Mastering the Method

Mastering the Tiny Habits Method means learning how to do three things well:

 

  1. Picking a good tiny behavior

  2. Finding what existing habit (or anchor) will prompt the new behavior

  3. Knowing how to self-reinforce with a celebration ("Good for me!"<- We covered this on Tuesday)

 

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Wouldn't it be great to have a list of behaviors you do every day without fail?

 

Then, to sequence in a new behavior, you could simply look at your list and find the right match. You'd ask: "What does this new behavior most naturally follow?"

 

From Tiny Habits

 

“When talking about Tiny Habits, I use the term Anchor to describe something in your life that is already stable and solid. The concept is pretty simple. If there is a habit you want, find the right Anchor within your current routine to serve as your prompt, your reminder. I selected the term “anchor” because you are attaching your new habit to something solid and reliable.” 

 

Knowing how to identify your Anchors is a valuable skill. (There’s more information about how to find the best Anchors on pages 110-113 in the book.)

Design new habits in your life

At this point you know that in Tiny Habits:

 

1. You focus on tiny behaviors, and

2. You use an existing routine (an "anchor") as your reminder.

 

In the next few minutes I invite you to design your Tiny Habits. In this process you will pair a tiny behavior with a good anchor.

 

You put these two pieces together, using the format I call a "recipe": 

 

"After I [existing anchor] , I will [new tiny behavior]"

Some pairings work well, and the habit forms quickly and naturally. 

 

Some pairings don't work at all. But don't worry. If the pairing doesn't work, you revise. In other words, you just redesign the recipe.

Create three recipes

In the next few minutes, I want you to create three pairings and put them into my recipe format.

 

  1. After I _________________ , I will __________________

  2. After I _________________ , I will __________________

  3. After I _________________ , I will __________________

You can use suggestions I offer below and on other pages. Or you can create your own recipes

 

You can also mix and match, pairing any anchor with any tiny behavior. The choice is yours.

My advice

Don't turn this process into a big dramatic thing. Instead, be playful and explore. But don't get overwhelmed.

If the initial recipes you create don't work very well, then you revise things. No big deal.

In fact, most everyone revises their Tiny Habits or their approach during the week. It's part of the process. You don't need to send perfect recipes. Just send your coach something to get started.

Right now, I advise you to pick simple, ordinary things as your Tiny Habits. Don't pick anything earth shattering. Just learn the method.

 

Similarly, I caution you against picking a super special habit you’ve always wanted but never could achieve. Instead, pick something you want, but not something with lots of emotional baggage. You can take on harder behaviors in the future, after you increase your skills.

 

This next week is about practicing, not about solving that one special problem in your life.

Some reassurance

If the initial recipes you create don't work well, then you revise things. No big deal.

Again, most everyone revises their Tiny Habits or their approach during the week. It's part of the process.

You don't need to form perfect recipes to start mastering the Tiny Habits method. Revision is part of the process.

Two ways to create recipes in Tiny Habits

In this video I explain how you can create recipes for Tiny Habits in one of two ways:

 

  1. Start with the tiny behavior and then find a suitable anchor.
  2. Start with an existing anchor and then find a new tiny behavior that would follow it naturally.

Watch this 2-minute video before moving on.

Tiny Habit examples to choose from

Be sure to pick new behaviors you WANT in your life. I offer a bunch of suggestions below. Have fun!

 

Health routines

After I [your anchor], I will Floss one tooth (BJ’s #1 suggestion)

After I [your anchor], I will Open my vitamin container

After I [your anchor], I will Put on one drop of sunscreen

After I [your anchor], I will Put in my retainer

After I [your anchor], I will Set out my vitamins

After I [your anchor], I will Put on my fitness tracker

After I [your anchor], I will Turn off my Internet router at night

 

Physical activity

After I [your anchor], I will Do two pushups

After I [your anchor], I will Put on my walking shoes

After I [your anchor], I will Do 3 crunches

 

Nutrition

After I [your anchor], I will Drink a sip of water

After I [your anchor], I will Take a bite of a carrot

After I [your anchor], I will Fill a glass of water

After I [your anchor], I will Throw out one bad food item in my house

After I [your anchor], I will Write down *one* thing I ate

After I [your anchor], I will Put an apple in my bag

After I [your anchor], I will Write down one veggie I like to eat

 

Calming / de-stressing

After I [your anchor], I will Stretch one part of my body briefly

After I [your anchor], I will Exhale and relax for 2 seconds

After I [your anchor], I will Do a quick sketch

After I [your anchor], I will Yawn to relax my jaw

After I [your anchor], I will Stretch my back

After I [your anchor], I will Turn off the ringer on my phone

 

Learning & hobbies

After I [your anchor], I will Play 3 chords on the guitar

After I [your anchor], I will Read one sentence in a book

After I [your anchor], I will Sing a scale

After I [your anchor], I will Recite one line of poetry

After I [your anchor], I will Open my workbook

 

Relationships

After I [your anchor], I will Kiss my spouse

After I [your anchor], I will Think of one special person to call/text today

After I [your anchor], I will Text my mom

After I [your anchor], I will Get out my set of “thank you” notes

After I [your anchor], I will Give my spouse a hug

 

Organizing

After I [your anchor], I will Set out my workout clothes

After I [your anchor], I will Think of one top priority for my day

After I [your anchor], I will Look at my to-do list

After I [your anchor], I will Plug mobile phone into charger

After I [your anchor], I will Turn on the ringer on my phone

 

Cleaning & tidying

After I [your anchor], I will Hang up my coat

After I [your anchor], I will Wipe out sink

After I [your anchor], I will Tidy one thing in the house

After I [your anchor], I will Put dirty laundry in basket

After I [your anchor], I will Put my receipts in the basket

After I [your anchor], I will Wipe my bathroom mirror

After I [your anchor], I will Turn off lights in study

After I [your anchor], I will Clean one dish

After I [your anchor], I will Clear one item off my desk

After I [your anchor], I will Pull cover up on bed

 

Writing

After I [your anchor], I will Write three words in my journal

After I [your anchor], I will Launch Microsoft Word

After I [your anchor], I will Jot down one thing to write about

After I [your anchor], I will Write one sentence

 

Mindfulness & gratitude

After I [your anchor], I will Look up at the stars

After I [your anchor], I will Smile immediately

After I [your anchor], I will Think of one thing I’m grateful for

After I [your anchor], I will Say one thing I’m thankful for

After I [your anchor], I will Do one visualization

After I [your anchor], I will Read one verse of scripture

After I [your anchor], I will Meditate for 3 breaths

After I [your anchor], I will Do one sun salutation

After I [your anchor], I will Write down one positive word

©2020 BJ Fogg