3 Steps to New Habits

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BJ Fogg shares his method for creating new daily habits. …

BJ Fogg shares his method for creating new daily habits.

BJ directs the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University.

We hope you visit our lab's website: http://captology.stanford.edu

You can email us too.

captology at stanford dot edu

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  • Sometimes we need to be convinced by someone else that our habits need to change. We need to be motivated. A relationship app like CouplesCom helps your partner convince you of the need to change. Only then will these 3 rules work.
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  • @AlAll1 I would first try to investigate the reaon 'why' you are 'pretty averse to rejection'...
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  • Nice presentation on crummy trials. Thanks for sharing this
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  • How might baby steps apply to a situation in which your 'ability' is hampered by some sort of concern (nerves, anxiety, fear, what have you) over negative consequences. For example, let's say you are pretty averse to rejection (as a salesman, asking someone on a date, something of that nature). Would your baby steps be constructed by getting you in small situations where people turn you down, or would you just work on breaking down the actual scenario into baby steps? As a salesman, for example, starting by smiling and saying hello to strangers, then stopping people and asking for directions, etc. In other words, would you go after small 'rejecting' scenarios and build up or would you just try to build up the full actual situation and let the rejection aspect take care of itself?
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  • @Alexis YL Chan, pretty much. It seems to be working.
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  • Hi, everyone\n\nYou should first realize that habits differ. Some are really easy to form -- carry an iPhone around everywhere, eat chocolate every night. For those types, you can just start the habit; you don’t need these 3 steps.\n\nMy 3 Steps are for habits that are hard to create: exercise daily, eat 5 veggies at dinner, floss daily, and more. These behaviors don’t have instant rewards, like the pleasure of eating chocolate.\n\nDaily habits are also my focus. I believe daily habits matter the most because they affect the quality of our lives.\n\nOkay? Then onward!\n\n(Oh yeah, one more thing: This content isn’t from my scientific research or experiments at Stanford. Some comes from my Stanford class on health habits. Other parts stem from work in my lab. But mostly the steps are a distillation of what works in real life -- practical wisdom.)\n\n\n
  • Hi, everyone\n\nYou should first realize that habits differ. Some are really easy to form -- carry an iPhone around everywhere, eat chocolate every night. For those types, you can just start the habit; you don’t need these 3 steps.\n\nMy 3 Steps are for habits that are hard to create: exercise daily, eat 5 veggies at dinner, floss daily, and more. These behaviors don’t have instant rewards, like the pleasure of eating chocolate.\n\nDaily habits are also my focus. I believe daily habits matter the most because they affect the quality of our lives.\n\nOkay? Then onward!\n\n(Oh yeah, one more thing: This content isn’t from my scientific research or experiments at Stanford. Some comes from my Stanford class on health habits. Other parts stem from work in my lab. But mostly the steps are a distillation of what works in real life -- practical wisdom.)\n\n\n
  • Working with my industry clients and Stanford students, we brainstorm lots of tiny behaviors (we call them “smallest behavior that matters” or SBTM). \n\nThere’s no single perfect tiny behavior. It just has to be easy to do and relevant to the full behavior somehow. \n\nIf you don’t make your behavior tiny, you will almost certainly fail to create a daily habit. For example, if you start out running one hour each day, you won’t create a habit of exercise. You know that. Yes, we’ve all been there.\n\nLook at all the daily habits you have in your life right now. (You have hundreds; you may not realize it, but you do -- how you tie your shoe, where you sit at the table, where you keep lettuce in the fridge, which fork you use first, etc.) \n\nNote that . . . \n\nAll your existing habits are easy for you to do. (Do you have any true habits that are hard for you to do? If so, let me know. I’ve not found any.)\n\nMaking a behavior tiny is vital for creating a habit. \n\nLater -- perhaps months later--you’ll expand the tiny behavior. But when you do, the larger behavior will be easier. Why? The more you do something, the easier doing it becomes (for lots of reasons -- I won’t map them all out here). \n\nSo take the leap of faith now and scale back your behavior to something tiny. Don’t worry if it’s silly. For example, one tiny behavior for eating more vegetables is to take one bite of a carrot. Just start there.\n\nBaby steps for the win!\n
