Tag Archives for " BJ Fogg "

Motivation. Does it even matter?

By Kristy Bertenshaw

How often do you feel you’re not getting what you want in life because you’re—

Not motivated,

Lazy, 

Busy,

Or some other describing word.

Motivation is like a wave.

It’s slippery. It comes and goes. 

Waiting for it is like a surfer, out in the ocean, waiting for the perfect wave when there is no wind,

And the ocean is still.

Would you do that? It’s kind of crazy.

So, how else could you do it? What else could you do?

By starting something today.

By taking action.

Starting before you feel ready.

Starting before you know all of the steps you’ll need to take in the future.

What strategy could you use?

Massive Action? It’s one of the most popular notions I see today.

But is it the most efficient and effective?

Will it bring the most joy?

And are you able to keep that up consistently, long term? 

Especially if you want to create long term change.

And what if you just feel like you don’t have the capacity to take massive action all the time?

How about using a way you can do something daily, 

With joy,

And ease,

No matter what life throws at you.

No matter the weather.

No matter if you’re sick,

No matter if you’re tired,

No matter if you’re hung over,

You can still show up for yourself,

And keep your word.

Keep your commitments.

Keep your integrity.

Keep your dignity,

And be the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Even when you’re strung out,

Overwhelmed,

Anxious, 

Feeling like it’s all too much,

And wanting to give up.

You can still take action, to move forward,

And it feels easy,

And is something you want to do.

But how, you ask? 

The Tiny Habits Method is researched and scientifically proven to be one of the most effective ways to create long term behaviour change which lasts.

Identify a key area of improvement in your life. 

These could be:

Physical Body, Health & Fitness

Mindset, Emotions & Meaning

Relationships, Friends & Family

Time

Career, Mission & Work

Finances & Wealth

Education

Fun, Recreation & Entertainment

Spirituality, Contribution and Community

Select an action you can repeat to help move you forward.

If you’re unsure of where to start, try the Tiny Habits Recipe Maker.

Non-negotiable: Choose something you can do, and that you want to do.

Design your new action, 

Or behaviour,

So it’s easy to perform.

Position it in the right place and time in your day when you have the time, ability and resources to take action.

Set up your environment.

Sometimes starting something new requires a bit of prep work to make sure we have the tools and resources we need to get the job done.

Practice in advance. The same way as a sportsperson practices before the big game, we need to rehearse the new behaviour, so we are familiar with doing it before we show up on game day. 

Do it. Take action. When you planned.

Celebrate.

Generate a feeling of success.

Repeat.

Build success momentum.

Troubleshoot. If it’s not working, change it. 

Rinse, repeat, and

Enjoy growing!

When we actively design behaviour for success, and we deliberately allow ourselves to feel that success;

When we practice;

When we are consistent;

We create success momentum, 

Which I’ve been told by many clients feels very similar to motivation.

They begin to crave taking action.

And a lot of clients think craving taking action is being motivated.

But they aren’t the same.

As you can see, you don’t need to wait for motivation to strike. 

You don’t need to be that surfer out there waiting for a wave in the still ocean.

You have the power to generate this internal feeling,

And have it on demand, any time you like.

And it all starts with creating a Tiny Habit Recipe.

Tiny Habit Recipes for when you just don’t even know where to begin!

Often I find clients tell me they just don’t know where to begin.My favourite three recipes are focused on feeling good, and something you can do each day of the week.

  • After I pour my first morning coffee, water or tea, I will do a happy dance on the spot and think “Today is going to be the ultimate, productive day”.
  • After I shut my laptop for the day, I will think of one success or win I’ve had, and celebrate by saying “Victory”.
  • After I rest my head on my pillow each night, I will think of one person I’m grateful for, and send them loving energy, and smile.

Achieve your goals with Tiny Habits and WOOP

By Marcus Degerman, Claus Höfele and Boris König

Looking for a good way to start your morning? Make a habit of thinking about what you can achieve that day and what might stop you. It’s a science-based approach to reaching your goals.

Optimism and mental contrasting

Do you know that beautiful, cozy feeling that a daydream can give us? We think about the next salary increase, imagine the long-awaited vacation on a paradise island, picture six-pack abs, or wish to be famous. As teenagers, we dreamed of what it would be like to date that girl/boy we had long wanted but never dared to speak to. They often didn’t even know we existed. And often they are still unaware of our existence, as many of us still dream without ever taking the first step to make those dreams a reality. We know these people very well: They have many great plans. Yet they never realize them, jumping from one unfinished or never even started project to the next.

