The idea that it's difficult to build and break habits is based off the fallacy that you have to make massive changes to see results. In this article, we'll be referring to the book Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, where he talks about the Fogg Behavioural Model and the Tiny Habits Method. We hope to show you that you and your team can implement the method and start seeing results right away, both at home and work.
Humans find it difficult to enact, even accept incremental progress. We fall under the misconception that we need to get our act together and pull up by our bootstraps to do better, right?
According to BJ, big expectations on habit change are often unrealistic, which becomes a recipe for disappointment and self-criticism. This is why he is a huge advocate for making tiny changes instead.
Tiny habit: The Small Changes That Change Everything, is a book written by behavioural scientist, BJ Fogg. He believes in implementing positive and realistic plans to change habits in a sustainable way.
Learn more about BJ through his TEDx talk here:
The Fogg Behavioural Model works on the basis that behaviour happens when three things come together at the same moment: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt.
BJ gives this example in his book to explain how the model works:
"Suppose you want someone to donate to the Red Cross. If they have high motivation, and if it’s easy for that person do to, they will be here in the upper-right corner of the model. When a person here gets prompted to donate, they will do the donation behavior. "
"In contrast, if someone has low motivation to donate to the Red Cross, and if it’s hard for them to do, they will be here in the lower-left corner. When that person is prompted, they will not do the behavior."
"There’s a relationship between motivation and ability. This curved line, called the Action Line, shows that relationship. If someone is anywhere above the Action Line when prompted, they will do the behavior. In this case, they will donate to the Red Cross. However, if they are below the Action Line when prompted, they won’t do the behavior."
Based on this model, BJ developed the Tiny Habits Method, which consists of building habit recipes that following this structure:
"After I ____, I will ____. Then, I celebrate!"
Some sample habit recipes you can start with:
Learn more about habit recipes here: https://tinyhabits.com/1000recipes/
The central thesis of BJ's book is that emotions create habits, not repetition, but emotion.
"You change best by feeling good—not by feeling bad."
He describes the great, positive emotion you feel when you are successful as Shine.
"You brain releases neurochemicals and takes notice when you have that strong positive reaction, which is what wires the habit—not repetition."
Basically, when you celebrate effectively, you tap into the reward circuitry of your brain. By feeling good at the right moment, you allow your brain to recognise and encode the sequence of behaviours you just performed.
BJ teaches us that the best way to form a habit faster is to celebrate at three specific times: the moment you remember to do the habit, when you’re doing the habit, and immediately after completing the habit.
Here are some ways you can celebrate to create Shine:
Read more about the emotion 'shine' and celebrations here: https://tinyhabits.com/rewire/
BJ best describes how tiny habits can lead to personal transformation in his interview with NPR here.
"When you learn how to feel good about your successes, no matter how tiny, then that changes how you think about yourself and your opportunities. That's what leads to transformation.
Even if it's super-tiny, you start thinking of yourself in those ways, you find other opportunities to tidy up or meditate or read. So the habit naturally propagates to other parts of your life.
That as you make these changes and feel successful, the way you think about yourself starts to change, your identity starts to change. So you begin to think, "Oh, I'm the kind of person who tidies up" or "I'm the kind of person who meditates" or "I'm the kind of person who reads."
Here's a list of the top 10 habits recipes you can start implementing in the office or at home now.