New Year's resolutions, a new me, financially responsible, fit, slim and organised... By January 20 will I be one of the 80% of resolution makers who fail, or will I make it through to September and be one of th 92%?
Thomas Pychyl's attributes this failure to us being unprepared to change habits, particularly bad habits. He uses the beautiful description of 'cultural procrastination' to describe our annual stampede towards reinvention.
Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to particpate in B.J. Fogg's research into behaviour change through the 3 Tiny Habits process. Through his work at Stanford's Persuasive Technology lab he has identified 3 factors that will cause long term behaviour change:
Option A. Have an epiphany
Option B. Change your context (what surrounds you)
Option C. Take baby steps
3 Tiny Habits
3 Tiny Habits started for me as an option C, but actually evolved into Option A. Basically you comit to make 3 tiny changes a day with each one requiring no more than 30 seconds. You choose a trigger in your day - may be getting up, having a coffee or cooking dinner, and then fit your new habits in after one of these regular habits.
My usual experience of motivation to change is a burst of enthusiasm, followed by failure. It's got to the point where I expect to fail. Using 3 Tiny Habits made me feel like I could change and inspired me to continue. This year, my only New Year's resolution was to make 3 Tiny habits each week. I've committed to mixing new and ongoing habits, and somehow I've started to tame my challenges with work/life balance, fitness etc.
I feel motivated, powerful and successful, instead of bumbly, hopeless and on a highway to failure.
3 Tiny Habits at work
In my day job as a CX Designer at NAB I'm looking at how we can use 3 Tiny Habits to support change. If it can do this for me - a serial procrastinator - what could it do to say, capability development at work, pursuit of excellence etc.
Give it a go - it's fun and it works!