Tiny Habits, Big Changes...
What Is A Tiny Habit?
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” — Samuel Johnson
A tiny habit, according to Fogg, is a behavior:
1. You do at least once a day
2. Takes you less than 30 seconds
3. Requires little effort
Tiny habits must match the criteria above because the easier the behavior, the less it depends on motivation.
Tiny habits are designed to come immediately after an existing habit. You use the existing habit to trigger the new tiny behavior you want.
Benefits Of Tiny Habits
Consistent long term change begins with a small behaviour change
I see it all too often, attempting to ditch multiple self destructive habits for a handful of positive, life changing habits all in 1 day. The overload of changes often made as a new years resolution requires far too much willpower and discipline than we have, often leaving us in a state of paralysis by analysis or falling back to our old negative habits within a day, a week or a month.
Consistent (successful) changes in our habits are the result of a small change in our behaviour.
Tiny habits are that small change - you don't need to perform a gruelling 3 hour workout after rolling out of bed at 5am, start with the small behavior change that WILL lead to this monumental habit change over time... 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 squats will take you just over 30 seconds and requires only a small change in behavior. Implementation of this habit will over time lead to you doing more and setting yourself up for massive success in terms of physical health and performance.
Motivation isn't the key to consistent positive habits, a shift in behaviour is
Motivation is short lived. A prime example of this is motivational video and audio tracks on the internet... after watching a motivating bodybuilding video clip you'll find yourself motivated to go to the gym and you'll swear to yourself that you'll NEVER cheat on your diet again, however an hour later after this well of motivation has run dry you'll be back to your old self destructive ways, the old behavioural patterns you're familiar with - making up excuses to skip the gym and binging on fast food.
Old, bad habits must be conquered with small shifts in behaviour - implemented by triggers.
This is why tiny habits are so successful, you're setting yourself up for tiny successes that compound and grow over time, just like a wise investment.
Ongoing practise of tiny habits will automate larger habits over time.
Positive habits will have you feeling fantastic, whether it's doing 10 push-ups or starting your day with a power pose - the positive effects felt as a result of this action are addictive, you'll feel energetic, you'll feel confident... you'll want more!
You'll automatically try and get more of this feeling by increasing your workload...
1 power pose as you stand-up each morning soon becomes 10 minutes of power posing as you rise out of bed in the morning.
10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 squats soon becomes a half an hour workout regime focused on conquering the one arm push-up, hanging window wipers and jumping squats.
It's simple, it's systematic
There's no bullshit with tiny habits. Many, many self improvement techniques, habit implementation techniques and paradigm shifts are far more completed than they need to be. Tiny habits are tiny, easy to implement and quickly become an automatic behaviour. As small habits are implemented, automated and built upon you can continue to add more.
Know what the #1 thing that seperates poor people, average people and the highly successful go-getters of this world?
It's their habits over time.
6 Tiny Habits That'll Change Your Life
There's a plethora of tiny habits out there, however the following 6 are smaller variations of larger habits I perform daily.
Optimize your physical and mental health with these 6 habits today.
- Drink a tall glass of water upon waking
- Perform a power pose each time you stand up
- Perform a brain dump before falling asleep each night
- Reinforce yourself with positive self talk when facing adversity
- Do 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 squats before getting dressed each morning
- Review your to-do list upon waking up
The 3 Elements Required...
A change in behaviour, in this case to form tiny yet powerful habits and eradicate those negative, self destructing habits 3 different elements must be apparent, including:
There must be a level of motivation behind the action. For example wanting shredded abs is motivation to do sit-ups (to those unaware of how to actually get six pack abs).
Ability and motivation balance the scale here, the harder the task is (the lesser your ability) the more motivation required. An easy task requires little motivation.
A trigger is your prompt to do the damn thing. Humans are masters of procrastination so the triggers you set must be obeyed. Getting into the car, waking up in the morning, opening your fridge at lunch time... these are all suitable triggers that can be used to call you to action for your tiny habit.