  • Ahh . . . and how the magic begins:\n\n*After* is the secret here. I wished I’d learned this years ago.\n\nYou need to know what your tiny behavior comes *after*. In my own life, I think hard to find a good spot. And I write it down. For example, “After I brush, I floss one tooth.”\n\nSo any time I brush -- morning, night, in between -- I also floss. This has led to a solid habit of flossing at least twice a day. For me, this was the right *after*\n\nOkay, now to something a bit more complicated . . . \n\nSometimes *after* isn’t practical. You might need to pick a *before* or *while*. Only do this if you can’t find an *after*\n\nFor example,\n\nI drink water (new habit) *before* I eat (existing habit)\n\nI take out the trash (new habit) *before* I go to the gym (existing habit)\n\nand\n\nI text my sister (new habit) *while* I’m on the treadmill (existing habit)\n\nAgain, I strongly prefer *after* spots. Why?\n\nBecause the previous behavior (brushing) becomes the trigger for the new habit (flossing). Triggers are the key to any behavior. (There’s more to say on that, but I’ll move on)\n
  • \nIf you’ve picked a truly tiny behavior, Step 3 is simple. \n\nEvery day, just do your tiny behavior -- on cycle, in the *after* spot you’ve chosen. \n\nWhy does this work?\n\nIn Step 3 your brain and body are learning a sequence: After I do X, I do Y. For example, “After I brush, I floss.”\n\nYou can’t force this connection, just like you can’t force a small plant to grow. \n\nYou can speed it up by experiencing good feelings about what you’re doing, at the precise moment you’re doing it. Me? When I do a new tiny behavior, I think (and feel ) “Victory! I’m getting better.” \n\nI know that sounds goofy, but I believe positive feelings speed the habit formation (like giving my dog a treat to reinforce her behavior).\n\n---\nNote that in this step, you are learning to put a new behavior into your routine. You are not learning the behavior itself.\n\nLet me explain . . . \n\nSuppose you want the habit of flossing all your teeth each day. The behavior -- flossing all your teeth -- is something you already know how to do What you haven’t mastered is putting flossing into your routine, as an automatic action. \n\nSo here in Step 3 we are training the routine, not the full behavior. Do you see? I hope so. Because that’s what’s makes my method different from everything else out there.\n\n\n\n\n\n
  • Okay, let’s do some Q&A . . .\n\nYou: Can I do the full behavior, not just the tiny behavior?\nMe: Well, in most cases I suggest doing only the tiny behavior. However, if the full behavior is fun, interesting, rewarding (a positive, not a pain), then yes. \n\nBut here’s my caution: \n\nIf you make the new behavior a pain, a nuisance, an obligation, or in any way negative, then you won’t be forming a habit. We humans are wired to avoid negative stuff. The habit forms as quickly as you have repeated, positive associations. \n\nFor example, imagine that flossing is your new habit. If you’re super tired at night and after brushing, you don’t feel like flossing, then just floss one tooth (or whatever your tiny behavior is) and go to bed feeling victorious. Yes, victorious -- because you are sustaining your new habit. \n\nDon’t feel pressured to floss all your teeth if you’re too tired or busy. Don’t feel guilty about flossing just one tooth. Why? Because the negative feeling will work against habituating your brain and body. You’ll start to lose the habit. \n\nFeel good about doing the tiny behavior. That’s how you cement the habit into your brain and body. \n\nOkay . . . there’s probably more to say. But that’s some additional stuff for now. \n\nIf you have more questions, put them in the comments and I’ll answer them there (or here).\n\n--BJ Fogg\nbjfogg.com\ncaptology.stanford.edu\n
  • \n
  • Hi, everyone\n\nYou should first realize that habits differ. Some are really easy to form -- carry an iPhone around everywhere, eat chocolate every night. For those types, you can just start the habit; you don’t need these 3 steps.\n\nMy 3 Steps are for habits that are hard to create: exercise daily, eat 5 veggies at dinner, floss daily, and more. These behaviors don’t have instant rewards, like the pleasure of eating chocolate.\n\nDaily habits are also my focus. I believe daily habits matter the most because they affect the quality of our lives.\n\nOkay? Then onward!\n\n(Oh yeah, one more thing: This content isn’t from my scientific research or experiments at Stanford. Some comes from my Stanford class on health habits. Other parts stem from work in my lab. But mostly the steps are a distillation of what works in real life -- practical wisdom.)\n\n\n

