“Turning the Flywheel of Self-Discipline”: Just do push-ups every day, or just write fifty words a day-three key points for practicing “mini habits”

Sharing is Caring

Turning the Flywheel of Self-Discipline, The book “Amazing Habit Power” is completed step by step in the small goal of writing 50 words a day that he set for himself. Gass’s experience tells us that if we take some seemingly insignificant positive behaviors every day, the continuous accumulation will produce amazing power, and the two resistances mentioned above that hinder habits are also subconsciously overcome in the process.

The first resistance, lack of motivation to start action. The point of establishing mini habits is that the goal must be small enough, unbelievably small, only in this way, we will not be afraid to start, isn’t it just doing a push-up? Isn’t it just writing fifty characters? Compared to the ceiling of your ability, the habits you want to form are unbelievably simple.

I believe that I can do it. Once I start the first step and achieve the small goal, I really want to expand this result and complete more. After all, compared with this small goal, your ability is more than enough. Therefore, even if you don’t run fast at first, you are heading in the right direction, and you can break through the first resistance to action.

The second resistance is unsustainable. Mini habits also solve this problem. Since the goal is set very small, it will exceed expectations after a little effort, so there is no unsustainable pressure at all. On the contrary, as long as you do a little more, you will feel very happy, and in the end often exceed your expectations. Therefore, mini habits can avoid the two major resistances of developing habits.

Therefore, under the method of mini habits, every day, because of continuous small achievements, we will continue to strengthen our inertia and improve our abilities.

In this way, you will not feel guilty and frustrated because you did not complete your goals, but will continue to persevere because of the spiral incentive mechanism that comes with the mini habits, and eventually you can develop small habits into big habits and achieve big goals.

Mini-habits are the fulcrum for leveraging big goals with small changes, which is also the key to developing big habits from a small behavior.


  1. How to apply mini habits to life?

How do mini habits apply in life? There are eight steps in total:

  • Step 1: Choose a mini habit and make a daily plan. For example, one push-up every day, or writing fifty words a day.
  • Step 2: Find out the intrinsic value of each mini habit. Think about the benefits of the mini habit you want to develop, or why you should stick to it. For example, write every day, think about why you need to write; exercise, think about why you need to exercise, and think clearly about the benefits of mini habits.
  • Step 3: Incorporate mini habits into your schedule. For example, it is stipulated that you start working at nine o’clock in the morning every day, and exercise every day after get off work. Having a clear habit starting point will make it easier for people to continue.
  • Step 4: Establish a feedback mechanism. After the mini habits are formed, rewards can be used to improve continuous motivation, which is the personal achievement feedback system mentioned earlier.
  • Step 5: Document and track completion. You can record the status of habit formation every day. On the one hand, it is a review, and on the other hand, it is also a continuous improvement of confidence.
  • Step 6: Start small and complete excessively. Once you start, overdo it as much as possible, not just do a pushup.
  • Step 7: Get rid of high expectations by following a schedule. When I first started exercising, I did push-ups. Maybe after a while, I felt that the goal was too low, so I hoped to have a higher goal. I felt that doing ten push-ups a day was okay, so I adjusted the goal to ten. Instead, Gass suggests, we stick to a small, paltry goal. The key is to focus your expectations and energy on continuing, rather than having high expectations for the amount of tasks to be achieved. Sustained frequency is more important than single quantity.
  • Step 8: Watch for signs of habit formation. Don’t rush to stop a mini habit training program until the habit is internalized.

In fact, these eight steps are very easy to understand. In addition, in the process of practicing mini habits, there are three key points, which I would like to remind everyone.


  1. Three key points for practicing mini habits

The first key point of practicing mini habits, what is a tiny habit?

If you think you can do twenty push-ups easily, is ten push-ups a mini habit or one push-up a mini habit? Gass said, one.

Why do 20 push-ups do not consume too much willpower and energy, but why set the goal so small? This involves the trick of mini habits.

Gass’s experience is: Minimize habits until they are insignificant. Only when they are so small that they will make the brain think that they are really non-threatening.

There is no such thing as too small a mini habit. If you are not sure how small a habit should be, choose the smaller one.

The second key to practicing mini habits is alternative reward mechanisms.

Because the changes brought about by mini habits may be very small, when we insist on doing a push-up or insisting on writing fifty words, the brain often does not feel the reward, but if there is reward, the brain will be more willing to repeat it. thing. For example, as far as fitness is concerned, long-term fitness can bring good returns to the body, but at the moment of fitness, the muscles of the whole body are saying: We don’t want to move.

Therefore, Gass proposed an alternative reward technique. When the mini habit cannot produce real rewards, we set up an alternative reward for the brain.

For example, when you finish a short run or write a 50-point article, you can give your brain a creative reward: you can watch a funny video and make yourself laugh, and laughing will also release and improve your mood The chemicals are also a nice bonus.

At this time, it is to artificially set a reward to “cheat” the brain. When the mini habits form a real habit and have real rewards, this “crutch” can be thrown away.

The third key point in practicing mini habits is how to judge that the habit has been formed?

This is very interesting, what are the signs of the transition from mini habits to habits? Gass gave several habit-forming signals.

The first is that identity changes. Just imagine, you were an overweight person in the past, and after losing fifteen kilograms, the label of being fat will be torn off. In the past, you insisted on how many words to write every day, but now you will say, I am a writing person. In the past, you said how many pages you read every day, but now you will say that I am a person who reads. When identity changes, it may indicate that a habit has been formed.

Furthermore, there is no need to deliberately remind yourself. Just like running, in the early days, I would deliberately remind myself and urge myself to run. But after slowly forming a habit, instead of running for a day, I feel uncomfortable all over. When we no longer need to think about whether to do it or not, it means that we have formed a habit.

Sometimes we worry that we will not be able to continue, but when a behavior becomes a habit, we will know in our hearts that we will continue to do it. Therefore, when our inner cognition and feelings change, it means that the small habit in the past has been carefully cultivated by us into a “towering tree” and can grow by itself.


Sharing is Caring