It’s “that time” of year again. You know, the time when the phrase “New Year - New You” starts popping up next to gym and weight loss ads and 45% of Americans make at least one New Year’s Resolution. Yes, many of us like to set big goals so that we can create a better version of ourselves during the upcoming year. Unfortunately, The Science of Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work, has revealed that less than 10% of all New Year's resolutions are actually achieved.
Personally, I’ve seen the most personal success following the sage wisdom of Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray, in the laugh-out-loud movie, What About Bob. They call it, Baby Steps. As Dr. Marvin (Dreyfuss) explains, “that means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time, one tiny step at a time—do-able, accomplishable goals.” And, as funny as it is that this pearl of wisdom comes from a Bill Murray movie, it’s actually based on a great deal of science.
“That means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time, one tiny step at a time—do-able, accomplishable goals.”
Much of that science, comes from BJ Fogg, PHD, who runs the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford. Dr. Fogg developed a nearly foolproof method for forming new habits that he calls, Tiny Habits. His habit formation research shows that “if a behavior is really easy, you don’t need much motivation to do it. However, if the behavior is hard, you need a lot of motivation.”
Research shows that both motivation and willpower are unreliable. Eventually, when you feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired you will lose your motivation to stick to a habit that requires a lot of motivation. The rule you want to stick to in forming a new habit is the simpler, the better.
For more information on Tiny Habits, and a great tool to set and track your small goals, visit: iRunuRun.com