Mini Habits Review: Hack Your Life Goals
Do you find it hard to meet goals or deadlines?
Do you have great ideas but don’t follow through on executing them?
Do you get excited about a new project and start with lots of passion and momentum only to get bogged down and fizzle out?
What if there was a way to trick yourself into finishing projects and tasks easily and without the need to struggle to find enough willpower to do it?
If you’re one of those people with great ideas but terrible execution, I have great news for you.
There is indeed a way to “hack” your willpower and detour past the roadblocks that normally get in the way of accomplishing the goals you envision.
In the book Mini Habits, author Stephen Guise lays out an easy-to-follow blueprint to help you finally beat your habit of procrastination.
The steps are easy and the idea he lays out is simple, but does it work?
Everywhere You Look There Are Great Ideas
Everyone you talk to says, “I think someone should do X, Y, or Z” but no one never does it.
You probably have a list of things you want to accomplish in your life written on scraps of paper or saved in your phone.
By this point in your life you may have started and stalled numerous times on multiple projects.
Maybe you’ve realized that you have a hard time because you get bored or the task becomes too difficult.
Perhaps you’re reading this and wondering if you’ll finally find a way to beat your habit of procrastinating.
If you don’t struggle with finishing big projects then you can stop reading this article now and browse the site for something else that you can relate to.
Because this is for the rest of us, those of us with great ideas but terrible commitment to following through from beginning to end.
This Could Be Your Future
Imagine a future where you’ve accomplished monumental goals that you’ve only dreamed of up until now.
In fact, let’s get practical. Take the most exciting goal on your list and we’ll set a course to complete it.
The key is that you’ll do this without having to force yourself to use willpower that you may not have.
Indeed, one of Mini Habits’ strengths is that it help you design a blueprint with steps to instill a specific habit of your own choosing.
Without giving away too much of Stephen Guise’s material (you really should read the book, it’s excellent) – you’re going to fool yourself into developing the habits you want.
You’ll do this by taking one tiny step that is so stupid and so easy that you won’t believe it will make any difference.
And that’s the trick to shortcutting past your willpower and mental blocks – each step will be so small, so stupid, and so easy that your mind will have nothing to fight against.
But those small, stupid steps will add up to something great.
Real Life Example
Let’s pick a project.
If you’re on this site, odds are good that you’re interested in some kind of online business.
And almost all online businesses involve some kind of writing, so let’s say you want to write an article.
Most website articles – those that are good – are between 800 to 2000 words. So let’s say you need to write a 1000 word article.
The idea of writing 1000 words makes most people’s minds rebel.
Instead you’re going to open up a Word document or a simple Notepad application and your goal is to write one sentence.
Yes, just one sentence.
For example, if you plan to affiliate market a protein powder your one sentence can be as simple as, “This is the best protein powder I’ve ever tasted.”
Why Does It Work?
Easy tasks don’t give our willpower and laziness detectors a chance to fight against them.
Small tasks are so simple that your mind assumes you’ll just get it done quickly.
That’s where the magic happens and is the main premise of Mini Habits.
Once you start working on such a small, ridiculously easy task, you tell yourself that since you’re already doing this one small thing you may as well do a little more.
And once you get started momentum will keep you moving forward.
It’s easy to start with one sentence and before you know it, you’ll have written 500 words.
If you had said you were going to write 500 words you would have probably found ten different excuses for other things to do instead.
Caution: Don’t Set a Small Goal While Secretly Expecting a Big One
One word of caution about this – do NOT set a stupid, small goal with the idea that you’re going to do more than that.
This will backfire because your mind will know that the small goal is actually a big one and you’ll be right back where you started.
Commit to the small goal and then let the rest happen naturally.
In fact, from time to time it’s good to ONLY do the small goal.
In our example, you would randomly choose a day every couple of weeks where you would only write one sentence for the entire day.
Maybe it’s a day where you have a lot of social commitments and you’re away from the computer.
Just remember, even if you’re away from home you can always work on your website as long as you have your phone.
Case Study: The Push-ups
I borrowed one of the ideas in the book and set the small, ridiculous goal of doing one single push-up each day.
Didn’t matter what time of day or where I was at, all I had to do was one push-up at some point between when I woke up and when I fell asleep.
That stupid goal has led to thousands of push-ups over the past six months.
Harness the Power of Apps
The book recommends using mobile apps to help you keep track of the days you successfully complete your small step.
There are dozens of apps available for both iOS and Android that let you create a habit and easily track each day that you complete your small step.
My favorite for Android is Loop Habit Tracker. It’s easy to quickly add new habits and lets you choose popup reminders.
There’s something very satisfying about seeing a streak of consecutive days with checkmarks through them.
For those of us who struggle with the traditional approach of forcing ourselves to develop useful habits through sheer willpower, Mini Habits is a game-changer.
It lays out specific, actionable advice you will put into practice within minutes of starting the book.
Combined with a mobile app or even a paper calendar to keep track of each day you complete a step in your habit, it’s a powerful way to change your life for the better.
Mini Habits belongs in everyone’s library.
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