Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #24)

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, Stephen Guise, notes by Kingston S. Lim

Below are my personal notes of Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books.

Mini Habits: 

  • A very small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day, so small that it’s too small to fail. (Use it to understand and work on the basics)

Forming New Habits:

  • The 2 keys to habit change as far as the brain is concerned is repetition and reward. 
    • Your brain will be more likely to repeat something if there is a reward


  • Unreliable as motivation is based on how you feel and feelings are fluid and unpredictable
    • (too many external factors not in control)
  • Enthusiasm is great, but see it as a bonus rather than a cue for taking action
    • (build on a solid base, not on the whims of emotions)
  • A mistake people often make is not taking into account that their motivation and energy will fluctuate dramatically
    • When you set something “stupid small”, your brain is less likely to resist


  • Unlike motivation, willpower can be strengthened like a muscle
  • You can improve your ability to take action despite feeling resistance due to emotional trauma, lack of confidence, bad mood or low energy levels. This is willpower

Resistance Barriers to New Habit Formation:

  • Effort: Mini Habits require minimal effort, it forces you to start, but its flexible after that, allowing you to decide how much extra you want to do
  • Perceived Difficulty: Setting mini goals is the best way to drop the perceived difficulty in any project.
    • The total intention is so small, there is no risk of quitting too early
  • Subjective Fatigue: A big factor in subjective fatigue depends on how you see yourself stack up against a goal, small goals look less daunting. 
  • One small step + desired behavior = high probability of further steps

Integrating Mini Habits into Your Life

  • Look at mini habits as your day’s foundation, these things must get done, but they only take a few minutes total to do. After that, you can do anything you want, whether its “bonus reps” or other activities

Mini Habits: 8 Small Steps to Big Change

  1. Choose Your Mini Habits and Habit Plan
    1. One Week Flexible Plan: Choose 1 habit and use the Mini Habit system for 1 week. After a week, assess the difficulty and stick with it or add more. 
      1. The more mini habits you have, the less likely you are to overachieve in them
      2. Imagine the hardest days. If you can do something on the day you’re tired, stressed and busy, you can do it everyday
      3. As no one likes to be micromanaged, the low commitment threshold grants freedom that increases performance
  2. Use the Why Drill on Each Mini Habit
    1. Once you have your habits, identify the why, continue to ask why until you’ve found the core (begin with the end in mind)
  3. Define Your Habit Cues
    1. Time based: Performed at a set time
    2. Activity based: Performed after another activity
    3. Set a deadline only before you sleep, an earlier deadline means you’ll discontinue the habit for the rest of the day. 
  4. Create Your Reward Plan
    1. Stimulate endorphins via laughter/crossing off items, that coincide with the habit
    2. Rewards restore willpower
  5. Write Everything Down
    1. You are more likely to follow through on tasks if a sense of accountability is set up
  6. Think Small
    1. Repeated performance of small, achievable tasks strengthen willpower
    2. Small consistent doses over time strengthen the willpower muscle, which allows you to do more. Let the extra come from you, not your requirements
  7. Meet Your Schedule and Drop High Expectations
    1. Keep your goal small on paper and in your mind
    2. Instead of quantity, seek consistency that’ll be embedded in your subconscious mind
  8. Don’t Jump the Gun
    1. Doing too much too quickly results in burnout, be consistent and patient
    2. Start small, and remove the pressure of expectations
    3. Burnout is willpower exhaustion, it occurs when people try to do too much for too long
    4. If you encounter resistance that is strong, start smaller and build from there

If these brief notes, peaked your interest in Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, you can check it out on Amazon here.

And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.

All Previous Entries:

The Magic of Thinking Big: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #1

Millionaire Fastlane: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #2

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #3

30 Lessons for Living: Tried & True Advice from the Wisest Americans: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #4

Awaken the Giant Within: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #5

The End of Jobs: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #6

Slipstream Time Hacking: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #7

Think and Grow Rich: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #8

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #9

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #10

The Obstacle is the Way: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #11

Meditations: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #12

Why Loyalty Matters: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #13

Walden: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #14

Self Reliance and Other Essays: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #15

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #16

Letters From A Stoic: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #17

On the Shortness of Life: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #18

Principles Life & Work: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #19

As A Man Thinketh: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #20

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements without Giving In (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #21)

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #22)

Man’s Search for Meaning: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #23)

21 thoughts on “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #24)

    1. It’s my belief that everything we feel we should do but don’t want to (lets use exercise as an example) takes a mental toll as we force ourselves to do it.

      This is why many productivity enthusiasts encourage people to do the hardest tasks in the morning when we have the most willpower.

      But the quicker you can make a habit of something so that you don’t need to exert mental energy, the more things you can actually get done.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah too often people set big abstract goals for themselves with no idea how to achieve them. Like New Years Resolutions.

      It’s like your muscles, you need to get them used to small amounts before they can tolerate large amounts

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for this summary! I especially appreciate the distinction between motivation and willpower. There is such a difference! So many times I have lacked the motivation (or haven’t been in the mood) to work on something, but willpower is what carries me through and reminds me of the goal. I’m definitely going to check out your book now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. What I like the most is expectations. One should keep smaller expectations and trying to achieve them. Long term expectations many a times feels like day dreaming. Like who would have dreamt that covid would impact the world so much and would turn our lives upside down.😅

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Unlimited Memory: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #25) – Kingston S. Lim

  4. Pingback: The One Thing: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #26) – Kingston S. Lim

  5. Pingback: You Are Not Your Brain: The 4 Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits: (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #27) – Kingston S. Lim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s