The Small Changes That Change Everything
by BJ Fogg
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 31 Dec 2019 | Archive Date 29 Jul 2020
Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing, Virgin Books
The Instant New York Times bestseller from the greatest living authority on habit formation, Stanford University's BJ Fogg, PhD.
"Absolutely brilliant ... a 5/5 book" Chris Evans
"Will help anyone have their best year yet" Dr Rangan Chatterjee
This year forget big resolutions. For real change start small.
Forget the latest exhausting fitness fad. Lose the guilt. Stop feeling bad. Improving your life is much easier than you think:
Try any habit,
make it tiny,
find where it fits naturally in your life
and nurture its growth.
Silicon Valley legend BJ Fogg, pioneering research psychologist, founder of the iconic Behavior Design Lab at Stanford, and one of Fortune’s ‘10 New Gurus You Should Know’, has cracked the code of habit formation. Based on twenty years’ research and used by over 60,000 people, his TINY HABITS® method reveals that the key to changing behaviour is the opposite of what you’ve always been told. It isn’t about willpower.
By focusing on what is easy to change, not what is hard; focusing on what you want to do, not what you should do, you’ll discover that creating happier, healthier lives can be easy, and surprisingly fun.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 76 members
Go on, admit it - you're not quite perfect. You still have those odd, quirky even loveable (to you) habits which seem to annoy other people. Other people, of course, are sorely afflicted with some dreadful flaws which they could so easily correct, if only they would make just a little bit of effort. Or put another way, I get cross with myself because I forget to do things or do some actions more than I should and no matter how I try to make what seem to be quite monumental changes I never quite seem to get to grips with the concepts. I constantly fail and then I get cross with myself for failing. Lack of willpower is another burden to add to the list. Well, the answer is at hand. People do want to make changes and then blame themselves for not being able to do so, but BJ Fogg has the answer: tiny habits. The first thing he tells us that it isn't our fault. It's our approach to change which is at fault - as he says it's a design flaw - not a personal flaw. There are two things to be clear about straight away: information doesn't make changes and nor does repetition. You can tell people about the perils of drinking and smoking until you're blue in the face, but they're still going to drink and smoke. You can repeat filling the dishwasher but it's still not going to become a habit unless you do some other work on the action. To successfully change behaviours you need to do three things: Stop judging yourself. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviours. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward. BJ takes us through the process of breaking behaviours down into tiny actions, building prompts and building them into regular habits. You can apply this to yourself, or to other people, on the basis that you are helping them to become the people they want to be, though you might want to check that with them first! I had a quiet feeling of confidence as I read this book. I could see it working. There suddenly seemed to be an easy way of ensuring that I drink more water, of getting out for more walks, of becoming a healthier me. There were one or two examples where I wasn't entirely convinced. If you get cross with your teenage daughter for leaving the fridge door open, the next time she gets a yoghurt out of the fridge and leaves the door open you should compliment her on her choice of a healthy snack. What struck me was that she'd probably be getting a coke - and that the fridge door is still open. Personally, I'd have ensured that there was an alarm on the fridge door. It's a minor quibble in an otherwise very readable and informative book. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a copy to review.
This is a practical self-help book that explains how the Fogg Behaviour Model (named after the author and founder) can help change habits and behaviours to enable people to make improvements to their lives. It takes what Fogg argues are three necessary components of behaviour - motivation, ability and prompt - and teaches ways of examining behaviour in the context of these three things. There are practical examples and stories, and the model can also be used to influence other people's behaviours. There are really useful practical tools in the appendices section that can be downloaded from the writer's website. I read my copy on my Kindle as I received an electronic advance copy. It's the sort of book I'd generally prefer to read in paperback so I could dip in and out of different chapters more easily and use as a reference book. It's packed with great advice and is thought-provoking and easy to read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for my personal review.