The behavior we are talking about here is optimism based on dreams, desires, and positive visions of the future, independent of actual experience. This kind of optimism is the research area of ​​German psychologist Gabriele Oettingen, who teaches in New York and Hamburg. She wanted to know if wishes and positive ideas for the future could also give us enough strength and energy to realize our dreams and achieve our goals.

Most people consider positive thinking as the basis for fulfilling our desires and achieving our goals. True to the motto: If you believe in it hard enough, then you can do it! But it doesn’t work that way. In her research, Gabriele Oettingen shows us that idealizing the future as a strategy to achieve goals does not necessarily work. Here’s an example: when she analyzed the inaugural speeches of US presidents between 1933 and 2009, she found that the more optimistic the speech, the worse the economic performance in the respective term of office.

On the one hand, positive visions of the future make us feel good and help us to get in a good mood. They also allow us to design different possible scenarios for our future. Indulging in daydreams and positive fantasies can be almost addictive because we want to experience these feelings over and over again. On the other hand, that is exactly what might prevent us from mobilizing the necessary energy to work towards our dreams because we have already achieved them in our imagination.

Positive visions and fantasies of the future can help us achieve our goals. However, Oettingen found that it requires a little trick so that we can draw strength and energy from it. This trick is called “mental contrasting.”

What is mental contrasting? 

In contrast to daydreaming, mental contrasting involves considering obstacles that could prevent a possible future. For example, the job you’d really like to have might require heavy studying to have a chance of getting it, but the payoff makes it worthwhile to pursue your goal nonetheless.

Mental contrasting adds the necessary dose of reality to our positive ideas about the future, brings our high-flying fantasies back down to earth, and holds the mirror of reality in front of us.

Gabriele Oettingen was able to prove the success of her method in a number of studies. She and her team not only demonstrated the positive effect of mental contrasting for stress management and better time management for employees in the health sector, but also for better learning success in children in elementary school.

Goal setting with WOOP

How could you benefit from these ideas? Based on the principles of mental contrasting, Gabriele Oettingen developed the WOOP method to apply her research in this area to everyday life. Not only is WOOP a more accessible version of these principles, it’s also a really fun name.

WOOP is the abbreviation of these four steps with its associated questions:

Wish – What is an important goal that you want to accomplish? Your wish should be challenging but feasible.

Outcome – What will be the best result from accomplishing your wish?

Obstacle – What is the main obstacle inside you that might prevent you from accomplishing your wish?

Plan – What’s an effective action to tackle the obstacle? Make a when-then plan.

A key aspect of the method is to vividly imagine your desired future in contrast with the obstacles. This way, when an obstacle arises, you are more likely to remember to execute on your plan.

And here is where it gets interesting for Tiny Habits connoisseurs: BJ Fogg’s behavior change method complements the WOOP method perfectly. Whereas WOOP helps you with goal setting, Tiny Habits provides the practical steps to achieve those goals in your daily life.

Two examples will make it more clear how to combine WOOP with Tiny Habits to achieve your goals.

Elizabeth’s journey to publish a children’s book

Elizabeth’s greatest dream was to write a children’s book. A book with all the stories she has dreamed up since she was young and which she had all stored in her head.

She loved to tell her stories to her nephews and nieces and is often asked to finally put them on paper. She usually smiled and replied that these stories were nothing special and not worth writing down, even though that was her biggest secret wish.

She made several unsuccessful attempts to put her stories on paper, but always gave up because she thought she had written something banal or bad. This made her afraid of the blank white pages in her notebook. She didn’t realize that the process of writing also requires a certain persistence and routine. It’s hard work, but it can also be fun if you know how. After almost giving up on her plans out of frustration, she found a solution to her problem with the help of Tiny Habits and a writing coach.

With Tiny Habits, she began writing regularly, even if it was just a few lines at first. But she could quickly see her progress and enjoyed what she was doing. Of course there were setbacks and she often reworked her lines until she was reasonably happy. The writing coach helped her find her own style and gave her the feedback she needed. Her first book was nearing completion when we asked her about her successful recipes:

I use WOOP every day after I wake up. I have connected it to the Maui Habit that is BJ Fogg’s favorite. After I say “Today is going to be a great day!”, I then ask myself: 

  • What has to happen for today to be a good day?
  • What steps will bring me closer to my long-term goal, the completion of my book? 

