Tiny Habits

Author: BJ Fogg

Book Summary (in 3 Sentences)

A behavior is a combination of three key elements: motivation (desire), ability (capacity), and prompt (cue). Motivation and ability work together to increase the likelihood of a behavior — more motivation can overcome less ability and more ability means less motivation is required. No behavior happens without some kind of prompting or cue.

How I Discovered It

I initially encountered BJ Fogg at a SXSW Digital conference years ago. One of the presenters mentioned his work in their talk on productivity. More recently I discovered the book Tiny Habits referenced in Nir Eyal’s book, Indistractable.

Who Should Read It

If you enjoyed Atomic Habits by James Clear, you will definitely like this book on habits by Fogg. There are some very concrete examples on how to build your own “tiny habits” — which are similar to Clear’s “atomic habit” concept.

How the Book Changed Me (life, behavior, thoughts, ideas have changed)

This book helped me to understand the importance of motivation and ability in starting any new habit. Knowing that motivation or lack thereof is a big part of forming new habits helped me to have grace and compassion for myself when habits don’t stick.

Top 3 Quotes

  • “Notice that fussing around with motivation is the last step in the troubleshooting order. Most people assume that to get a behavior to happen you need to focus on motivation first.”
  • “When you set motivation aside and design your habits by manipulating ability, you might be surprised at how quickly your habits take hold and grow.”
  • “Making a behavior radically tiny is the cornerstone of the Tiny Habits method for a reason—it’s a foolproof way to make something easier to do.”