Habit Books: Influencer vs. Atomic Habits vs. Tiny Habits

There are dozens of published books about changing habits and other self-help books that include a variety of tools for individuals to improve their lives. In today’s post I’m going to review three of the most well-known books available.

Why I like the book, Influencer, better than the books, Atomic Habits and Tiny Habits

I recently finished reading BJ Fogg’s book, Tiny Habits, which is the Mitchener edition of changing habits—everything you ever wanted to know and much, much more.

It’s a dense, tightly spaced, slow read. BJ Fogg, PhD, founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. In addition to his research, Fogg teaches industry innovators how human behavior really works.

For those who are willing to wade through his book, there are gems to be found therein:

  • Stop judging yourself.
  • Break your goals down into small progressive actions.
  • Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.
  • You change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.
  • No behavior happens without a prompt. A prompt, whether inside yourself, or from someone else, cues you to take action.
  • Emotions create habits, not repetition; emotions make behavior more automatic.
  • Celebrate immediately after a new behavior and your brain repatterns to make the behavior more automatic in the future.

There are plenty of helpful ideas in BJ Fogg’s book, including chatty stories and multiple graphs.

I gave his book 4 stars.

Atomic Habits

James Clear is an author and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement.

This is an easier read with better spacing without a plethora of graphs and illustrations. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear teaches similar principles to help readers develop a positive change in their behavior.

By committing to the process of making tiny changes, marginal gains, 1 percent improvements, eventually new habits become part of your identity. You take the smallest action that confirms the type of person you want to be.

Here are some gems from his book:

  • Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, people who do not have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom.
  • Create a good habit: Cue – make it obvious; Craving – make it attractive; Response – make it easy; Reward – make it satisfying.
  • Break a bad habit: Cue – make it invisible; Craving – make it unattractive; Response – make it difficult; Reward – make it unsatisfying.
  • Reprogram your brain to enjoy hard habits. Change just one word: You don’t “have” to, you “get” to. Reframe your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks.
  • Changing habits is a continuous process.

James Clear’s book is another helpful book about changing habits, and the stories are better crafted.

Still, I gave his book 4 stars.

The book, Influencer, is authored by Kerry Patterson, et al., leaders of VitalSmarts, and follows the stories of 16 change agents from across the world.

There are actual people out there who—instead of asking for the serenity to accept the things they cannot change and seeking the wisdom to know the difference—have sought the wisdom to make a difference.

The purpose of this inspiring book is to share the principles and skills routinely employed by a handful of brilliant change agents so that readers can expand their set of influence tools and bring out important changes in their personal lives, their families, their companies, and even their communities.

In their summary sections, the authors encourage readers to search for vital behaviors, those few behaviors that can create a cascade of change, and recovery behaviors when you make a mistake—notice where you went wrong, and without judgment, take corrective action.

They suggest six sources of influence: personal motivation—make the undesirable desirable, personal ability—surpass your limits, social motivation—harness peer pressure, social ability—find strength in numbers, structural motivation—design rewards and demand accountability, and structural ability—change the environment.

Pick a challenge of your own and read these six chapters. Then fashion your own six-source influence strategy.

Here are some gems from this book:

  • Almost all profound, pervasive, and persistent problems in our lives don’t require solutions that defy the laws of nature; they require us to act differently.
  • If you want to change how you behave, you have to first change how you think.
  • The greatest persuader is personal experience.
  • A characteristic of human nature is our capacity to transcend and hence transform our own behavior. If we can find a way to change the feeling associated with a vital behavior, we can make formerly unappealing activities become satisfying.
  • The most powerful incentive known to humankind is our own evaluation of our behavior and accomplishments.

Influencer – The New Science of Leading Change

I found Influencer to be the most inspirational book about making changes and gave it 5 stars.

In a nutshell, each of these books has something to offer to any person who wants to make changes for the better in their life among many others that have been published.

The best read is Influencer because it crystalizes critical problems nobody could possibly fix and identifies how the change agents analyzed the problem and figured out how to fix the impossible.

Want our Influencer index? Download Here!

What happens, though, is expressed by Tessa Warschaw in her book, Rich is Better:

“Too often what we read and profess becomes part of our libraries and our vocabularies, instead of becoming part of our lives.”

What I have learned is that when I want to make a meaningful change, however small, it makes all the difference in the world if I’m wholehearted about it—loving myself in the process, rather than half-hearted, doubtful, and judgmental.

And that’s a blog for another time . . .

4 replies on “Habit Books: Influencer vs. Atomic Habits vs. Tiny Habits”

Thanks for the reviews. I found each helpful. I’m now interested in reading Influencer because of your personal experience.

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