This is the Wish in WOOP. Then I pause for a moment and try to imagine how I would feel if my wish came true. Or how I will end the day with this good feeling. What am I feeling? Pride, relief, gratitude. That’s the O. Outcome.

Now it’s time to switch to the Obstacle, and I imagine what can go wrong; distractions, focusing on other things, new stories in my head that I want to continue spinning, spending too much time with emails or on social media, …

No panic. Here is my Plan: small habits for today that will help me move towards my goal:

  • “Whenever I feel like distracting myself, I take three deep breaths.”
  • “After checking my mail, I close the mail program.”
  • “Whenever an idea for a new story pops into my head, I make a quick note in my idea book.”

We look forward to Elizabeth’s book being published. It will bring great joy to many children.

Tom’s approach to being more productive

The second example of how Tiny Habits and WOOP can be easily integrated into everyday life comes from Tom. He works as a tax accountant for an accountancy firm and often has trouble concentrating on work and tends to procrastinate. 

He has worked for this company for a long time and has a lot of experience. He is very supportive of his colleagues and is often asked for advice, but this has also caused him to fall further behind on his own duties. As a result, his inbox was overflowing, he was constantly overloaded with his work, and his bosses were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his work.

This is one of his Tiny Habits recipes that helped him stay focused and complete his tasks: 

  • After I start a new task then I do a WOOP

He takes a pen and paper and writes down the key words:

  • What do I want to achieve (W)?
  • How will I feel when I achieve it (O)?
  • What can distract me (O)?
  • What will I do when I realize that I am in danger of getting distracted (P)?

This allows him to remember all the little behaviors he wants to get into:

  • Stay focused
  • Say “no” more often
  • Don’t take on too many tasks
  • To create a working environment in which he is more undisturbed

Then he starts his work.

Achieving your own goals

These two examples show how powerful WOOP is and how it can become a healthy habit. Only looking optimistically into a beautiful future carries the risk of remaining stuck in your dreams. Mental contrasting and WOOP give your dreams the necessary portion of reality to make them come true.

How will you use WOOP in your life?

The contributors:

Elevate your health and happiness with these three habits

by Teena George

Hi there! Let’s start with a quick round of Two Truths and a Lie. 

Here goes – 

I have: 

  1. left my office at 3 am one day and reported back to work at 9 am on the same day
  2. passed out at work owing to immense stress and had to be taken to a hospital in an ambulance
  3. continued hosting a work event despite getting a text message that my husband was in an accident

Which statement do you think is a lie? 

If you guessed 2 as the answer, you’re right! 

Well Done Reaction GIF by X Factor Global

GIF source: https://giphy.com/ 

You may be thinking that the other two statements are just as unbelievable. I agree with you. However, reading them gives you at least some idea of how seriously I used to take my work. 

I cringe now as I write this. However, at the cost of my health, an earlier version of me is guilty of: 

  1. working for insanely long hours and even working on weekends 
  2. pursuing perfection in all the projects I undertook 
  3. wearing ‘busyness’ as a badge of honor

And as we say about Tiny Habits: “Tiny changes, big results.” So it is with seemingly small bad behaviors that we have. They compound over time and lead to life-impacting changes. For me, continuous stress coupled with long hours at work and consistently neglecting my health resulted in me getting diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. (If this is the first time you’ve heard this term and want to know more, I’ve shared a link at the end of the blog.) 

They’re right when they say, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Frequent unannounced dizziness, a symptom of Meniere’s, helped me understand and appreciate that GOOD HEALTH IS THE ONE THING ON WHICH EVERYTHING ELSE DEPENDS.

Come to think of it, if you have good health you can invest your time and effort to build and strengthen your relationships, perform optimally at work, achieve your goals, make your dreams come true, and contribute to the greater good by helping others. Needless to say, your ability to do any of this becomes limited when your health suffers. 

I am grateful that I got Meniere’s Disease when I did because it made me pause and re-evaluate my priorities, and it helped me start taking better care of my health. As of today, Meniere’s is an incurable disease and it’s progressive. So, while the symptoms do show up uninvited every once in a while, the three habits outlined below helped me manage Meniere’s and find my way back to good health. 

It goes without saying that you don’t need to have Meniere’s or any other ailment to start any of these. They’ll benefit anyone.  

1. Gratitude: Being grateful for what I have, focusing on what I can do as opposed to what is out of bounds for me, and counting my blessings have helped me from going on a downward spiral.  

