Meera Lester, an internationally published author, has written more than two dozen books, including Sacred Travels, The Everything Law of Attraction, The Secret Power of You, My Pocket Meditations, and Rituals for Life. After spending time in India in her early twenties, she has been a lifelong practitioner of hatha yoga, Dhyan meditation, and Kundalini Maha Yoga.
UPDATED: Includes the best habit tracking apps of 2017.
Lasting Change For Early Quitters, Burnouts, The Unmotivated, And Everyone Else Too
When I decided to start exercising consistently 10 years ago, this is what actually happened:
Like most people who try to change and fail, I assumed that I was the problem.
Then one afternoon--after another failed attempt to get motivated to exercise--I (accidentally) started my first mini habit. I initially committed to do one push-up, and it turned into a full workout. I was shocked. This "stupid idea" wasn't supposed to work. I was shocked again when my success with this strategy continued for months (and to this day).
I had to consider that maybe I wasn't the problem in those 10 years of mediocre results. Maybe it was my prior strategies that were ineffective, despite being oft-repeated as "the way to change" in countless books and blogs.
My suspicions were correct.
Is There A Scientific Explanation For This?
As I sought understanding, I found a plethora of scientific studies that had answers, with nobody to interpret them correctly. Based on the science--which you'll find peppered throughout Mini Habits--we've been doing it all wrong.
You can succeed without the guilt, intimidation, and repeated failure associated with such strategies as "getting motivated," New Year's Resolutions, or even "just doing it." In fact, you need to stop using those strategies if they aren't giving you great results.
Most popular strategies don't work well because they require you to fight against your subconscious brain (a fight not easily won). It's only when you start playing by your brain's rules and taking your human limitations seriously--as mini habits show you how to do--that you can achieve lasting change.
What's A Mini Habit?
A mini habit is a very small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day; its "too small to fail" nature makes it weightless, deceptively powerful, and a superior habit-building strategy. You will have no choice but to believe in yourself when you're always moving forward.
The barrier to the first step is so low that even depressed or "stuck" people can find early success and begin to reverse their lives right away. And if you think one push-up a day is too small to matter, I've got one heck of a story for you!
Aim For The First Step
They say when you aim for the moon, you'll land among the stars. Well, that doesn't make sense, as the moon is closer than the stars. I digress.
The message is that you should aim very high and even if you fall short, you'll still get somewhere. I've found the opposite to be true in regards to productivity and healthy behaviors. When you aim for the moon, you won't do anything because it's too far away. But when you aim for the step in front of you, you might keep going and reach the moon.
I've used the Mini Habits strategy to get into the best shape of my life, read 10x more books, and write 4x as many words. It started from requiring one push-up from myself every day. How ridiculous is that? Not so ridiculous when you consider the science of the brain, habits, and willpower.
The Mini Habits system works because it's how our brains are designed to change.
Note: This book isn't for eliminating bad habits (some principles could be useful for breaking habits). Mini Habits is a strategy to create permanent healthy habits in: exercise, writing, reading, thinking positively, meditating, drinking water, eating healthy foods, etc.
Lasting change won't happen until you take that first step into a strategy that works. Give Mini Habits a try. You won't look back.
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.
The simple truth is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The fifteen leading causes of death claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn't have to be the case. By following Dr. Greger's advice, all of it backed up by strong scientific evidence, you will learn which foods to eat and which lifestyle changes to make to live longer.
History of prostate cancer in your family? Put down that glass of milk and add flaxseed to your diet whenever you can. Have high blood pressure? Hibiscus tea can work better than a leading hypertensive drug-and without the side effects. Fighting off liver disease? Drinking coffee can reduce liver inflammation. Battling breast cancer? Consuming soy is associated with prolonged survival. Worried about heart disease (the number 1 killer in the United States)? Switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet, which has been repeatedly shown not just to prevent the disease but often stop it in its tracks.
In addition to showing what to eat to help treat the top fifteen causes of death, How Not to Die includes Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen -a checklist of the twelve foods we should consume every day.Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting edge nutritional science, these doctor's orders are just what we need to live longer, healthier lives.