Category Archives: Habits, Goal Setting & Motivation

Happiness Experiment No 41: change a tiny habit

Changing our habits can be very challenging and it is often difficult to stay motivated. Behaviour researcher BJ Fogg has come up with a clever way to overcome this by creating his theory of tiny habits.  Instead of focusing on big changes like getting really fit or losing 10kg he suggests focusing on tiny sustainable changes which require little or no motivation.  The theory works especially well when you attach the new behaviour change to an already existing habit and perform the new habit after the established habit. For example, after I brush my teeth I will floss one tooth.  After I get out of bed, I will do one sit up.  You can gradually increase the frequency until you are flossing all your teeth and doing many sits very morning.

My dog is currently on medication and I have to acquire a new daily habit of giving her a pill every day.  I remember to do this by saying to myself after I put on my dog’s lead to take her for a walk, I will give… Read the rest...

Happiness Experiment No 33: Do it after

Changing behaviour to adopt more positive habits can be challenging and despite the best of intentions many of us fail in our attempts to make new habits last. Behavioural scientist Dr BJ Fogg has spent years researching the science of habits and one of his breakthrough ideas to create long lasting behaviour change is to attach a new habit to something you already do on a regular basis.  For example if you want to remember to take your vitamin pills BJ Fogg suggests taking them after the cup of coffee you always have every morning, if you want to build the habit of doing press-ups you can start to do them after you have gone to the toilet and gradually build up the number of press ups you do.  The key is to find something to attach your new desired behaviour to and remembering to do your new activity after the habit you already have in place.  It’s a simple sounding idea but it is a really effective way to trigger an action and adopt a new habit.  Give… Read the rest...

Happiness is served on a smaller plate

Happy 2015

This year I have been late to the New Year Resolutions party as my enthusiasm has been dampened by a lingering dose of the flu. However being ill has had its advantages.  Instead of launching headlong into my usual cycle of 100s of things I want to be better at together with numerous unrealistic projects I want to complete I have had two weeks of extra reflection time before I nail my colours to the mast. My reflection was prompted by a friend asking all assembled on New Year’s Eve what the one biggest highlight of 2014 had been.  It’s a difficult question to answer when you have to choose just one thing that made you happiest over a whole year.  The more I thought about it the more the images of trips I have made and the family and friends I shared them with sprang to mind.  So 2015 will definitely involve as much travel as possible and I am already planning a trip to Malawi in April to visit the amazing work of The Microloan FoundationRead the rest...