Small Move Big Change is about using small but smart microresolutions to effect lasting change when seeking to improve our sleep, diet, health, fitness, moneysaving, relationships, organisation and clutter.
Small Move Big Change Summary
Small Move Big Change is the debut book by Goldman Sachs tech guru Carlone Arnold.
Observing that 88% of New Years’ Resolutions fail each year, the book argues that a more effective approach to lasting change is to focus on incremental, timeboxed and specific changes that can be built up over time to generate lasting and substantive self improvements.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- Each year 9 in 10 New Year Resolutions fail within 90 days.
- Our self control fails so often that our culture actually expects failure over success.
- Most resolutions are abstract, non-specific and long-term ensuring that framing problems, decision fatigue and lack of training will inhibit lasting change.
- The failure of resolution is also incentivised by our society which is intent on selling products that appeal to human failure.
- All these ‘big push’ resolutions undervalue our time, energy and determination.
- By contrast a good micro resolution is limited, reasonable and achievable (e.g. walk for 15 minutes each day)
- Setting a micro-resolution also co-opts the power of a behavioural cue and immediate gratification.
- A good micro-resolution should also be personal and positively framed (e.g. savour each meal rather than ‘don’t chew your food’)
- Every micro-resolution should also be incremental with no more than two made at a time and each success building upon another one.
- A Zero Tolerance strategy is a particularly effective way to form a micro-resolution as it leaves no room for doubt and co-opts our autocompletion bias.
- By focusing on small changes, we can drive incremental large scale results (e.g. Atomic Habits) that would not be reached if we tackled the subject in on go.
- The practice of micro-resolve can work for many different life goals and will often complement each other as positive feedback spills over between sections.