Tiny Habits

Print This Post Print This Post August 29, 2015 on 10:24 am | In Diet, Discipline, Exercise, Health, Nutrition | Comments Off on Tiny Habits


In keeping with my intent to get back into blogging with briefer, more focused posts my upcoming efforts in fitness and health are going to leverage BJ Fogg’s insights into behavior modification via “Tiny Habits”.  If you haven’t seen his TED talk on this topic, I encourage you to check it out on YouTube.

The exciting aspect of his Tiny Habits approach is that it minimizes the need for motivation and commitment by focusing on new behaviors that are extremely easy to implement.  In some cases the new behavior is so easy that it seems trivial (for example, 2 pushups every morning when you wake up), but secret to its non-triviality is the impact making this new behavior a habit has over an extended period of time.

The focus of Tiny Habits is on habituation – making the new behavior automatic – rather than making the new behavior impactful or significant.  This is the exact opposite of the approach I have traditionally used, which was much more focused on installing highly impactful new behaviors by marshaling vast amounts of will power and discipline.  The problem with that type of approach is that it requires a lot of discipline and focus to maintain the behavior, especially once the initial enthusiasm wanes (for example, when one reaches a temporary plateau in performance or has a training setback, which almost invariably happens in the course of pursuing a worthwhile fitness or health goal).

The Tiny Habits approach should be much easier and much less stressful since it is not as dependent on discipline and commitment.  Since the necessary motivation to perform the new behavior is very modest it should be much easier to install the new behavior as a habit and perform it consistently.  I have never tried this approach before, so I’ll have to wait and see what the results are after I’ve had a few months to install some new behaviors.

Stay tuned!

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