If you’ve been failing to do what you want to do in life, don’t be so quick to blame yourself. When people try to change, they usually try to get amped up for the change, but no matter how badly you want the change, you haven’t changed yet! On Decemeber 28, 2012, I was a sad person, sitting on my bed and wishing for the motivation star to come swoop down and energize me.
The motivation star never did come save me, but I was able to turn my life around in the most embarrassing way possible.
Michael Michalko’s book, Thinkertoys, is a creative thinking book that gave me this crazy idea. Daily exercise in small amounts is far more powerful than single, intense workout sessions. Willpower is a limited resource, which is why we can “burn out.” It can, however, be strengthened. Having weak willpower is a tricky problem that most people have and can’t solve, because it takes consistent willpower usage to strengthen willpower, but people tend to burn out before they can strengthen it.
These findings—combined with my personal experience in the last year—hit me like a linebacker.
When you always hit your target (and usually exceed it), prior feelings of guilt and inadequacy leave you quickly. This term describes your belief in your ability to impact outcomes (similar to confidence).
One day, I may be an anti-motivational speaker, because I don’t believe in it as a starting strategy.


There are other benefits, and perhaps we’ll cover these in more detail at a later time.
Stephen Guise is the author of the best-selling,  Mini Habits book, and the founder of Deep Existence—a blog about focusing, small steps, habits, and minimalism. 20121 Kings 8:28 -- But please listen to my prayer and my request, because I am your servant. Michalko talks about a technique called False Faces, where you consider the opposite of what you’re currently thinking to see a full spectrum of possibilities. To exercise more is one thing, but to not have to face resistance to do it is game-changing. Self-efficacy has been found to be a key influencer in goal success (source, and there are others). Habits don’t require large or impressive numbers like 100 push-ups, they only require consistency. While Mini Habits is a simple strategy, it has a complex, smart, and scientific backing to it.
You don’t need more motivation, you need a strategy that can leverage the abilities of the current you into a better you. I didn’t resolve to transform my fitness on the top of a mountain as I beat my chest like King Kong.
Most goals we have are not risks, but 100% achievable outcomes—we should win that battle every time.
With high self-efficacy, you’re more likely to take action because you believe that action will not be in vain.


For a more thorough analysis of the science of willpower, how habits form in the brain, and a step-by-step guide to succeed with your own mini habits, check out the Mini Habits book on Amazon. After 10 years of trying and falling short of my fitness goals, I hoped for success, but expected the same results, and I would have gotten them had I not changed fitness habit strategies. Mini habits are like a self-efficacy training program—they train you to always expect to succeed.
Think about having 100 days to do 100 push-ups and two options—do them all on one day, or do one each day. My results were significant and consistent—better than any other strategy I had tried (and I write about personal development every day, so I’ve tried almost everything). Mini Habits has already sold more than 1,000 copies worldwide in less than 30 days, largely due to word-of-mouth and very positive reviews. There are so many extra benefits that come from following this simple method, that I could write another book about it. But spreading them out over time like that will form into a habit of one daily push-up, from which you can build higher.



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