You already know that habits have the power to transform your life.
Coming out of this lockdown, many of us are working on getting our regular habits back on track.
The other day I was listening to a podcast with a man who says he does 2 push-ups every time he visits the bathroom.
Now, even though this sounds a little weird, because I wouldn’t recommend doing push-ups in the bathroom (maybe right outside the bathroom?!) … the basic info was solid.
It was all about making realistic changes in your lifestyle to support your goals.
The man – BJ Fogg – is actually a Stanford behavioral scientist who studies how people create routines and change habits.
He used his 2 push-up habit to kick start another “tiny” but healthy change in his life.
And do you know what happened?! They all added up to a 20+ pound weight loss in just a few months.
He wrote a book about it called Tiny Habits. He also came up with a formula that outlines how to make these changes so they become automatic, so you don’t even have to really think about them:
“Behavior (B) happens when Motivation (M), Ability (A), and a Prompt (P) come together at the same time.”
This basically means that to make a lasting behavior change (habit), you need to piece 3 things:
- Motivation – You have to WANT to make a change. If you think you SHOULD make a change but you aren’t really into it, it won’t stick.
(REALITY CHECK: sometimes you have to give a new habit a try before you decide whether it’s for you or not. Once you start feeling the results, you’ll start to want to make the change.)
- Prompt – This is a reminder to do the behavior. It could be something like going to the bathroom or opening the refrigerator door, or setting a timer or alarm on your phone.
Or, your reminder could be a reward … if you want to check your phone, you need to do 5 squats first.
- Ability – Not only you should be physically able to do the behavior, but also have the time and space to do it. Doing those 5 squats takes a lot less time and is much easier than running 1 mile!
Over time, this formula adds up to habits (and results) that can stick for a lifetime.
One of the things I really like about this approach is that it is super achievable.
He set the bar low – rather than making himself do 10 push-ups, he just did 2. That gets rid of the dread factor!
Then he built it up from there, adding or changing a few behaviors as they occurred to him, eventually creating dozens of reflexive changes in his daily life! Pretty awesome, right?
As I mentioned earlier, I know a lot of us are working to get back into our healthy habits after the wild ride 2020 has given us so far – what is 1 behavior you can add starting today?
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