Have you ever tried to change a tiny habit, maybe getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier or adding a few more steps to your daily walk, only to find it surprisingly tough?
What if I told you that, armed with the right strategies, you can change those tiny habits and end up with monumental results?
Changing your life isn’t about turning into a brand-new you overnight. It’s the little, consistent actions that pave the way to major change.
Now, you might’ve heard of the ’21-day habit-making mantra’. Well, to be honest, just repeating something for 21 days if you’re not genuinely into it will not change that habit.
What you need is fire in your soul, a real desire for getting the outcome.
Are you hungry enough for that change? Read further and find out.
The legend of habit change, BJ Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University, emphasizes the power of small changes in forming new habits. One of his core principles is: “Tiny habits can lead to big changes.”
He believes that making small, easily achievable changes in behavior can set the foundation for larger, more enduring shifts in our lives.
By focusing on simple changes and celebrating small successes, we can create sustainable habits that lead to significant long-term transformation.
Fogg also says motivation is important, but not enough. You need the ability and the right nudge.
His recipe for successful habit change?
Behaviour = Motivation + Ability + Prompt
I know this sounds fancy, but it’s actually very straightforward.
My own ‘aha!’ moment came with mindfulness meditation. I was fed up with my anxiety levels and I wanted to be more in the present, rather than worrying constantly. I had tried to meditate before but with no success.
So, I followed Fogg’s model. I was very keen (Motivation). I had an app which taught me what I needed to do (Ability). Every morning, before my warm lemon water ritual (Prompt), I sat down for just 10 minutes of meditation.
Starting small, soon enough, I found my groove. You see, the magic is in breaking things down.
For instance, after conquering the morning meditation, I slid into mindful breathing. Every time I boiled water for tea, I’d take a minute to just breathe while waiting.
And now mindfulness meditation is an essential part of my daily routine and I love it!
BJ Fogg believes that when you nail one habit, others follow suit. And, if there’s something you just take no pleasure from, try something else! Focus on what you love, and you’ll naturally gravitate to other good stuff.
Now, this might sound like basic advice, but rewards are very effective! Celebrate those tiny wins. Ran 5km out of your 10km goal? Get yourself a treat. Even if it’s just 1km, treat yourself!
Make your habit journey exciting, and you’ll stick to it. It’s like looking forward to that holiday. That buzz? That’s the feel-good hormone, dopamine, and it’s your brain’s version of a gold star.
We increase dopamine when we do something pleasurable, but we also increase it when we anticipate it.
In your quest for change too, remember, the journey matters as much as the destination. When I fail (because let’s be real, we all mess up), I pick myself up, learn from it and move on. Yes, sometimes it can be very hard to do but failure is a necessary part of the process.
If you add a few more powerful tools to changing your habits, like setting meaningful goals, tracking your progress towards those goals, and celebrating even the smallest steps you have made, you will see huge differences in your life.
Reflecting in a journal and writing about your experiences is a great way to understand yourself more and what it is you really need to change and why.
To finish off, Fogg’s recipe for habit change and the tools I describe, have been my personal life-hack for a long time, and they have worked wonders.
So, are you ready to unleash the might of small actions? To turn those everyday habits into your very own superpowers?
Changing lifelong habits can be so tough, but oh-so rewarding! And remember, if you fail, it’s okay. Dust off, learn, and tread forward.
Follow this life-hack and you will be surprised how your life changes!