At the beginning of this work week, what are you inclined to repeat over and over again? Is that what you want to do?
If not, start a new, better habit and then repeat that over and over again.
If you are not getting what you want – better results, better relationships, better health, better vibe – then change what you tend to repeat that is currently giving you lack-luster experiences. Perhaps the “secret” to your success lies in what you habitually repeat – good or bad.
I am reading Tiny Habits by Dr. BJ Fogg. As I’ve mentioned this in the past, I highly recommend this book. In fact, I’ve already purchased 2 copies that I’ve give away.
Early on in the book, Dr. Fogg addresses behavior change as it relates to motivation. I’m sure that each of us have struggled with motivation in the past. January 1 of any year is filled with hope-filled aspirations. Local gyms are packed with the right-now motivated.
But visit there March 1 and the crowds are gone.
We have team members who know they need to improve their results. They tell you they want to. They tell you they will. They seem motivated. But their behaviors do not match the words.
Dr. Fogg lays out a pretty simple concept to help any of us hone in on what we truly want to do and then guides the reader through a process he has developed that identifies behavior options that could get us to the desired goal. From those behavior options, his process then guides the reader to identify which of those behaviors are “High-Impact Behaviors” (very effective at helping you reach your goal. The reader also can identify which of the behavior options are “Low-Impact” ones.
Next, the reader is guided to identify which behavior options truly have the necessary fuel to get done. Dr. Fogg identifies this continuum as identifying the behavior options that you know you can get yourself to do and those you know you cannot get yourself to do.
I have already run this exercise with a couple of my team members and/or colleagues. The conversations that have resulted and the clarity for behavior change have been very good.
Dr. Fogg focuses on behavior change vs. motivation. “Aspirations are abstract desires” like wanting your kids to clean their rooms. “But aspirations and outcomes are not behaviors.” We need aspirations. But it will be the behaviors we do that will get us to our desired state.
Pick up this book. You learn specifically how to do what I’ve described above. Focus mapping and behavior design that Dr. Fogg has developed and shares in the book are great coaching tools that anyone can use.
“Here’s the unfortunate thing – most people believe motivation is the true engine of behavior change. Yes, motivation is one of the 3 elements that drives behavior. The problem is that motivation is often fickle…you overestimate future motivation. It happens to the best of us. You are not dumb or frivolous or easily hoodwinked. You are human.”
I’ve already read a couple of books on habits. I’m intrigued by how we create and maintain habits and how habits bring about positive change. In my reading, I recently came across a new book written by Dr. BJ Fogg – Tiny Habits.
I’m not through reading it yet, but I am already picking up great ideas that I can apply at work and in my personal life. Dr. Fogg lays out a systematic way to create habits – tiny habits – that have the power to change our lives.
As he writes “there are only 3 things we can do that will create lasting change: Have an epiphany, change our environment, or change our habits in tiny ways.”
He goes on: “One tiny action, one small bite, might feel insignificant at first, but it allows you to gain momentum you need to ramp up to bigger challenges and faster progress.” Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge) calls this the compounding effect.
Like most people, I tend to rely on motivation to try to reach an outcome. Dr. Fogg teaches that this focus will not work. It is the focus on and doing the behaviors that move us towards our outcome – this is the real difference-maker.
If you are interested in learning more about habits and the power they can harness, read this book. If you are looking for ways to help your team improve their results, this book will help. If you are wanting to achieve an outcome personally, read this book.
“There is a painful gap between what people want and what they actually do…the problem is with the approach itself, not with you.”
Buy this book and learn that approach. It is practical. It is actionable.