You’ve probably either read or heard me talk about the power of BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits approach to behavior change. I’m a big fan and more importantly a convinced believer. Tiny habits make a deceptively big impact when it comes to behavior change. BJ Fogg has researched extensively and developed a method that helps people build tiny habits. Perhaps at first glance you miss the significance of this or think, “what’s the big deal?”
Much of what we do throughout our day and our lives is actually comprised of habituated behaviors that we take for granted. Our brain takes the mundane and repetitive behaviors in our day and puts them on a sort of “auto-pilot.” That allows us to use our brain to do more interesting and exciting things like create and imagine. BJ Fogg helps us to see that those routine parts of our lives are composed of lots of tiny habits. Tiny habits are the building blocks from which much of a day is made – a life is built.
Especially Helpful for Quitters!
Mastering the art and science of building tiny habits can help people who are on a journey to abstain from smoking or other addictions. Inserting some new tiny habits into your existing routines and rituals can disrupt and interrupt things like reaching for the lighter whenever we pour a cup of coffee! Yes, building new habits – especially these powerful tiny ones – can help us break some of those big, troublesome habits. If you’re a “Quit-Buddy,” be sure to read the rest of this post with that awareness.
Changing lives in big ways begins with understanding these tiny blocks or simple behaviors. When we change some of these tiny components of life – tiny habits – we see life change. The better we understand how to build new tiny habits and adjust existing ones, the more control we can have in our lives. The idea of having more control is particularly appealing right now! Gaining greater understanding and control of our behavior today will have an immeasurable impact on our future. This may be the perfect time to commit to understanding how tiny habits can bring big behavior change.
According to BJ Fogg (and his “Habiteers”) a behavior (B) will occur (=) when there is sufficient motivation (M) ability (A) and a clear prompt (P.) Distilling our behavior, current or aspirational, into such a simple formula is powerful for a few reasons. The formula, B=MAP, allows me to step back and observe my behavior in a way that feels less judgmental and more analytical.
B=MAP invites me to ask myself, “why do I do that?” and then consider the possible motivations. It also helps me build new habits. Along the way to building a new habit, if I notice it isn’t quite working (the behavior isn’t consistently occurring) I can adjust the design of the behavior. Increasing motivation, changing the ease of performing a task (ability) and clarifying the prompt may all improve outcomes. Again, the focus upon the design of the new habit frees me from blaming myself or thinking I lack will power.
There are a number of tiny habits I have added to my life. A few are part of every morning. (Mornings are rich with rituals!) As I was putting on my socks I laughed out loud and said, “BJ would love these socks!” While I am not currently using my socks as a prompt to trigger a new tiny habit, I’m sure I will soon. They are too clear a prompt to pass up.
I hope this brief post may serve to convince you will join a week-long Tiny Habits mini-class. (There’s the B!)
This is a very important time to gain understanding and control of our behavior. (There’s the M!)
It’s easy (increasing the A) for you to join for free. Just click the link! Tiny Habits training.
So what are you waiting for? Oh, I know what you’re waiting for – a prompt (P)! Look at the photo of my sock and do it now!
I believe that BJ Fogg is an expert researcher, talented author, gifted teacher, and a driven, generous soul who recognizes a call to share and to serve. Please take time to learn more about what he’s doing right now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as his other insightful works.
Watch this video to learn more about the power of tiny habits!
I have a feeling it’s going to be a great day!