Extra Credit Learning
How to form habits quickly
My intention is to make this a spot for more info, especially videos that are helpful but optional—at least for the week-long program.
As of July 2017, I am not quite done packaging things up here. You can keep reading and viewing, but set your expectations low.
Questions you may have
Isn’t three habits too many to do at once?
I know that many people say to focus on one habit at a time. I don’t agree with that. Whether we know it or not, we humans are, in fact, creating many habits in our lives all the time. Perhaps if the new habit is super hard, then yes, it is too consuming to do more. But my approach is about practicing the skills of new habits. And by design, the habits are simple behaviors. So at least with my method, take on three new habits. It’s a better way to practice.
Why just 5 days? Doesn’t it take 21 days to form a habit?
That 21 day thing is not correct. That’s like saying it takes 21 minutes to cook a meal. Yes, it’s true that some meals take 21 minutes. But other meals are faster or slower. The same is true for habits. Some form quickly. Others may take a long, long time.
Can I use your program to break bad habits?
Breaking habits is different from creating new ones. My program is about creating new ones. I’m an expert on new habits. I don’t claim expertise on breaking bad habits. Think of it this way: You hire a contractor to build a house. You hire someone else to tear a house down. They are different processes.
I believe the ability to create new habits is more valuable. But I’m sure some would disagree with me. For more on how I classify behavior types, see www.behaviorgrid.org
Optional Resources for You
How the Tiny Habits Method started
Three ways to create lasting change
Want vs. Should
The anatomy of the Tiny Habits method
Why 3 Tiny Habits not just 1
Don't use alarms or notes
Trailing edge of an anchor moment
Don't choose "Do X for 30 seconds"
How many days to form a habit?
Invest in making behaviors simple
To succeed in creating a new habit, you need to make the new behavior super simple.
Instead, let me give personal examples.
Let’s start with my first Tiny Habit, the ukulele practice. To make this easier, I put my ukulele right on top of my piano. And I leave it there, easy to reach. I also know exactly what chord sequence I want to practice. I’ve done this all in advance. So each day I don’t have to find my ukulele, make decisions, or exert much effort. I just pick up the ukulele and play the chord sequence. It takes about 20 seconds, and I’m done.
So not only are my Tiny Habits easy to do. That means I can do it in less than 30 seconds, and it requires no real effort. Note too that I’ve invested a bit of time beforehand to figure out how to make things even easier. You should arrange the world around you to make your new habit easy to do. (Please reread that last sentence.)
You can grow your habits later, once they become automatic. And some habits, won't need to grow. They are good small, such as a gratitude habit.
Don't make it painful
It’s important that you not feel pain when you do your new habit.
For example, if you tell me you’re going to do 50 pushups, I know for sure pushups will not become a new habit for you. Doing 50 pushups is painful.
If you feel pain, you must revise and make the Tiny Habit easier (like 2 pushups). Why? Because if you feel pain, your brain will find ways to avoid the behavior in the future. In contrast, if you feel happy after you do the behavior, then your brain will remind you to do it again in the future.
In some ways, we humans are not so complicated. We avoid pain and we seek pleasure. I’ve designed Tiny Habits for this reality.
Become a world-class expert in habits
I invite you to learn even more about the Tiny Habits® method.
My team and I can help you can gain the skills to change people’s lives for the better.
Go to the Tiny Habits Academy website to learn how you can become a world-class expert in
- creating habits and
- coaching others in the Tiny Habits method.
We teach you personally, bringing you into our live online video classroom. It’s an effective way to learn from anywhere in the world. And it’s a lot of fun too.
The Academy website has the latest info about becoming a Certified Tiny Habits Coach.
What people say . . .
“The Tiny Habits Masterclass is brilliant! It is so professionally wonderful to have the knowledge and skill to help people change.” - Ann
"Thank you for the GREAT Tiny Habits training session! The material was great, and the group was fun. Your examples and suggestions were spot-on. Really a fantastic experience." - Debra
"This course was the perfect amount of theory and tactical application. You walk away with a better understanding of how habits can be created AND it is something you can immediately apply." - Russell