Inspired by Style Statement, by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Power of Less

Leo Babauta is the author of the popular blog Zen Habits. Leo teaches others how to become more productive and more chill at the same time. Most notably, he has great advice to offer on staying focused in an electronic age, goal-setting, and establishing lifelong habits (like exercising regularly or waking up earlier).

Leo’s new book, The Power of Less, is a compact form of the most practical advice found on Zen Habits. The book is worth borrowing from the library—even though I’ve been reading Zen Habits for months, I still learned tons from The Power of Less.

For me, the most helpful advice Leo had was on establishing habits. Leo says that most people tend to start on new resolutions with great enthusiasm, only to burn out within a month or two. Leo’s advice is to start small—very small. Even smaller than you know you’re capable of.

For example, if your goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, Leo recommends starting out exercising 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week. That way, you conserve all that gung-ho new-goal energy, rather than spending it all at once. Each week, you can gradually up the ante until you’re at your goal, and it becomes a habit for life, rather than just a habit for the month of January.

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A happy student of Economics at Columbia University in New York City.