I recently heard a podcast by B.J. Fogg, a researcher out of Stamford, who intrigued me with his tiny habits method. I liked the way he says to take small steps towards some new habit you want to add into your life. This type of behavior would work well with the 30 day challenge I wrote about last week. If you want to add a new habit, for example strength training, you need to find a time that would work for you as well as remind you it is time to do this. Perhaps after you brush your teeth you do one push up. Every day after you brush your teeth you add a push up as you can. Before you know it you will be doing several push ups after you brush your teeth. This is a good way not only to incorporate and build a new habit, it also allows you to build up to what you want to accomplish without overdoing it so you don’t end up quitting! As you incorporate these tiny habits into your life it becomes part of your identity or new routine. The best way to set this up for yourself is to make a statement such as:
After I ___________________________ I will ___________________________________
(walk in the door) (hang up my coat)
Look for tiny new behaviors, very small incremental ones. If it’s not working scale it back even more and anchor it to a routine that you already have in place. See if the anchor and the new behavior go together naturally. For example, after I have my coffee, I will make my to do list or write in my journal or meditate. Whatever works for you. BJ Fogg believes in ultimate simplicity so you can be successful at incorporating this new behavior change. You make it so small you don’t have any excuse not to do it. Tiny successes can loom large in your mind and make you feel great about what you are accomplishing! It’s also beneficial to celebrate these small successes because emotion creates habits so if you feel good about it you will continue to do it. Give yourself a pat on the back or high five or great job every time you accomplish your new mini task. Recognize that you succeeded! The tiny habit that I am now incorporating into my life is
When my feet touch the floor in the morning I stand up with my arms high up in the sky and say it’s going to be a great day!
This is changing the trajectory of my day. It is amazing! What tiny habit are you going to start to incorporate starting now? I would love to hear from all of you!