 Image source: https://www.azquotes.com/

2. Exercise: While the variety of exercises I can do are limited, I have managed to lose 8 kilos and keep it off (something I struggled with for almost seven years.)  

 Image source: https://awesomeatyourjob.com/ 

3. Meditation: Meditating has helped me stay calm when I get anxious or overwhelmed. It has helped reduce the instances of Meniere’s attacks and generally changed my earlier perception that meditation is only for those with monk-like focus. 

 Image source: https://twitter.com/

These three practices are proven ways to build and sustain good health. I go into the details in my Uplift Your Well-being with Tiny Habits course. 

Here are Three Tiny Habits® Recipes to get you started with these powerful practices: 

  1. After I sit on my bed at night, I will be grateful for one person/thing in my life. 
  2. After I switch on the coffee maker, I will do three stretches. 
  3. After I brush my teeth, I will focus on my breath for three breaths. 

Like these Tiny Habits Recipes? Download them here

Which of the three (gratitude, exercise, meditation) are you already doing daily?

Which of the three do you want to start?

If you: 

  • want to be healthy to savor the good things in life
  • have been meaning to start focusing on your health but haven’t found the time
  • want to be able to manage stress better
  • would like to be more creative and productive
  • just want to be happier…

join my Uplift Your Well-being with Tiny Habits course featuring Dr. BJ Fogg and his colleague + my fellow Tiny Habits Certified Coach, Stephanie Weldy. 

 Image source: https://www.azquotes.com/ 

You can read more about Meniere’s Disease here

Contributor: Teena George 

Connect with me at:

Website: https://www.habitsandmindsets.com/ 

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/teena-george1 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/habitsandmindsets/ 

When 95% is Not Better Than 0%

When 95% is Not Better Than 0% 

By Val McKinley

We usually think that more is better. In the world of behavior change, we encourage ourselves and others to do 1% better than the day before. The 1% adds up over time and voila; before we know it, the things that were hard for us or that we had resisted doing, get done. We feel good. Success momentum propels us forward…

Until it doesn’t. I thought I was leading my best life. I was traveling between grandchildren. I had created a portable coaching business and was enjoying the interaction with clients. Over the last two years I had consistently practiced making healthy food choices; also integrating a lot of movement and self-care practices into my daily routine. My husband is a loving partner and I have an amazing social network of family and friends.

So why am I writing this and what does this have to do with Tiny Habits? Last week after a visit with my family in VA, I was scheduled to fly back home to San Diego. That morning, after experiencing yet another two episodes of gastro discomfort which had escalated in frequency and intensity, I was extremely hesitant to get on an airplane. In the midst of not knowing which way to turn, I had an epiphany…’Call Will!’ I had been so preoccupied with my indecision and where to turn, that I had forgotten to ask for help. Help for me was the idea to call Will, my nephew who’s a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in MN. After he’d listened and synthesized all that I told him, he said that I should not fly, but instead take a taxi to the nearest cardiac hospital which he had determined would give me the best care based on the symptoms I presented.

My intuition and call to my nephew probably saved my life. Within 24 hours of admission, I was in surgery during which a stent was placed in my left anterior descending artery – best known as the Widowmaker. It was 95% blocked! Little did I know that a stroke can be a complication of this procedure. 

As soon as I saw my daughter in the recovery room, I knew that something had gone wrong. I had never experienced coming out of anesthesia with the types of symptoms I was experiencing. My vision was totally out of whack. Every move caused vertigo and/or dizziness. I felt so out of control and very frightened. I was soon taken in for a CAT scan, which I later learned was to determine the type of stroke I had experienced.

When a doctor came in the next morning and asked how I was doing I said, “Not good!” He said, bless his heart, “We’re on this!” I went through a myriad of emotions; sadness, pity, tears, and fear to name a few. Questions such as, “Is this my new normal? How will I do what I love to do? Will I be able to hold my grandbaby?” etc., raced through my mind. Several abilities once taken for granted had suddenly been swept out from under me. Talk about being thrown for a loop – literally and figuratively!

This is where Tiny Habits came to the rescue. I know tiny is transformative. I know that self-confidence is the by-product of doing what I say I will do. When I celebrate the behaviors I have planted in my life, my body releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. This process wires in the habits that I want to achieve more quickly.  Action is the catalyst of long-term change. Because I’ve developed the skills of change over time, I knew I could start taking control of my life. 

