“The easier a behavior is to do, the more likely the behavior will become a habit.” BJ Fogg
It is counterintuitive, but small commitments are better than large ones. That’s because they are easier to keep. This fact is as valuable as it is obvious. When we shrink the commitment, we increase our odds of success. If we are overly ambitious with our commitment, we’ll ace our chances of forming a habit. Big obligations cause inconsistency. We aren’t always going to have enough time, willpower, or motivation to meet the commitment. Inconsistency is a habit killer. If we aren’t consistent, then it isn’t a habit.
Continue reading “SMALL COMMITMENTS – BIG RESULTS”
“one way to motivate a switch is to shrink the change, which makes people feel “big” relative to the challenge.” ― Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
While shrinking the commitment is primarily used to start good habits, it can also be a tool to break bad ones. To break a bad habit, we use it as a delaying strategy. We can avoid overeating by delaying our consumption. Say to yourself, “I am going to drink a glass of water and wait for 5-minutes. If I am still hungry, I can have a little more.” Physiologically, you are giving your body more time to register that it is full and hydrated. Psychologically, you are making the reward less desirable.
Continue reading “REVERSE THE 5-MINUTE RULE TO BREAK A BAD HABIT”
“I begin each day of my life with a ritual. I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirt, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi, and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where I work out for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go, I have completed the ritual. It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habituates it—makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.” Twyla Tharp
Continue reading “GATEWAY HABITS & DECISION POINTS”
We all have a reluctant Elephant. Whenever we step outside our comfort zone, it can be difficult to convince our Elephant to begin. The First Rule of Behavior Change, Shrink the Habit, helps us overcome our Elephant’s resistance. The further we plan to step outside our comfort zone, the stronger the resistance. Continue reading SHRINK THE HABIT – SHRINK THE RESISTANCE
The Four Laws of Behavior Change developed by Atomic Habits’ author James Clear is designed to encourage good habits by reinforcing each component of the habit loop:
Cue: Make it Obvious
Craving: Make it Attractive
Routine: Make it Easy
Reward: Make it Satisfying
He reverses these four laws to break a bad habit. Make the Cue invisible, the Reward unattractive, the Routine harder to do, and the Reward unsatisfying. He does a fantastic job of providing practical suggestions for changing your habits.[i] James Clear’s book complements Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. The Power of Habit helps us understand habits, but it isn’t a manual for behavior change. Atomic Habits answers that need. I have a narrower focus; combining behavioral science with exercise science to transform your body. Continue reading FIVE RULES FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE