Book Cover: Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg, PhDAre you ready for a big change in life or work? The data from last year’s “great resignation” suggests you may be one of the many who seeks something different and more meaningful for 2022 and beyond. I’ll be posting book reviews from key authors who offer insight for creating successful change on both personal and professional levels. The series begins with B. J. Fogg, PhD and Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything.

We looked forward to 2021 as the year to free us from the challenge of 2020. After the first waves of pandemic confinement, some people embraced opportunities to begin a more examined life, tried to create order in the chaos of work-and-school from home, and attempted to take on new habits, declutter rooms, or making over our menus. B. J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits ranks high on the list of places we can go to find wisdom for our time.

In Tiny Habits, Fogg shares why we fail when we focus primarily on an ultimate desired outcome or attempt to build behaviors representing major change. Fogg gives readers insight on how to craft habits with sufficient stickiness to lead to larger goals. One key to success, as derived from the title, is to make these tiny.

Fogg doesn’t leave readers adrift with great sounding advice bites that are hard to connect or implement. Instead, he draws a straight line between research, identifying behaviors leading toward big change, mapping behaviors that actually work for a given reader’s life context, and how to shrink these to an appropriate level of “tiny.” These are bookended with an anchor to prompt action and immediate celebration to assure our brain will want to continue repeating our new habit.

Watch this quick video overview of Fogg’s behavior model (view time under 10 minutes).

I’ve experimented with a few “tiny” habits, including:

  • When I get up (anchor/prompt), I put on my work-out shoes (behavior/tiny habit), and whisper “Let’s go!” (celebration). [Supports my goal of working out five days a week.]
  • When I sit at my desk (anchor/prompt), I take a slow, deep breath (behavior/tiny habit), and—as I breath out—think “ready!” (celebration). [Daily, morning productivity.]
  • After I come downstairs from my workout (anchor/prompt), I draw a small circle next to my top priority in my planner (behavior/tiny habit), and think “focus!” (celebration). [Weekdays, ignites concentration.]
  • When I push start on my microwave (anchor/prompt), I perform arm circles forward and backwards in sets of 20 for up to 2 minutes (behavior/tiny habit). When the timer dings, I lean forward, shake my arms, thinking “noodle arms!” (celebration). [Random times I use the microwave; augments any strength or cardio activity.]

Each tiny habit is that starting step to further action. If I want to be a person who commits to fitness, the first step leading to a routine workout is putting on my shoes. If I’m the person who begins my day with silent meditation, the trigger is that tiny habit of that first breath at my desk.

This book is one I believe most readers will find inspiration they can actually translate into easily implemented actions. If you’re looking to create small change leading to big impact, Tiny Habits is a safe bet.

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