3 Tiny Habits / by Krista Boivie

It's the beginning of a new year and who doesn't want to be more and do more with their lives. As usual countless resolutions are made and broken and I don't want to join the cycle of those failing to accomplish their goals. 

Recently I have read a number of books that deal motivation. I know that is a direct link behind motivation and goal success, but often mid-way into a project my motivation is gone and this usually results in a failed or a substandard project. 

On Christmas Day I started a challenge, created by BJ Fogg, Stanford professor who focuses on behavior and persuasion, to create 3 tiny habits. 

The premise behind the program is that lasting change happens when we learn to automate our behavior. Fogg states that habits don't form over 21 days, but through small incremental changes.

Fogg challenges you to choose tiny behaviors and anchor them to current behaviors so that it will be a easy to create your new habit.

So my three changes I focused on to test his system last week were:

  1. Floss after I brush

  2. Wash my face before I go to bed

  3. Say morning prayers
I know my habit changes aren’t huge and that is the point. I was to choose three small behaviors that would take almost no time to incorporate into my exhibiting behavior. However, for the first week challenge I was encouraged to break these goals into smaller pieces that would take less than 30 seconds to complete. So instead of flossing my whole mouth after I brushed my teeth, I only flossed the front teeth. Instead of washing my face before bed, I just picked up my face wash and instead of saying my morning prayers, all I did was get on my knees. Fogg relates that instead of going through the entire change, focus on baby steps will make the integration more natural and automatic—the key being automatic.

Each time I successfully completed my new tiny habit I felt victorious and I found the system so simple and seamless that I can't wait to continue to use it to create new automated behavior. Now that my first week is over I will complete the three behaviors. So far, I started this morning with a prayer and I have flossed all my teeth. SUCCESS!

I plan on adding three additional tiny habits this week (taking my vitamins, putting my car keys on their hanger, putting my exercise clothes on as soon as I walk in the door from work). 

I will keep you posted on how the program is working and if I am still seeing success with this system. Go to tinyhabits.com to join – I can guarantee you won’t regret it.

What are three tiny habits that you want to change?