Tiny Habits Book Summary - Tiny Habits Book explained in key points
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Tiny Habits summary

BJ Fogg

The Small Changes That Change Everything

4.6 (2153 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg offers a practical approach to forming lasting habits through small, achievable changes. By celebrating success and adapting to individual needs, this book provides a blueprint for sustainable behavior change.

Table of Contents

    Tiny Habits
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Creating positive change can be easy, but it requires a new approach.

    Everyone wants to make changes. Some folks strive to lead healthier lives and get in shape; others focus on becoming more productive or finding outlets for their creativity. But the stream of media reports on rising obesity levels, sleeplessness, and job dissatisfaction show that something is wrong. They suggest there’s a sizable gap between what we want to do and what we actually do. Typically, we believe that this disconnect is due to a lack of willpower on our part. But that’s not true. 

    So here’s the key message in this blink: Creating positive change can be easy, but it requires a new approach. 

    If you’ve ever failed at introducing a positive new habit into your life, there’s a good chance you blamed yourself – if only you were more disciplined and motivated, you could’ve done it, right?

    Well, not necessarily. As we’ll see later on, there’s little evidence to support the idea that motivation is the sole key to changing behavior. This means that the real culprit isn’t you – it’s your approach to change. 

    Think of it this way: if you try to assemble a flat-pack chest of drawers, but find that the instructions are wrong and key parts are missing, you’re going to fail. It’ll be frustrating, but of course you won’t blame yourself. No – you’ll call the manufacturer and demand a refund. But when it comes to self-improvement, we let the “manufacturer” off the hook. 

    That needs to change. How? Try a different, two-step approach.

    First off, stop blaming yourself. If you’ve found it hard to change in the past, you’ve probably been doing it wrong. And the reason is simple: years of well-meaning but unscientific advice. Change can be easy when you understand how human behavior actually works, and that’s something we’ll dig into in these blinks.

    Second, you need to take your aspirations – say, winning a lifelong struggle with obesity, or saving enough for an early retirement – and break them down into manageable, bite-sized chunks. 

    This methodology produces sustainable change. And it’s not just a theory. The author’s Stanford Behavior Design Lab has researched, road-tested, and refined this approach over the years, with over 40,000 people.

    Ready? Great – let’s dive in! 

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    What is Tiny Habits about?

    Tiny Habits (2019) is a meditation on the virtues of not biting off more than you can chew. If you want to make positive changes stick, behavioral analyst BJ Fogg argues, you have to think small. Want to get in shape? Start with two pushups a day. Want to become more mindful? Take a yoga breath every time you close your car door. These “tiny habits” set the bar low, which means it’s easier to incorporate them into your existing routine. Over time, however, they rewire your brain and make virtuous habits as automatic as brewing a cup of coffee in the morning.

    Tiny Habits Review

    Tiny Habits is a book by BJ Fogg that explores the power of small behaviors in creating lasting change. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies for adopting tiny habits that lead to significant outcomes.
    • Through real-life examples and scientific research, the book offers valuable insights into human behavior and motivation.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable anecdotes, the book keeps readers hooked, ensuring an interesting and informative reading experience.

    Best quote from Tiny Habits

    Write this phrase on a small piece of paper: I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.

    —BJ Fogg
    example alt text

    Who should read Tiny Habits?

    • Would-be world-beaters looking for innovative hacks 
    • Anyone struggling to stick to their New Year’s resolutions 
    • People interested in self-improvement and the science behind habits

    About the Author

    BJ Fogg is an expert on persuasive technologies and the way interactive computing products and software influence our behavior. The founder of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, Fogg uses his scientific expertise to help industry innovators get a handle on how human behavior really works. Tiny Habits is his fifth book. 

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    Tiny Habits FAQs 

    What is the main message of Tiny Habits?

    Create lasting change by making tiny adjustments to your behaviors.

    How long does it take to read Tiny Habits?

    Reading time for Tiny Habits varies. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Tiny Habits a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Tiny Habits is worth reading for its practical strategies to make sustainable habits in a simple and effective way.

    Who is the author of Tiny Habits?

    BJ Fogg is the author of Tiny Habits.

    What to read after Tiny Habits?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Tiny Habits, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Do Breathe by Michael Townsend Williams
    • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
    • The Body by Bill Bryson
    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn
    • Mini Habits by Stephen Guise
    • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • No Excuses! by Brian Tracy