Transcript

  • 1. 3 Steps toNew HabitsForget the myth of 21 days or “just one habit at a time.” Here’s what works. --BJ
  • 2. BJ’s Update:I posted this last year. Since then,I’ve created a system that is evenmore precise & practical. www.TinyHabits.com
  • 3. Step 1 Make it tiny To create a new habit, you must first simplify the behavior. Make it tiny, even ridiculous. A good tiny behavior is easy to do -- and fast. Examples: •Floss one tooth •Walk for three minutes •Do two pushupsBJ Fogg, Ph.D.
  • 4. Step 2 Find a spot Find a spot in your existing routine where this tiny new behavior could fit. Put it *after* some act that is a solid habit for you, like brushing teeth or eating lunch. One key to a new habit is this simple: You need to find what it comes *after*BJ Fogg, Ph.D.
  • 5. Step 3 Train the cycle Now focus on doing the tiny behavior as part of your routine -- every day, on cycle. At first, you’ll need reminders. But soon the tiny behavior will get more automatic. Keep the behavior simple until it becomes a solid habit. That’s the secret to success.BJ Fogg, Ph.D.
  • 6. That’s No more steps “But wait!” you say. “What about the full it! behavior? The tiny habit is not enough.” The good news is your tiny habit will --BJ Fogg naturally expand to the bigger behavior. Just keep your tiny habit going. Eventually, without much effort, you’ll be doing the full behavior. Life lesson: Believe in baby steps.For more insight, click our link http://captology.stanford.edu
  • 7. NotesWelcome 1 Make it tiny Speaker Notes aren’t working on Slideshare, so I’ll slap them here for now. Not pretty. Get out your microscopes, everyone. --BJ Fogg 2 Find a spot 3 Train the cycle That’s it!Hi, everyone Working with my industry clients and Ahh . . . and now the magic begins: If you’ve picked a truly tiny behavior, Okay, let’s do some Q&A . . . Stanford students, we brainstorm lots of Step 3 is simple.You should first realize that tiny behaviors (we call them “smallest *After* is the secret here. I wished I’d You: Can I do the full behavior, not justhabits differ. Some are easy behavior that matters” or SBTM). learned this years ago. Every day, just do your tiny behavior -- the tiny behavior?to form -- carry an iPhone on cycle, in the *after* spot you’ve There’s no single perfect tiny behavior. It You need to know what your tiny chosen. Me: Well, in most cases I suggest doingaround everywhere, eat just has to be easy to do and relevant to behavior comes *after*. In my own only the tiny behavior. However, if the fullchocolate every night. For life, I think hard to find a good spot. the full behavior somehow. Why does this work? behavior is fun, interesting, rewarding (athose types, you can just And I write it down. For example, positive, not a pain), then yes.start the habit; you don’t If you don’t make your behavior tiny, “After I brush, I floss one tooth.” In Step 3 your brain and body areneed these 3 steps. you will almost certainly fail to create a learning a sequence: After I do X, I do But here’s my caution: If you make the daily habit. For example, if you start out So any time I brush -- morning, night, Y. For example, “After I brush, I floss.” new behavior a pain, a nuisance, anMy 3 Steps are for habits running one hour each day, you won’t in between -- I also floss. This has led obligation, or in any way negative, thenthat are hard to create: create a habit of exercise. You know that. to a solid habit of flossing at least You can’t force this connection, just like you won’t be forming a habit. We humans Yes, we’ve all been there. twice a day. For me, this was the right you can’t force a small plant to grow. are wired to avoid negative stuff. Theexercise daily, eat 5 veggies *after* habit forms as quickly as you haveat dinner, floss daily, and Look at all the daily habits you have