Joe Bathelt's Reviews > Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Tiny Habits by B.J.  Fogg
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really liked it

I’m in two minds about this book. On one hand, I found a lot of useful advice. The approach to habit building in this book is novel and not just a rehashing of ideas that one may have come across elsewhere. It’s also an uplifting approach due to the emphasis on tiny changes that everyone is capable of making. Indeed, one of the messages running throughout the book is that making a positive change should not be hard. If it’s hard, the behavioural design should change. Since I started reading this book, I managed to integrate quite a few positive habits into my life that I could not stick with before. I also found the perspective of behavioural design helpful when thinking about the behaviour of others in my professional and private life.
On the other hand, I found some of the writing infuriating. Like many non-fiction books from US authors, the book is drawing out minor points way too much. The points are introduced, then illustrated with examples, then recapitulated in figures, and finally summarised again in exercises at the end of each chapter. I think the actual content of the book could be easily summarised in a few pages. Some also found some of the description infuriating. Many of the things described as models are nothing more than extremely simplistic descriptions of common sense knowledge. The simplicity does not take away from their usefulness, but I felt like the author was overselling the content. The worst example of this was the last chapter in which the author likens his method of getting people to floss their teeth to creating a panacea for all modern ills. I’m sorry about writing a self-help book and teaching classes that get people to share pictures of their breakfast online is not the same as curing cancer. In all, I think the book contains useful information for any reader if they are willing to separate the chaff from the grain.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 9, 2020 – Finished Reading
June 12, 2020 – Shelved

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