Tiny steps, big changes


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If you’re stuck in a rut, participate in this workshop to discuss small healthy strategies that can add up to big changes. We’ll discuss behavior, motivation, and “triggers” that can help you build healthy habits into your daily routine.

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Tiny steps, big changes

  1. 1. Tiny Steps, BIG Changes Simple daily strategies to improve health. Cristin Stokes and Neal Andrews MUS Wellness May 2014
  2. 2.  “If you made a New Year’s Resolution for 2014, how would you describe your success thus far?”  Very successful  Somewhat successful  Unsuccessful  I did not make any Resolutions this year Poll Question!
  3. 3.  …is how we live our lives.”  We can break down how we live by a series of behaviors and habits.  Intentionally, or unintentionally, these small behaviors and tiny habits accumulate to form who we are, including our health, accomplishments, and life outcomes. “How we live our days…
  4. 4.  One mistake we often make is setting outcome goals without making appropriate behavior changes.  I can set a goal to lose 10 pounds, but if I don’t change certain behaviors that lead to weight loss, I will fail. I can’t “think” the 10 pounds away.  We must identify behaviors that we can either modify or create that help lead to the desired outcome.  Outcome goals are what we want. Behavior goals are how we achieve outcomes, so focus on setting, and following, behavior goals. Behaviors and Outcomes
  5. 5.  Outcome goal: Lose 10 pounds  Behavior changes to achieve goal:  Drink water instead of sugar-containing drinks  Eat breakfast  Bring your lunch to work instead of going out  Take the stairs instead of the elevator  Go for a walk around campus on your breaks  Get 150 minutes of exercise per week  Focus on what to do instead of what NOT to do! Behaviors and Outcomes
  6. 6.  …if you want to actually follow them.  Changing behavior/Creating new behaviors is difficult.  Tie to a trigger/anchor  Start small  Make it easy  Remove obstacles The rules of behavioral goals…
  7. 7.  Triggers elicit responses. Triggers tell us, “do something now!”  Anchors are behaviors that are already happening, or can be external triggers.  Examples: A cellphone ring is a trigger.  Walking through the kitchen may be a trigger.  Brushing teeth can be an anchor  Reading the morning newspaper might be an anchor  Getting out of bed may be an anchor Triggers, Anchors, and Habits
  8. 8.  Assignment: Think of 3 or 4 triggers or anchor behaviors in your daily routine.  Examples:  Brushing your teeth  Reading the morning paper  Pouring your morning coffee  Eating breakfast  Parking the car at work  Bell towers or reminder alarms  Walking in your house after work Triggers, Anchors, and Habits
  9. 9.  Once you list anchors, you can begin to attach desirable behaviors to them.  Brushing teeth & flossing  Reading paper and eating breakfast  Eating breakfast and taking a supplement (i.e. vitamin or fish oil)  Pouring morning coffee and cleaning  Parking the car and taking deep breath (relaxation)  Getting out of your chair when your hear the Bell Tower Triggers, Anchors, and Habits
  10. 10.  “Simplicity Changes Behavior.” –BJ Fogg  Small changes create inertia, and lead to better outcomes.  Example: Flossing. Instead of flossing all your teeth, just floss one. Brushing is an anchor, and we attach the desired “tiny” habit.  “When I brush my teeth, I will floss one tooth.”  “When I pour my morning coffee, I will wipe the counter.” Start Small BJ Fogg, 3 Tiny Habits
  11. 11.  Getting in shape  If you workout zero days a week, don’t set a goal to workout 6 days a week  Start with 2 or 3 days. Goals have to be realistic and manageable  Improving diet  A complete diet overhaul is overwhelming and impractical  More practical:  Include a fruit with breakfast  Choose whole wheat bread instead of white bread  Handling stress  “When I park my car before work, I will take 3 deep breaths.”  “When I go to bed, I will turn my cellphone off (or to silent).”  Take a stretch break (find appropriate anchor)  Have a designated meditative minute (find appropriate anchor)  Financial  “When I receive change, I will put it in a Piggy Bank for the entertainment fund.”  “When I receive my paycheck, I will put $25 into my savings account.”  “When I receive my tax refund each year, I will designate X% to… Practical Examples