There are many books available on Tiny habits but this one is probably one of the best. It gets right into the heart of the matter and explains not just how to do them, but why they work. It shows you how to develop them into something bigger and also how to change bad habits. It is very well written and easy to read. Maybe it is a little overworked in places but it has that 'tap tap tap' effect to get the point across. Even though I didn't relate to a lot of the examples and case studies I still found the book very useful and it definitely digs deep enough to have an effect and deliver some level of success.
Can’t wait to implement several of these strategies in 2020, hopefully changing my NY Resolutions game and making it more successful. I enjoyed this book and it left me super motivated!
It's the time of year to be thinking about setting goals and making resolutions. While I do think New Years Resolutions are crock, I still find myself in an aspirational state of mind as the New Year approaches. It's something to do with going back to day one. You have a chance to make yourself anew and be something bigger, better than you were before. Any day can be day one, of course it can, but the New Year provides us with a bit of collective momentum. And if any day can be day one, well, the first of January is as good a day as any. Which makes the release of Tiny Habits rather timely. Author BJ Fogg has a PHD and works in the field of behavioural scientists. He has years of experience helping a wide range of people form better habits, along with all the scientific understanding about exactly why his method works. The method doesn't rely on you having contacts with lots of money and influence, nor does it require you to spend any money. It's something you can action instantly in your own living room with nothing more than a bit of thought, and maybe some scrap paper and a pencil. Which I always appreciate - too many 'change your life' books don't feel immediately actionable by the average layperson. The basic principle of Tiny Habits is to form good behaviours by doing the smallest possible action, anchoring those actions to another behaviour you already do automatically, and then celebrating when you successfully complete the behaviour. For example, if you want to form an exercise habit, the smallest possible action might be to put your gym kit on, the anchor to do it straight away when you get home from work. While this doesn't make you exercise, it's the first step in the sequence to completing exercise, and more often than not, once you've taken that first step, the rest become much easier. So you put your gym kit on and then congratulate yourself for doing it, celebrating the success. It's about building habits from the ground up. Fogg recognises that the New Year's Resolution of going to the gym three times a week is going to fail in 99% of cases, because it's too much. You go once, you feel great, then the next day you ache, or might even be injured because your body isn't used to it, and two days later when it comes to your next session, you're not ready to go back, so already on the second time you're failing. Failing makes us feel bad, so we never try. This is why the 'Tiny' element works so well. Fogg would advocate for doing one press up before bed. Because no matter how tired you are, how much you ache, you can do one press up (or modified against the wall press-up for weaklings like me with no upper body strength!), you'll not fail to keep with the habit. And if you do one press-up... you'll probably do more on a number of the days. Full of step by step breakdowns, diagrams and scientific theory enough to help you understand fully, without being overwhelmingly academic, Tiny Habits is a recipe book to help you be your best self. Starting small can lead to big changes, and I'm already implementing a lot of the techniques Fogg discussed. Plus I've recommended the book to my sister, who is going to buy it as soon as it comes out. I enjoy self help and personal development books, but I'm rarely as excited about one as I am about this one. If you're looking to make some good habits - or break some bad ones - I highly recommend you check this one out.
I loved this! I implemented small ones for my room and I ended up finding 31 pairs of shoes! It's very handy, but it's one you have to read over and over again for the habits to sink in. They are simple, but hard if you aren't already in the mindset.
A great book - I'm only half-way through but am able to use a lot of this advice and find it genuinely helpful. The theories behind it will help me build new habits and disciplines, and also help those around me to do so. Nice to see a self-help book that's so practical.