I was told specialists would not be coming to evaluate me until the next day. However, I knew that for me, waiting was not an option. I had a pity party and cried and was sad. Then, after a few minutes, I told myself to come up with one thing I could do to help myself heal as I was seeing double and was extremely dizzy. The recipes were: After I put a patch on one eye, I will set the timer for ten minutes. I celebrated. After the timer goes off, I will change the patch to the other eye. I celebrated. Repeat…By planting the seed of change that day, I felt empowered. I felt hopeful. I felt that I was doing something to move forward in my healing. Step-by-step, little by little.

Note: For women reading this, or men who have women in their lives, please know: The classic symptoms of a heart attack are different in women!! Even if you have no family history of cholesterol problems, have your cholesterol checked. If you don’t feel like yourself, trust yourself. You have the right to have your health symptoms addressed until a root cause is found. Good luck. Be well!

Update: I was in rehab at the hospital for a week and then went to my daughter’s for a week. I was cleared to fly back home to CA  at the end of the second week. Two habits that I continued to do post stroke were a modified hospital version of the Maui habit upon awakening and my bedtime habit of After I get in bed, I will write my gains for the day and write 3 things I hope to accomplish the next day. And then I celebrated!

I am a firm believer that maintaining a routine helped keep negativity at bay as I continued to heal.

A few weeks after arriving home, I started going to Zumba again. It’s my favorite form of movement. I knew that the full hour of spinning and quick movements would be too much, so my modification was, During my  ½ hour of Zumba, I will walk the steps and look forward. Then celebrate that I was back! Over the next few weeks, I slowly started increasing my time in class, adding head movements and turns as long as I maintained my orientation.

Two months in, I got to start driving again! Yea! I have been in the company of my granddaughter in the last few weeks, getting to hold her and take care of her as before.  Life is good! I feel so blessed to be back to my former self.

Best wishes,

Val McKinley

Tiny Habits Certified Coach

Course Creator: Tiny Habits for Green Light Living—Using Emotional Regulation as a Catalyst for Action

https://www.instagram.com/lifecoach_val/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lifecoachval/

Planting the Seeds of Growth Mindset

It’s been a decade since Dr. Carol Dweck, Stanford professor of psychology, published Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, forever changing how parents and teachers praise their kids. In Mindset, Dweck explained the findings of her research on motivation, learning and mastery. To recap Dweck’s discovery:

  • People who believe their abilities are innate have a “fixed mindset.” These individuals often fear failure and shy away from risks and challenges.
  • People who believe that they can change their abilities through hard work and perseverance have a “growth mindset.” These individuals are more resilient and, in the long run, more successful.

Praising Effort, Not Ability

Dweck emphasized that, like ability, mindset can be shaped, and that a child’s mindset comes from the way the adults around them talk about ability and accomplishment. In the wake of Dweck’s research, parents and teachers strove to change the language they used with their children.

Instead of praising ability and outcome, they learned to praise effort and improvement. For parents of my generation, telling a child, “You’re so smart!” or even “Good job!” was tantamount to using profanity. Instead, we learned to respond to a child’s every action with, “Wow, you really worked hard on that!”

What’s Missing? Strategies and Results

Dweck now says that her research is often misapplied. Valuing effort is only the beginning. While effort is important, it is not the end goal. Children need to learn to use multiple strategies in their quest for growth, and should be praised for trying something new.

Parents should praise results as well, even when imperfect. The key is to give specific praise that emphasizes new learning and growth, not just effort. You might say, “You’re not there yet, but you’re on the right track! What else could you try here?” or “Look how your work has changed since two months ago. It’s clear you’re starting to get the hang of this. What are you doing that’s working?” Learn to acknowledge the small successes on the road to each accomplishment.

Celebrating Each Step

Celebrating incremental successes comes naturally to parents and teachers who use the Tiny Habits Method. Dr. BJ Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford and creator of the Tiny Habits Method, frequently emphasizes the importance of celebrating each success.

The mental high that we experience with each accomplishment, no matter how small, contributes to what he calls “success momentum”. With every win, your sense that you can accomplish something more grows, and you become more motivated to pursue difficult goals and more confident that you will be able to achieve them.

The same thing happens for children. If they feel that only an “A” grade or a first-place ribbon mark success, they may shy away from classes and activities where they are not certain to win. However, if they have learned to celebrate each step on the road to achievement, they will take pleasure in tackling new challenges and learn to recognize their own potential for growth.

Ready to learn more about how the Tiny Habits Method can benefit you and your family? Enroll in Dr. BJ Fogg’s free 5-Day Tiny Habits program.