  12. 12.  Make the habit something easy.  Good: When I pour my morning coffee, I will wipe down the counter.  Not as good: When I pour my morning coffee, I will clean the entire kitchen.  Good: When I park my car at work, I will take three deep breaths.  Not as good: When I park my car at work, I will meditate for 10 minutes.  Good: When I hear the bell tower chime, I will get out of my chair do three stretches for 10 seconds each.  “When I eat breakfast, I will take my vitamin(s).” Make it Easy
  13. 13.  Examples  Water bottle on desk  Fruits & vegetables washed & visible  Smaller plates for portion control  Workout clothes laid out for the morning Make it Easy
  14. 14.  For a habit to form (much less stick), we must remove obstacles.  Part of making things easy is setting ourselves up for success. Remove any barrier to your desired behavior.  Example: the Sunday food prep ritual.  Example: the night before the morning run/walk.  Example of a Fail: the guitar.  Example of success: my Journal Remove Obstacles
  15. 15.  Think of behaviors in terms of time.  Dots: Behaviors that happen once.  Spans: Behaviors that happen for a designated period. One week, one month, etc.  Paths: Behaviors that happen for life.  Brushing your teeth.  Washing your hands. Dots, Spans, and Paths BJ Fogg Behavioral Model
  16. 16.  When instituting new behavior, dots & spans are advantageous, because we can handle them.  Montana Moves Challenge of the Month:  Bike Bingo: Dots.  Montana Meals Challenge of the Month:  Tracking Fruits & Veggies—span.  www.tinyhabits.com Practicing 1-week span behaviors, using many of these concepts. Dots, Spans, and Paths BJ Fogg Behavioral Model
  17. 17.  Outcome Goal (Big Picture)  10 Behavior Goals  Crispification (Make behavior Crispy)  Who is doing what?  When? (or how long?)  How long? (Dot, span, path)  What is most effective at…(helping achieve outcome)?  What can I do right now? Priority Mapping
  18. 18. Dots and Spans
  19. 19.  Write down your goals.  “It’s not a goal unless you write it down.”  Share your goals.  Track your behaviors!  Online  Smartphone apps  Journal or logbook  Coming Soon: Wellness Portal  Measure outcomes periodically Write it! Track it!
  20. 20.  It’s a law of physics, and it applies to us!  Objects in motion tend to stay in motion/objects at rest tend to stay at rest.  Start small, and gradually build momentum.  Celebrate victories!  Do a dance.  Say, “I’m awesome.” Inertia and Momentum
  21. 21.  Rewarding yourself reinforces habits.  Don’t reward yourself with something counterproductive to your outcome goals  Example: I worked out today so I can have a bowl of ice- cream. (But maybe one spoonful if you are disciplined?)  “Know Thyself”  Neal’s two post-workout rewards:  Recovery drink  Uploading results  Cristin’s reward:  Gossip magazines! Inertia and Momentum
  22. 22.  Lose the “All-or-Nothing” attitude!  This is about learning new behaviors one step at a time.  If you slip up or have a bad day, just get back on track the next day (or meal).  Or, if you don’t have a great breakfast, it doesn’t mean the rest of the day is lost. Don’t beat yourself up!
  23. 23. Don’t beat yourself up!  Consistency over time is what matters.  “How we live our days is how we live our lives.”
  24. 24. The Water Fountain Story
  25. 25.  Create three new behavior goals for yourself.  Choose your desired behaviors  Keep it simple, make it easy, remove obstacles.  Attach desired behaviors to existing anchor  Pick a span of time to commit to this new behavior  Celebrate your victories!  Visit www.tinyhabits.com to interact with BJ Fogg’s behavior model. It’s free, and only lasts a week! Homework
  26. 26.  BJ Fogg Behavior Model and 3 Tiny Habits  www.bjfogg.com  The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, John Berardi and Ryan Andrews References
  27. 27.  www.montanamovesandmeals.com  www.facebook.com/MUSwellness  @montanameals @montanamoves  www.wellness.mus.edu  wellness@montana.edu Check us out!