The time has come for people to consider new years resolutions and with that comes these types of practical self-help guides. I would say this is one of the most accessible and fascinating that I've come across and it is packed with helpful hints and tips that direct you as to how to change aspects of your life for the better. It's a comprehensive and very informative book and talks about how and why habits form and how to change them. I particularly appreciated that Fogg doesn't blame us for failing to change aspects of our lives and confirms that failure is not linked to a lack of personal willpower; I have come across numerous books about habitual behaviour that blame the individual which doesn't exactly inspire you to try again and has you pretty disheartened before even beginning. Instead, Fogg says the approach we have been taught for decades is wrong and as stated at the beginning of Tiny Habits there are three important things to remember if looking to successfully amend our behaviours: 1) Stop judging yourself 2) Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviours 3) Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward. Sometimes these non-fiction titles can be very dry and difficult to wade through, but I found this very readable and incredibly helpful not to mention thought-provoking. I am looking forward to putting the tips into action and I like that this book takes a radically different approach to other similar books. Of course, it has been released now to cash in on the likely huge new years resolution market which irks me a little given people are often looking to change long-held habitual behaviour all year long. However, I can see that a lot more people begin to consider adapting their behaviour at this time of year. I feel strongly that Tiny Habits could really lead to the improvement and enrichment of many people's lives and it is punctuated and illustrated with examples and stories which aid understanding. We are all full of good intentions for the new year and new start but maybe using this book as a guide we will be much more successful this time. Go on and take the bull by the horns. Good luck! Many thanks to Virgin Books for an ARC.
Tiny Habits surprised me. It was very readable and I can see myself returning to it in the future when I'm ready to create more new habits. I've already found myself thinking about how I can incorporate some of the ideas into my own life. With lots of examples of 'habiteers' who have had success with the Tiny Habits method, the simple, common-sense approach feels very achievable (even for me and I'm hopeless at keeping up with new habits!) There are lots of examples in the appendix to have a go at yourself and I hope to implement some of these as we move into the new year but, as Fogg recommends, if (when) I fail I'll aim to adapt rather than give up. The book also points to the Tiny Habits website with lots of free resources and ideas to help you get started, and to stick to your new habits. With exercises at the end of each chapter to help a reader implement the Tiny Habits method into their own lives, I can see this book being a practical handbook for those who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle and improvements to their health, wellbeing and productivity. I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This self help book explains how to create tiny habits as basis and move on to bigger ones to reach the goals you've set. That's exactly what I was looking for as my motivation usually sinks after a while and I'm back to square one. The examples at the beginning of the book didn't resonate much with me but the more I read, the more I could imagine creating my own tiny habits. It's a bit repetitive at times but that wasn't annoying, it just made me think more about the whole process and take more notes. I have a Kindle version and will buy a paperback one as soon as it's out as I want to refer to it often. I already created two tiny habits that are going strong and I'm confident I'll "upgrade" them soon. Thank you to the publisher who provided me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a great book on building new habits, starting with the tiniest of changes. Written with authority, it’s full of practical ways to implement the change. I’d highly recommend, but having read this as an electronic version on NetGalley, would suggest getting a paper copy as there are diagrams and charts that are hard to read digitally. I’m buying a paper copy now.
Inventive, smart and simple. This book describes a method of breaking down behaviours into easy steps. It also looks at getting away from guilt and negative feelings when you fail and turning it into something more positive. The writing was easy to follow and the diagrams further illustrated the points made. The methods in this book can be applied to all areas of your life and this makes it versatile and adaptable. A self help book like I have not read before and definitely recommended. Thanks you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read in return for review.
I very rarely read 'self-help' type books. However, when I received an email about Tiny Habits, I was intrigued as it was a method I was already trying to implement in my life. So when I started reading Tiny Habits, I knew this was the method for me. Fogg explains so many things I've fallen victim of in the past - things like the 'motivational wave' where you decide to make drastic changes only to completely fall off the wagon a week later. I have nothing but praise for this book if you are trying to implement changes in your life (e.g. flossing your teeth, working out, or making big life decisions) and are struggling to find a method that works. I went straight out and bought a hardcopy of this book so I could annotate it and refer to other sections more easily. I can see me coming back to this book and method for years to come.
I am pleased to report that this is not your usual self help book. Nothing revolutionary just small changes, advice on how to stick to them and reasons why we don't always succeed. Be kind to yourself is the message.
