At exactly 4:50 AM the entire country gathered around to change one of their cherished traditions. Pandemonium? Or a perfect template for changing habits in our own lives? BJ Fogg, Stanford’s Chief Behavior Designer, would argue the latter. Leave this episode with one of the most fundamental micro behaviors out there.
If I could wave a magic wand and get myself to do ANY behavior what would I do?
When BJ performs this with his clients, I’ve seen him get sticky notes out. And he keeps people moving. Always asking for more behaviors. When they get stuck he’ll create context: If I could wave a magic wand to achieve my aspiration, What would I do one time? What would I stop doing? These constraints actually help get more ideas.
Scale your behavior back. That’s it.
Whether it’s flossing one tooth, picking up one wrapper. There’s a reason BJ refers to this as Tiny Habits. Think about what behaviors are you trying to change, and how can you scale it back. Make it easier for you to start. Remove the barriers to entry. As opposed to expecting wholesale changes in an instant, waiting for the right time, or getting inconsistent results.
Kruger, Justin, and David Dunning. 1999. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2061.
Roy Baumeister on Self-Control & Willpower. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RICxYzTL_Ps.
Savage, Maddy. n.d. “A ‘thrilling’ Mission to Get the Swedish to Change Overnight.” Accessed November 3, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20180417-a-thrilling-mission-to-get-the-swedish-to-change-overnight.
“Vintage Everyday.” n.d. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.vintag.es/2017/02/this-old-timey-1911-ad-teaches-you-how.html.
“Website.” n.d. Accessed November 1, 2020a. Time Archives Switch to the Right (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,941144,00.html) Friday, Sep. 15, 1967.
———. n.d. Accessed November 1, 2020b. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,941144,00.html.
BBC, 1967. On This Day. 1967: “The greatest social upheaval in Sweden’s history.”