Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Tiny Habits Can Lead to Huge Behavior Changes

I just viewed innovator BJ Fogg's TED Talk on changing behaviors through tiny habit changes and signed up for his free five-day challenge next week to see how well this concept might work for me.

One of the premises of this Stanford professor's behavior model is that it's easier to make changes by taking tiny steps than larger ones. For instance, I could not wake up this morning and run a marathon. But I could run from my house down to the corner.

And if I anchor this new behavior to another behavior I already do, such as getting dressed, I could turn this short walk into a habit. Over time, I could start running longer distances -- possibly even 26 miles.

The Fogg Behavior Model hinges on the concept that the more difficult something is to do, the more motivation you need to do it. If you attempt to do something relatively simple -- like run past seven houses -- you don't need a whole lot of motivation.

The "baking powder" that makes this cake rise is a trigger. That means taking an existing habit and practicing the new habit immediately after it. Fogg uses the formula:  After I _______,  I will ______. The first blank is the existing habit; the second is the desired new habit.

It's important to celebrate each time
you practice the new behavior
To turn the new behavior into a habit, you must also celebrate right after you practice it. Which does not mean eating a chocolate bar or buying a pair of shoes, but something simple like throwing both arms in the air and declaring, "I'm awesome!"

What's interesting is that the tiny habit path to behavior change is totally different than the route I took to lose weight through the Medifast Take Shape for Life Program. Eating five small Medifast replacement meals and one Lean & Green meal a day was a total pattern interrupt from my normal behavior.

Soon to be me
However, now that I have reached my ideal weight, my desire to attain other goals via behavior change persists; so I'm down with being a guinea pig for this experiment.

I'll let you know after next week's challenge how it worked out for me.

You can purchase Medifast replacement meals directly from Medifast Centers, the Medifast website or -- for soon to be lower cost -- through the co-branded website of a Medifast TSFL health coach. Medifast does not recommend purchasing its products from third party vendors, but if you choose to do so, you can find them on both Amazon and eBay.

Medifast Custom Order - You Choose ANY 10 Boxes

More from Diet Skeptic:

Fruck You! Fructose

Can You Drink Alcohol on Medifast

Medifast Centers Vs. Take Shape for Life

Planned Exceptions: What Is Your Pie Policy?

Wabi Sabi Dieting & Renee Zelwegger's New Face
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest.

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