BJ Fogg reveals the truth about habits and why the traditional approach is all wrong. Learn how to untangle negative habits from your life and replace them one tiny habit and behavior at a time, so that you can build momentum and reach your goals…
BJ Fogg reveals the truth about habits and why the traditional approach is all wrong. Learn how to untangle negative habits from your life and replace them one tiny habit and behavior at a time, so that you can build momentum and reach your goals easier than you thought possible.
BJ Fogg is a behavior scientist at Stanford, where he directs research and innovation at the Behavior Design Lab. He also teaches his models and methods in graduate seminars.
14 years ago, BJ’s nephew became addicted to opioids after being exposed to steroids and drug culture in high school. BJ and his family tried to support him in his recovery as best as they could, but despite all the effort on his part, his nephew died from an overdose.
It wasn’t an intentional overdose. His nephew had been sober for the prior six months and something must have happened in his life where he felt like he needed to go back to using the drugs. Unfortunately, he went with his prior dose, which his body couldn’t handle anymore.
BJ’s family believed that his nephew was on the path to recovery and he was going to be okay. It wasn’t until the overdose did that suddenly become an incorrect assumption.
BJ usually helps people make habits, which is relatively straightforward. Breaking habits is much more complicated and difficult, especially with addiction. Addictions are a different kind of challenge. If your habits are life threatening, you need to get some help.
BJ knew at the time that environment has a major impact on behavior, but he didn’t consider that in regards to his nephew. If he could go back and change something, it would be to take his nephew out of Las Vegas and completely change his environment.
There are three ways to create lasting change. The first is an epiphany, which can’t be designed. The other ways are changing your environment and taking small steps to create new habits.
One of the answers to addiction is a radical change in environment.
Developing new healthy behaviors to replace old, unhealthy behaviors is how you shift your identity.
Creating new habits is not that hard if you do it in the right way.
The Tiny Habits method can be very approachable. Pick any ambition you have and you can take small actions which will move you towards your goal. You can systematically come up with the golden behaviors that can be turned into positive habits.
If you can find a behavior that you really like doing that moves you towards your ambition, it can be very easy to wire that into a habit. You don’t have to pick only one method; try out a bunch that you already like and want to do and you will make it much easier.
There are different means to an end. If a program works for you, then stick with it. If there’s something that doesn’t work, be willing to explore and try other things out. If the program or person isn’t a good fit for you, go out and find one that is.
BJ grew up as a Mormon and never drank alcohol growing up, but that changed after moving to California with his partner and being exposed to wine culture. He began to notice that alcohol became a feature of his everyday life and decided that he wanted to stop.
It wasn’t particularly difficult to stop drinking for BJ as he already had experience with changing behavior. There is a big difference between changing behavior and untangling bad habits with the latter requiring a little more effort.
Moderation in all things does not apply to addiction. Quitting something 98% is harder than quitting something 100%.
Start with the easiest tangled behavior by either removing the motivation, removing the ability, or removing the prompt. Once you do that, you will feel like you can take on tougher habits.
Over time and after developing new habits, cravings, and desires, get redirected to more healthy ways of being satisfied. The temptation eventually goes away.
Find those things that you do that works for you and allows you to calm down and reduce your stress. When you have those, you won’t consider your addictive behavior as an option. The urge will pass.
If you pick habits that you want, it becomes a delight. You can create habits by feeling good. That’s why you pick habits that you want that help you feel successful.
If there is a person in your life that you share a bad habit with, make a new healthy habit together. Surround yourself with people that want to be in recovery and find a sponsor to help you. Stay away from your friends if they aren’t serving you in recovery.
One of the interesting things that BJ noticed is that once he and his partner stopped drinking, their social group also started drinking less as well.
If you want to stop an unhealthy habit, make a list of all the times in the day those negative behaviors manifest and think of them as a set of related behaviors. Your first response will likely be sadness, but you can get through that by making a plan to untangle those behaviors. Start with the easiest one to eliminate, build momentum, and keep going.
Start with the easy wins and build confidence, and the other wins will resolve on their own. The more practice you have at creating habits, the more your skills of change will increase.
Owner of New Foundation Recovery House 2009. Co-founder Recovery Organization Resource
About Sazha Ramos
Sazha Alexandra Ramos is a navy veteran in recovery and founder of Recovery Organization Resources. Sazha brings a unique perspective to recovery housing after living in one, operating two, and now working nationally to advocate for recovery houses.
Next year she will complete her Masters in Social Work at Rutgers University and continue to bring new thought leadership into the recovery housing space.
About Jason Campbell
Jason’s unique perspective on health, wellness and spiritual growth comes from his lifelong study both of music and the ancient arts of Taoist health, medicine and enlightenment. He is a 7th degree black belt and co-founder of Zen Wellness. His meditation and Zen training began as a child through music. His whole adult life has been an effort to combine eastern arts, wellness, meditation and music.
He has released over 20 albums, been #1 on Billboard and Amazon, and created 3 musical styles (Five Element Meditation Music, Zen Piano and New Opera) The music has opened meditation to many who have never meditated before or who have tried and been unsuccessful in their effort to simply sit still and clear the mind.
About Emily Sadler
I started ETC. on a wing and a prayer. The truth is, after several years of working in hospitality and management, I couldn’t find a job and with two teenage boys to feed that was a huge problem. I often hear the term “leap of faith”. I actually think that in most situations it’s more of a push than a leap, and then if you are lucky you find out that you have wings. I am truly lucky, rather blessed, I have found my wings.
For the first year it truly was ETC. by Emily. I was a soloprenuer wearing all the hats, working crazy hours and just trying to get by. My hard work brought more business, along with opportunity, and so I grew; becoming ETC. by Emily and Haley and then ETC. by Emily, Haley and Lexi and then…you get my point.
What I found is that the number one thing that businesses need to grow is people. Good people. You can be the best at something but one person alone can only do so much. Without good help businesses are at a stand-still at best. What the ETC. team does is take people’s lives and businesses to the next level by providing them Bright, Shiny (Brilliant), Happy People!
My passion, my gift is being able to connect passionate business owners with Bright, Shiny, Happy People and in doing so everyone wins. My clients are both my ETC. clients and my ETC. team. We all have dreams and my wish is to make everyone’s come true!