.
Make it easier:
  1. Increase skills (requires high motivation and often time)
  2. Get tools and resources (often requires money)
  3. Make it tiny
Golden Behaviours:
  1. Impactful (aspiration)
  2. Want to do (motivation)
  3. Can do (ability)
Golden behaviours can be done on your hardest day! Monday morning!
Types of Prompt:
  1. Person – Your internal reminder e.g. memory, physical (bladder)
  2. Context – Environmental – e.g Sticky on my fridge
  3. Action – Habit stacking – After brushing my teeth i will floss
Prompt management is one of the most difficult tasks in modern life. Limit the noise
Troubleshooting Habits:
  1. Check to see if there’s a prompt to do the behaviour
  2. See if the person has the ability to the behaviour
  3. See if the person is motivated to do the behaviour
Habit Categories:
  1. Uphill – require ongoing attention to maintain but are easy to stop
  2. Downhill – easy to maintain but difficult to stop
  3. Free-fall – extremely difficult to stop unless you get professional help
Habit Personas (Applied in groups):
  1. Dolphins – High motivation, high ability (Focus here)
  2. Turtles – High motivation, low ability (Focus here)
  3. Crabs – High ability, low motivation (Require incentives)
  4. Clams – Low ability, low motivation (Ignore)

Big Idea 3 – Behaviour change is a skill that can be improved

Skills of change:
  1. Behaviour Crafting – Knowing how many new habits to do at once and when to add more
  2. Self insight –  The skill of knowing which new habits will have meaning to you
  3. Process (Systems Thinking) – Knowing when to push yourself beyond ton and ramp up the difficulty of the habit
  4. Context – Redesigning your environment to make your habits easier to do
  5. (Growth) Mindset – Embracing a new identity
Behaviour Planning:
  • Aspirations = abstract desires e.g. wanting kids to succeed in school
  • Outcomes = more measurable e.g. getting straight A’s second semester
  • Behaviour = something you can do right now e.g. open textbook read five chapters
You can only achieve aspirations or outcomes overtime. A behaviour you can do right now
Swarm of Behaviours
Brainstorming possible behaviours to help achieve an aspiration or an outcome
If you plant a behaviour in the right spot it will grow without coaxing: Where might this habit for naturally in your daily routine?
When designing a new habit, you are designing for consistency
Celebrations:
  • Most important part of the approach
  • Emotions create habits
  • Celebration must come immediately after or during the habit for it to stick. E.g A message two days later wont work
  • Celebration is habit fertiliser
  • Celebration is a skill — It does not always come naturally

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