I’m fascinated by habit formation and behavior change, and I’ve just started reading Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, PhD. Fogg makes a convincing case in the early part of the book (I’m not even 50 pages in) that behavior equals motivation plus ability plus a prompt, and that to focus on motivation alone as the reason why we have success or failure when working to create behavior change is missing part of the equation.
Are you familiar with the concept of making a new habit as easy on yourself as possible?
The goal is to build consistency over time by setting a goal that is so easy to do that you actually do it.
For example, if you want to walk for 20 minutes every day, that might be too hard. But if you start with the daily goal of putting on your walking shoes and walking for one minute, that’s much easier, right?
You may choose to walk longer than one minute, or you may not. The idea is to make the threshold for completing the task each day so low that it’s easy for you to complete your goal.
If you do more, great! If you don’t, you’ve completed the one minute and can move on with your day without feeling bad that you didn’t do more.
Fogg states that the easier something is for you to do, the more likely it is that you will do it.
This is intuitive, and, yet, sometimes it’s hard to keep things simple.
I challenge you to consider actively making your fitness goals easier for yourself (if you aren’t already).
Note that I’m not saying set easy goals; I’m saying start where you are and break those big, hard goals into smaller, easier-to-achieve pieces.
Circling back to the equation noted above, Fogg indicates that you need motivation, ability, and a prompt for behavior to occur.
If you want to be healthy (motivation), you are more likely to work out regularly (behavior) when you work at your own level (ability) and have a system to remind you to exercise (prompt).
How can you begin to adjust your fitness (or other) goals to make it easier for you to take the actions you wish to take?