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About Stephen Guise
Stephen Guise is an international bestselling author, blogger, and entrepreneur. His books have been translated into 17 languages.
As an author, Guise is known for delivering highly actionable, world-class behavior change strategies in a humorous wrapper. Stephen lives near Disney World in Orlando, FL.
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Imperfectionists Accomplish More with Less Stress
I remember when I aimed for perfect workouts: 30 minutes was the minimum.
I was in lousy shape.
I remember when I aimed for perfect dating: it couldn't be awkward, forced, or uncertain.
I didn't talk to women of interest.
I remember when I aimed for perfect writing: I wanted 1,000+ words of quality material per day.
I played video games instead.
I carefully avoided mistakes, endlessly ruminated about what I didn’t do, and what I did do wasn't enough.
Then, I became an imperfectionist.
Everything changed. I had fun stories to tell, like the lesbian pizza incident and the most nervous “Hi” ever spoken by a human being. I learned more. I laughed more. I lived more.
I got in great shape, read more books, and improved my social skills. I wrote Mini Habits, which became an international bestseller, and is being translated into a dozen languages.
I found I could mess up and still win.
What's the New Way to Cure Perfectionism?
The old way was to persuade people to “let go” of their need for perfection and hope they can do it.
The new way is to persuade people to take simple, but highly-strategic actions, which let them effortlessly experience the process of “letting go" of perfectionism. Over time, these behaviors become habitual and the changes last.
The old way was to tell perfectionists fight against and resist all perfectionistic thinking.
The new way is to utilize the perfectionist's current desires by redirecting them to healthier applications, resulting in more success with less stress.
The old way is based on popular but ineffective traditions of behavioral change, such as motivation-driven living, emotional manipulation, and an overall focus on the self instead of strategy.
The new way starts with a deep understanding of how emotion, motivation, fear, action, ambition, desire for comfort, desire for safety, and our insecurities interact with one another to push us to a default state of perfectionism. Which of those factors do we focus on to reverse perfectionism? Well, you've got to read the book to find out the best strategies!
What You'll Discover
- The lesser known, but most damaging form of perfectionism almost every person has
- A simple-to-apply technique to have unshakable confidence
- Why perfectionism hurts performance, and the rare exception where it helps
- Detailed and customized solutions for these five subsets of perfectionism: need for approval, rumination, unrealistic expectations, concern over mistakes, and doubts about actions
- Fun illustrations with a powerful message to begin each chapter
- ...and much more!
Imperfectionism Is Freedom
Perfectionism is a naturally limiting mindset. For example, kids are taught to color inside the lines, and any color outside the lines is considered a mistake that must be corrected. Imperfectionism frees us to live outside the lines, where possibilities are infinite, mistakes are allowed, and self-judgment is minimal.
While the freedom from imperfectionism is impactful, it does not preclude us from having problems.
***A Worldwide Bestseller in 21 Languages!***
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:
- I tried "getting motivated." It worked sometimes.
- I tried setting audacious big goals. I almost always failed them.
- I tried to make changes last. They didn't.
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.
I was right.
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. They don't work because they all 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'll won't shoot because it's too far away. But when you aim for the step in front of you, you might just 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.
Say goodbye to calorie counting, restrictive food bans, or other forced behaviors. In Mini Habits for Weight Loss, you will learn how to lose weight naturally, in the precise way your body and brain are meant to change.
We’ve blamed ourselves for lack of discipline. That didn’t help.
We’ve blamed calories, carbs, and fat. That didn’t help.
We’ve blamed our diet formulas. That didn’t help.
It’s time we looked at the practice of dieting.
Nearly all diets are ineffective because they’re based on dieting. Every person has a diet (noun), but it’s only if you are trying to lose weight that you diet (verb). Dieting is eating and drinking sparingly or selectively to reduce your weight.
It doesn’t work. If you’ve tried dieting, you know that.
Even the “perfect diet” with the right foods will fail if it’s approached from the traditional dieting perspective. Since weight loss experts are more concerned with biology than neuroscience, we get brilliant discussions on nutrition followed by the same dumb suggestion to “immediately start eating completely different foods than the ones you’re habitually used to eating, and give up everything else.”
