Are you finding yourself wanting to make a change personally or professionally but feel stuck? The ‘Tiny Habits’ method developed by Stanford researcher Dr. BJ Fogg is the answer. His research explains the power that taking baby steps towards new healthy habits has on all aspects of your life, and how to properly design these healthy habits to make sure they stick.
If you’re preparing to reenter the workforce, continuing to cope with the reality of Covid-19, or struggling to assimilate into the workplace environment again, these “tiny habits” are the place to start. In his early studies, Dr. Fogg found that within 5 days of practicing these strategies, over 80% of people said they picked up better habits, and over 20% of people said they had made a “big change” in their life. These habits can also create a feeling of control in our lives, especially during such an uncertain time.
The overall goal of these “tiny” habits is to make yourself feel more successful. This feeling of success can have a profound impact on your self-image, confidence, identity, and your energy to pursue opportunities. These habits also have been proven to improve your mental and physical wellness.
The first step to developing better habits, and a better life, is the same with any goal: Clarify what you want. When desiring a big change, it can be unclear where to begin. Dr. Fogg’s method shows how the first baby step becomes clearer when you get to the heart of what you desire. For example, if you want to be healthier, you may consider drinking more water.
Additionally, the second step Dr. Fogg outlines in order to see a difference in your habits long-term is to change your environment. Altering your environment slightly sets the scene for change. The habit Dr. Fogg recommends to start with is simply putting a glass of water on your desk. It is a simple task that can ultimately program you to achieve your larger goal without much additional thought or effort.
The ultimate trick to formulating a successful habit? Lower your expectations. Setting the bar lower allows the habits to become more attainable, and ultimately kickstart the feeling of success and a heightened sense of confidence. For example, if your goal is to read more books, your habit should be to simply open a book once a day at a certain time.
It seems counterintuitive to set your bar lower when trying to improve your life, but Dr. Fogg gives a simple explanation for this: Emotions create habits, not repetition. If we associate the feeling of success with these tiny progressions, we are more likely to continue doing them.
The most important part of developing any new habit is to associate it with something you already do. A formula you may follow is: “After I do (Blank), I will do (Blank).” For example, “after I turn on the shower, I will do two push-ups.” After a few days, you may do more push-ups but this is simply extra credit and adds more success to your day.
Ultimately, habit formation is a skill to practice that will serve you in all aspects of your life. The increased feeling of success can transform your identity and allow yourself to see evidence of your own ability to enact change. This method can have a profound impact on your career and job hunt as well. It is hard to sustain motivation in the workforce when you don’t feel you are in your dream role or you aren’t getting the salary you want.
This is why we start small. “Entry-level,” for example, does not mean “inexperienced.” It means you have an opportunity to master your skills, feel more successful, and gain confidence. This is why we truly believe every role is key to the greater success of every company and employee.
For better or worse, quarantine has put a pause on all of our lives, but now it is time to hit play again. Take your first step by filling out an application on our website www.emeraldstaffing.com. You do the first step, and we will do the rest!
By: Greta Burton
BJ Fogg, Ph.D. is a Human Behavior researcher and public speaker. He has studied and worked at Stanford University for over 20 years.
“Forget big change, start with a tiny habit”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdKUJxjn-R8
“Tiny surprises for happiness and health”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L1R7OtJhWs
Dax Shepard’s Podcast: Experts on Experts “BJ Fogg”