An inspirational book that I started to read some two weeks after New Year Resolutions. Now I know why they fail every year as I have never looked at the whole behaviour package in the way that BJ Fogg, the author, does. The exercises throughout helped me to see the errors in my thinking and I am now ready to start again.
A really interesting premise to make tiny changes to introduce a new habit rather than sweeping changes that will be abandoned weeks (days!) after first declaring them. I liked the quiet, thoughtfulness of the methods described in the book and am making my list and breaking it down ready to implement my own tiny habits!
This book aims to help people change their habits with small changes that everyone can manage. Slightly more self helpy than I imagined from the scientific basis I still found it to be an easy, accessible read.
Great book for assisting you to build new habits into your life. These are all done in small steps, otherwise the author has discovered too much of a change and you will not stick to the new habit. For example the author wanted to floss his teeth, so instead of doing all of them, he started off with just one tooth and increased it as it became a daily habit. Definitely an interesting book to read and helps you set up your new habits quite easily. I received this book from Netgalley in return for a honest review.
Have your New Year’s Resolutions fallen by the wayside already? Or, are you gritting your teeth and battling on, quietly unsure that the goal is bringing any benefits? I’ve been in both places; I’ve learned what doesn’t really work for me: grand goals, constant need for willpower, all the advice about joining a group, and many many other things. I’m guessing a few of you might well be in the same boat. Step forward Tiny Habits. I cannot begin to tell you the ‘yes!’ I had when I started reading about this approach: if I could have condensed my own thoughts about life improving habits I could only have hoped to have written this book! The author, a researcher at Stanford University, has developed the Fogg Behavior Model, where Behavior (or, the habit you want to develop) = motivation + ability + prompt. BMAP. Fogg Behaviour Model graph of ability against motivation Simply put, the harder you find something to do, the more motivation you’re going to need, and conversely you won’t need to find as much motivation to do a task you find easy. To get a habit to form, you need the behaviour to be above that ‘action line’. I can’t do the idea justice, but the book walks you through it wonderfully. Motivation isn’t going to work long-term, so finding ways to make the behaviour easier is key – and making the habit ‘tiny’ is an excellent approach. For instance, do just 2 push ups. That will most likely grow, but as long as you do 2 the habit will form – far more likely than if you set the bar as, say, 50, and watch as you make excuses to get out of it. The book opens with some great insight into why we find it hard to do things, what drives our behaviour in general. It then breaks down the elements of the BMAP – motivation and matching, ability, using different kinds of prompts to remind yourself to carry out the habit. As well as loads of useful, chatty case studies, there are several exercises such as the ‘Swarm of B(ehaviour)s’ designed to help you set up your own experiment in behaviour design. And that mindset of ‘experimentation’ is pushed strongly: no beating yourself up when something doesn’t work, you just have to modify the experiment design. It’s refreshingly helpful and kind. Later chapters cover growing or multiplying your habits, changing with others – family, colleagues, groups (whether overtly or in a more ninja-style ;)), and for me an important chapter on reversing some of the approaches to tackle bad habits. Overall, I loved this book. I tried not to rush through it, and already want to read it again taking notes (tough to do on the bus!) and rather than just trying bits and pieces (working so far!) absolutely give the entire process a go to see how far it can take me in improving my habits! I have very high hopes – it’s my kind of book!
I always love this kind of book, maybe not as a traditional read it all in one go but I do find books like this are great to come back to when you need to solve a problem. I love that the book has exercises for you to follow with a variety of examples too. Even reading through there were some examples that I thought I’d put a note inside as it might be helpful in the future. Resourceful as one big read - loved the way it was set out and with drawings throughout. It’s also great as a book to come back to when you need help with productivity or just reset after setting new goals.
I have read quite a few books when I have been motivated to make a big change in my life or want to gain a new perspective. This book is different and yet so simple. Very powerful tool with reasoning and research to how and why it works. Already I have started three new tiny habits which the confidence that they will stay and become bigger. One of my favourites books in this genre to-date. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a honest review.