Tiny Habits

by BJ Fogg
First sentence: “Tiny is mighty.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: It’s pretty basic, with nothing too technical. it’s in the self-help section of the bookstore.

I don’t usually read self-help books, but I heard a small interview with Fogg on the NPR book podcast and thought it sounded interesting. Fogg is a behavior psychologist (and someone my husband knew at BYU), and has spent years string what makes people tick. And how habits form and are kept. It really boils down to this: behavior is motivation plus ability plus a prompt. The problem with most self-help stuff is that it focuses on motivation. And Fogg breaks it down to something simpler: it’s not motivation, it’s the action. We are trying to do something too big. Anyone can do something tiny, right? So, start there. Find a place that a habit fits into your life (a good prompt) and then start super small. Floss one tooth. Take a sip of water. Design the habit to fit with your life. Oh: And celebrate every. single. time.

It’s kind of fascinating to think about, how staring small with something can help habits grow. He had a lot of good insights into behavior and forming (and breaking) habits. I think it got a bit repetitive by the end but it mostly was a good and interesting read. And maybe I’ll even start trying out some tiny habits.

Quiet Power

quietpowerby Susan Cain (with Gregory Mone and Erica Moroz)
First sentence: “Why are you being so quiet?”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Release date: May 3, 2016
Review copy sent to me by the publisher because we’re having the illustrator, Grant Snider (who’s local) for an event.
Content: It’s geared more toward middle- and high-school students; most of the examples are from those age groups, and the settings are generally for older kids. Though it’s written at a level that I think a 5-th grader (or an advanced 4th-grader) could handle. It’ll probably be in the Teen Information (which is where all the upper level kids’ non-fiction goes) section of the bookstore.

I’ve been meaning to read Quiet for years, but haven’t ever gotten to it. As a self-described introvert, I figured there was stuff I needed to know about us, but life, and an expanding TBR list, got in the way. The comes along Quiet Power, the young readers version of Quiet,  and all of a sudden I need to read it because of an upcoming store event. Not having read Quiet, I don’t know how it compares.

That said, this is an excellent resource for introverted kids who are trying to figure out how to navigate life. Especially the ones who think there’s something “wrong” with them. Cain has done her research, highlighting the successes of a number of introverted kids (she specifically says that this edition was requested by kids and others who have read her other book and wanted one for themselves), and giving introverted kids coping mechanisms. It covers everything from defining what an “introvert” really is (and comparing it to being “shy”), to how to handle public speaking, to finding a space in your house to retreat (restoration niches! I love that. I have definitely found that those are important in my life.). It gives encouragement: introverts can be performers, can be public speakers, can use their strengths to enact change. It’s inspiring to read about people who actually can put their mind to things and do something great.

A bit about the illustrations, since Grant Snider is local: I love the webcomic style, and the handy one-page illustrations that not only sum-up several of the chapters, but add a bit of humor as well.

There’s also a couple of chapters at the end, one for teachers on how to better help more introverted students in the classroom and one for parents to help them understand their more introverted children. It’s a great resource for the adults as well, to help kids express themselves more fully.

Definitely a good read.