I have many things in my life that I wish came easier. I know intellectually the positive affect on my life it would have if I would do those things. I’m sure you know what I mean: floss more often, drink more water, make more calls, etc. There are many behaviors where I know that if I did them consistently I would be more successful, healthier, and happier. As Jim Rohn says “Some things are easy to do, but they’re also easy not to do.”
In preparing for this month’s lunch and learn on how to create habits that support success in all areas of life, I came across the concept of Tiny Habits, as presented by BJ Fogg. You can watch his entire Ted Talk by clicking here. The idea is to take willpower out of the equation as much as you can by introducing small behaviors that are easy to do. Once these small behaviors become a habit they are easy to add on to and it grows.
The habit hack that he recommends are 3 simple steps:
1) Start really small. When I say small, I mean extremely small. So easy that even if you’re tired and pressed for time you will do it. For example, if you want to drink more water take the tiny step of putting a glass of water on your desk.
2) Identify a trigger. Tie your new small habit to something you already have in your routine. Choose something in your routine that you do with the same frequency as you’d like to do the new behavior. Is this something you’ll do once or five times a day? The formula is “After I ________ then I _________.”
3) Celebrate the good behavior. This doesn’t need to be big, but it does need to be immediate. You can give yourself a thumbs up, do a victory dance, say to yourself “You rock!”, say out loud “yay me!”, or imagine a roaring crowd cheering you on. This positive reinforcement, no matter how small, is fun and let’s your brain know that this was a good thing to do and you should do it again. Reinforcing this behavior makes it easier to do and therefore easier to build on.
So, what’s the tiny behavior that you will start with? What is the small step that will help you move you forward?