Summary of Small Move, Big Change

Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently

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Small Move, Big Change book summary
Microresolutions – small steps designed to address specific behaviors – can change your life.


9 Overall

10 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


“I will lose weight. I will be more organized. I will get out of debt.” Despite your best intentions, you often fail to keep your resolutions. Technology expert Caroline L. Arnold shows you how to improve your life with “compact and powerful” resolutions that “nail a precise behavioral target exactly and deliver benefits immediately.” Unlike traditional resolutions, “microresolutions” work because you focus on doing, not being. Instead of pushing yourself to somehow become different, you pledge to carry out a concrete, sustainable action. One of Arnold’s first practical, successful microresolutions was “to put all her notes in one notebook” instead of jotting things on scattered pads. She made this pledge because her previous resolution “to be organized” didn’t bring about any substantial change. Arnold lists seven microresolution rules you can apply to any category of self-improvement. She gears chapters 13, 14, 16 and 17 toward solving business-world problems, including clutter, office relationships, tardiness and disorganization. Her easy-to-read, inspiring manual includes numerous motivational examples. getAbstract recommends Arnold’s guide to people who want to make positive, enduring life changes, one powerful microstep at a time.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to make and keep microresolutions
  • How microresolutions differ from typical resolutions
  • How to use microresolutions to improve your life


“How to Make a Microresolution”
Do you want to solve a problem in some area of your life: improve a relationship, clear out clutter, lose a few pounds, or the like? These are vague self-improvement goals. If you want to make some changes and keep them going, specifically define how you...
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About the Author

Caroline L. Arnold, a managing director at a Wall Street investment bank, received a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for designing the auction system for Google’s IPO.

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