Tiny magical goals
When my dentist cheered "Your gums look really good!", I wanted share with you all how it happened! I learned about changing tiny habits from this fabulous TEDx talk by BJ Fogg, a social scientist from Stanford University:
He says we can very easily make very small changes that will stick. Small changes add up to large changes. Just like every body of water starts with just one drop! It reminds me of some effective workout goals: dress in your workout clothes, or step outside to your sidewalk or drive to the gym. The rest of the workout happens without much notice!
So, here is one of BJ's first examples. I tried it and with very little effort, I had amazing results! Begin flossing just one tooth each time you brush your teeth. After you do it, you must celebrate. The positive emotion will help your brain remember.
BJ shares another personal example about pushups. BJ wanted to start doing push-ups throughout the day. So he began doing two push-ups each time he peed. After a while, he added another pushup, then another until, he was doing around seven push-ups per pee. Now BJ does quite a lot of push-ups each day, with very little effort. I will try this next!
HOW IT WORKS
The way I see it, you need a TRIGGER, a SIMPLE habit, and a CELEBRATION.
1. A "trigger" is something that you ALREADY do (pee, brush teeth, etc.) which will remind you to do your NEW SIMPLE HABIT.
2. The SIMPLE HABIT needs to be TINY, as in one tooth or one minute or one pushup.* Here are many examples of tiny habits you may want to try!
3. Finally, you must CELEBRATE! This need not be extravagant. An audible "Awesome!", a fist in the air, or a "Yessss!" will all work. Plus, some great ways to celebrate from BJ Fogg!
Years ago, I abandoned regular floss for the ease of a REACH flosser. By BJ’s FOGG Method, within a week or two, I accomplished regular flossing without even consciously deciding to make it a goal! Suddenly, I am flossing the old fashioned way, TWICE a day!, and it is no burden at all!
Next up for me are push-ups, and the possibilities are ENDLESS!
BJ offers a FREE 5-day program EVERY WEEK to anyone interested: the Tiny Habits Program to make the process even easier! Sign up by June 6, to begin on Monday, June 9, to get email updates and advice as you quickly engrain awesome new habits!
*BJ also discusses the importance of choosing the best tiny habit by considering MOTIVATION (your reasons for doing your habit) and ABILITY (for example, if you want to do pushups, but you cannot physically do one yet, success is unlikely). One other important factor BJ suggests is to get SPECIFIC...always important with SMART goal setting!
What are you going to try? How will you celebrate? I absolutely love this idea, process, that a program is offered to help, and how well it works!