During six years of research for our upcoming book, Micro-Resilience, we've come across and shared many insights that contribute to breakthrough performance. "Tiny Habits," the quirky, seemingly counter-intuitive system from Stanford professor BJ Fogg is one of my favorites. Dr. Fogg's research tells us that the gap between our goals and our actions is the sweet spot for change. According to Fogg, there are 2 easy ways to achieve long-term behavioral shifts: 1) Change your environment, or 2) Create new habits.
Changing environments may initially feel imaginable, but daunting. Making wide range, sweeping moves in our lives can be a disruptive and difficult process. On the other hand, designing brand new habits that lead to the behaviors we want to embody can also feel foreign to our psyches. This is where we often go off track. We become paralyzed by the perceived difficulty of taking any steps at all.
"Tiny Habits" suggests that we don't have to get all balled up in taking enormous actions in order to achieve our goals. Instead, Fogg recommends small, but measurable shifts that, one by one, build up to our bigger goals over time. This thinking doesn't rely on the traditional methods we tend to tap into (think will-power, unrealistic goal setting, guilt, etc.). Fogg claims, "Tiny Habits limbo under the bar of low motivation." Imagine the ability to effectively and sustainably shift your habits with skill and practice and without guilt or temporary motivation. What would you incorporate into your daily life? Would you exercise more? Budget better? Spend more family time?
Aristotle famously said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Fogg's program provides an easy to use toolkit that does not leave the prospect of excellence to chance. Check out Tiny Habits and let us know what you think.