How To Make Behavior Change Stick with BJ Fogg
We’ve all been there—changing an old habit or creating a new one can be challenging. And we often incorporate our lack of success at habit change into part of our identity and feeling bad about ourselves. But when we use science to understand the secrets to lasting behavior change, it’s clear there are ways to overcome the struggle and get the results we want. One of those secrets is building off of small changes over time. I did this myself, by doing pushups while I waited for the shower to heat up I went from being able to do one to now doing 50! Today, I talk to Dr. BJ Fogg about the science of lasting behavior change and the success he’s seen in those who’ve used his system.
Dr. Fogg is a behavior scientist with deep experience in innovation and teaching. For the past 20 years at Stanford University, he has directed a research lab and he also teaches his models and methods in graduate seminars. BJ has personally coached over 40,000 people in forming new habits, using his breakthrough method called “Tiny Habits.” His New York Times bestselling book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything, was published in early 2020 and is contracted to be published in over 25 languages.
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Here are more of the details from our interview:
- How BJ’s Mormon upbringing, homosexuality, and perfectionism set the groundwork for his work on behavior change ( 8:15)
- Why feeling successful is the key to building new habits and behavior change (16:46)
- The Fogg Behavior Model and the convergence of motivation, ability, and prompt (18:05)
- Why specificity and simplicity are key to behavior change (23:23)
- The pervasive myth that eating less and exercise more is the secret to weight loss (25:34)
- Why behavior change is not about discipline and willpower (29:35)
- Repetition does not create habits, emotion does (36:01)
- Three ways to make lasting change (48:10)
- Two overarching maxims for creating behavior change—help people do what they already want to do and help people feel successful (53:59)
- Untangling vs. breaking habits (1:00:01)
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