Hello, Habits: A Minimalist’s Guide to a Better Life

Fumio Sasaki. Norton, $21.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-324-00558-2
Sasaki (Goodbye, Things), founder of Minimal & Ism blog, offers a methodology for developing helpful, healthful habits in this handy guide. Sasaki defines habits as “actions that we take with barely a thought” that work through a cycle of trigger-routine-reward, maintaining the behavior by rewriting the nerve cells in the brain. He discusses how rewards are not just material things, but also the sense of satisfaction that comes from a mix of dopamine and stress-induced cortisol. Some of the most powerful rewards of habits take time, he argues, and one must maintain the habit for a long time before perceiving the full benefits. Sasaki breaks the intentional acquisition of a new habit into 50 steps, opening with severing ties with “vicious circles” and relying on life’s natural turning points, such as moving homes or changing jobs, as well as psychological tricks like making a financial investment in one’s intended habit (such as an amateur musician buying a nice guitar) and making starting targets very small. He finishes with habit-maintaining advice like gradually increasing challenges to avoid boredom and chaining new habits onto established ones. Readers who find establishing a routine frustrating will love Sasaki’s methods. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/06/2020
Release date: 01/05/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6650-2185-2
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