Author - Tiny Habits
Nuggets from the
The ABC of tiny habits
BJ speaks about the ABC of tiny habits – Anchor, Behaviour and Celebration. He goes on to speak about the importance of having an authentic celebration as it causes dopamine regulation that leads to a habit getting cemented in your life. He also urges us to keep the habit tiny before we expand it. He says it is more important to bake the habit even if it is microscopic before we amplify it to the level that would make a meaningful difference in our lives.
The MAP of behaviour change
BJ speaks about the Motivation Ability curve which lies at the heart of his thinking around tiny habits. He speaks about how they complement each other and one way for us to take the vagary of motivation out of the equation is to go up the Ability curve so that we reduce the friction to the extent that we could do the activity with minimal levels of motivation.
Prompts - the low hanging fruit of change
BJ speaks about the role of a prompt in getting us to perform a habit. Prompt is often the trigger that ensures that we perform the habit (assuming we have adequate motivation and ability – something that we discuss later in the conversation)
Action versus Context Prompt
BJ makes the distinction between an Action Prompt (something that we do in our lives) versus a Context Prompt (an external trigger such as an Email, Pop-Up, Message etc). He speaks about how Product Managers in companies could be more thoughtful about how they could understand user behavior to figure out when to use the product to increase the likelihood of adoption.
Build ability to beat motivation cycles
BJ speaks about how we could overcome the vagaries of our motivation by working on our abilities and by keeping the habit really tiny. He also breaks down ability into a chain and says that our probability of doing something depends on the weakest link in the chain. The chain consists of time, money, physical effort, mental effort and routine.
Celebrating to wire in a habit
BJ speaks about the role of celebration in locking in a habit. He also makes the distinction between a reward that often comes several days, weeks or months later and a celebration, which is often in that moment when you perform that habit. He speaks about the need to hack that emotion to really wire in the habit.
Tiny habits to big change
BJ speaks about how we can sow the seed for a new habit but how we can ramp up and ramp down what we do as long as we are moderate in our expectations. He speaks about the trap that a lot of high achievers get into where they keep increasing the bar for themselves often upto a point where they often end up becoming slaves to the habit as the habit starts losing relevance in the evolving context in their lives. BJ speaks about how we can bake the habit, yet regain the flexibility to ramp up or down the habit depending on how our context plays out.
Untangle (not break) bad habits
BJ speaks about the importance of language when we think about habits. He says that breaking habits is possibly a wrong metaphor where we could end up doing more damage than good if we adopt that mindset. He likens a bad habit to a tangled phone cord that needs to be carefully untangled knot by knot for us to really resolve the situation. He proposes a similar approach to dealing with bad habits rather than going after them aggressively.
Getting out of screen addiction
BJ speaks about some thoughts around how we can battle screen addiction both when we are by ourselves and when we are with others. He recommends screentime.standford.edu where there is an automated AI based system that asks for your objectives and understands your usage patterns and suggests a few simple things you could do to grapple with Tech addiction.
The knowing-doing gap
BJ speaks about why several people cognitively “get” what they need to do but struggle to move the needle in that direction. He links it back to the early success some of them experience in their journey and why that leads to a certain “fixed mindset” that comes in the way of them experimenting with new ideas that could potentially be a failure. He also talks about how we need to work on minimizing our expectations for new behaviours to take root and grow.