Are You Fighting Your Own Body and Brain?
The brain resists dramatic behavioral shifts. Recognizing this and developing a strategy around it made the original Mini Habits the #1 selling self-help book in a number of countries. In Mini Habits for Weight Loss, you’ll see that we also biologically resist such changes, which explains why most dieters and smoothie-cleanse aficionados lose weight in the short term, only to gain it all back (and more) when the body adjusts.
Mini Habits for Weight Loss will show you how to make dietary changes in a sustainable, permanent way that doesn’t trigger biological or neurological resistance.
It’s a specialized version of the method that made the original book a hit in 14 languages. The mini habits remain easy to implement, but the reasoning and supporting tactics are more sophisticated. This is by necessity, as weight loss factors are many and varied. The strategies in the book are rooted in extensive biological and neuroscience research.
- Why it’s a terrible idea to forbid junk food.
- How some of the most impactful changes you can make don’t involve either diet or exercise.
- Why conscious calorie restriction causes long-term weight GAIN, and how this science has been publicly available (and ignored) for more than 30 years.
- How the body’s change process mirrors that of the brain, and why that is great news for losing weight.
- Creative strategies to mitigate weight gain from eating out, social events, and holiday binge sessions.
- Why eating fruit is essential to losing weight (for lots of reasons).
- The role of exercise and an active lifestyle in weight loss, with appropriate strategies.
Elastic habits are easier to form, more impactful, more fun, and more resilient than habits formed with any other strategy.
These flexible habits are just as easy to form as a mini habit, but with 3x the results (or more). To explain how and why this is possible, here's a hypothetical scenario involving my greatest fear in the world... bears.
Imagine you’re trail running in the woods, trying to set a new personal best time. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a large brown object moving towards you with great speed. And now it’s upon you. You gaze up in horror at a roaring mother grizzly bear. What do you do?
- Continue running (adrenaline boost!)
- Tackle the bear
- Play dead
- Call out “Jumanji”
Go ahead and play dead. It gives you the best chance of surviving a grizzly attack. But if you treated this situation as we are taught to treat goals and habits, you wouldn’t have that option. You’d have just one option, because most goals and habits are unchanging. So here’s your one option.
1. Continue running (certain death)
You had a plan (trail running), but your environment changed (momma bear). Whenever that happens, you must adapt to the unexpected situation for the best result. In the case of a bear attack, it can save your life. In the case of behavior change, it can save your habits.
This concept doesn’t only apply in a negative way, either. There will be times in which a situation is more favorable than anticipated, in which case, adapting to seize the opportunity is in your best interest. But if you follow any other habit book’s advice, they will tell you to do the same thing every day, to be inflexible.
The Result of Static Habits
If your static habit is small, you’ll achieve remarkable consistency (mini habits). But on days in which you can do more, it will feel (and possibly be) wrong to aim for something that easy. Over time, this may frustrate you.
If your static habit is large, you’ll have occasional big wins, but whenever life sends you a figurative grizzly bear, you’ll fail and your habit may die young.
Small habits are the best choice if you choose to form a static habit, but here’s why you shouldn’t.
The Power of Elastic Habits
No two days are the same. By making your habits elastic, you can adapt your aim to conquer every unique day of your life. You will still be surprised by the crazy happenings of life, no doubt, but you will no longer be unprepared for them.
Elastic habits give you an answer for every situation. They destroy excuses naturally, by saying, “Okay. How about doing this instead?” If normal habits are a hammer, elastic habits are your grandfather’s garage, a magical place with a tool for every need. It’s not a burden to have a hammer, a wrench, and a screwdriver—you simply select the one you need for the job.
In this book, you’ll find a comprehensive framework of elasticity for habit building. Elastic materials are stronger than rigid, brittle materials because they can adapt to pressure. The same is true for habits. Any dread or sense of monotony you’ve felt about forming habits will disappear, because this system is dynamic and exciting.