in You can speed it up by experiencing repeated, positive associations.more. These behaviors don’t Okay, now to something a bit more your life right now. (You have hundreds; good feelings about what you’rehave instant rewards, like the complicated . . . Sometimes *after* doing, at the precise moment you’re For example, imagine that flossing is your you may not realize it, but you do -- howpleasure of eating chocolate. you tie your shoe, where you sit at the isn’t practical. You might need to doing it. Me? When I do a new tiny new habit. If you’re super tired at night table, where you keep lettuce in the pick a *before* or *while*. Only do behavior, I think (and feel ) “Victory! I’m and after brushing, you don’t feel likeDaily habits are also my fridge, which fork you use first, etc.) this if you can’t find an *after* getting better.” flossing, then just floss one tooth (orfocus. I believe daily habits whatever your tiny behavior is) and go tomatter the most because Note: All your existing habits are easy For example, I know that sounds goofy, but I believe bed feeling victorious. Yes, victorious --they affect the quality of our for you to do. (Do you have any true positive feelings speed the habit because you are sustaining your new habits that are hard for you to do? If so, I drink water (new habit) *before* I eat formation (like giving my dog a treat to habit.lives. (existing habit) let me know. I’ve not found any.) Making reinforce her behavior). a behavior tiny is vital for creating a habit. Don’t feel pressured to floss all your teethOkay? Then onward! I take out the trash (new habit) *before* I Note that in this step, you are learning if you’re too tired or busy. Don’t feel Later -- perhaps months later--you’ll go to the gym (existing habit) to put a new behavior into your routine. guilty about flossing just one tooth. Why?(Oh yeah, one more thing: expand the tiny behavior. But when you You are not learning the behavior itself. Because the negative feeling will workThis content isn’t from my do, the larger behavior will be easier. I text my sister (new habit) *while* I’m on against habituating your brain and body.scientific research or Why? The more you do something, the the treadmill (existing habit) Let me explain . . . Suppose you want You’ll start to lose the habit.experiments at Stanford. I’ve easier doing it becomes (for lots of the habit of flossing all your teeth each reasons -- I won’t map them all out here). Again, I strongly prefer *after* spots day. The behavior -- flossing all your Feel good about doing the tinygleaned some from my for new behaviors. Why? teeth -- is something you already know behavior. That’s how you cement theStanford class on health So take the leap of faith now and scale how to do. What you haven’t mastered habit into your brain and body.habits. Other parts stem *After* is best because the previous back your behavior to something tiny. is putting flossing into your routine, asfrom work in my lab. But behavior (brushing) becomes the an automatic action. If you have more questions, put them in Don’t worry if it’s silly. For example, onemostly my 3 Steps are a tiny behavior for eating more vegetables trigger for the new habit (flossing). the comments and I’ll answer them theredistillation of what works is to take one bite of a carrot. Just start Triggers are the key to any behavior. So here in Step 3 you are training the (or here).in real life -- practical there. routine, not the full behavior. Do youwisdom.) (There’s more to say on that, but I’ll see? I hope so. Because that’s what’s --BJ Fogg Baby steps for the win! move on) makes my method different from bjfogg.com everything else out there. captology.stanford.edu
  • 8. BJ’s Invitation I invite you to my new program “3 Tiny Habits”Click the blue link to learn more. www.TinyHabits.com