What Does Your New Habit Smell Like?

If you’re trying to build habits, I have two bits of advice:

1.) Start TINY

Tiny habits are the building blocks of days and years and lifetimes. I never fully appreciated the power of tiny habits until I heard B J Fogg talk and teach on the subject. I wholeheartedly recommend his Tiny Habits method and encourage you to try his free email supported week-long tiny habit experience. It’s quick, easy, educational, and potentially life-changing!

Here are a couple of my favorite B J Fogg’s TED talks that talk more about building tiny habits:

Tiny Surprises for Happiness and Health

BJFogg TED Fremont

Forget Big Change, Start With a Tiny Habit

2.) Activate as many of your senses as you can in order to make a habit “stick.”

B J Fogg knows that emotion can help us habituate behaviors which is one of the reasons that he asks us to briefly, but exuberantly celebrate each time we hit our target behavior. A brief emotional response immediately after the new habit behavior seems to glue it down. He often suggests give yourself a high five or saying something celebratory out loud. Why not do both? Activate your tactile sense with a palm-to-palm smack and something positive that our ears can hear!

My sister’s experience with temporal lobe epileptic seizures (Click here to read post) helps me understand the role that our sense of smell can play in memory. Memory has everything to do with habit-building, so how about adding an olfactory hook to a habit we’re trying to build? It may not fit with every habit, but essential oils can help us layer a smell onto the other sense and emotions that help us hold on to new habits.


Some of the essential oils that might support memory are rosemary, basil, cypress, peppermint, and sage. I advise everyone I work with to use affirmations as a daily discipline. There’s solid scientific evidence that affirmations can reduce anxiety and boost confidence. Reciting an affirmation as you massage a drop of rosemary oil into you palms could surely turn that affirmation into a power phrase!

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Maybe reviewing your calendar as you rub a tiny bit of peppermint oil on your temples can help your calendar stick in your head! Adding some sage oil to a bath when you recite a familiar prayer or read a favorite poem might turbo-charge that scent as a source of soothing for you. Senses and emotions can really help activate your body-mind connection in your habit-building.

Thanks to B J Fogg, PhD, for his eye-opening research of tiny habits!

Thank YOU for taking good care of you!



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