Using Tiny Habits to Change Your Life

Every once in a while I come across something on the Internet that is actually useful. The website that I’m going to talk about today is TinyHabits.com. But let me start by telling you about the journey that brought me to this site.

My Wife and the Weight I Lost

It all started with my wife, Josephine Mazonde, who is a nurse. We both started exploring different diets a few years ago. As I have mentioned to some people I lost about 35 lbs in 2017 using a version of the keto diet. For me, this was a rewarding adventure - one of the top 10 achievements in my life.

One of the results of our research was that Josie started a business offering consulting and coaching to clients who wanted to lose weight. One target group that she focused on was men who wanted to reduce the size of their pot bellies. As part of her effort to work with this group, she developed and hosted a workshop called Lose 30 Pounds and Gain an Inch. It was a wonderful success.

22 Pushups

Tony is a friend of mine and he attended the workshop. During the course of Josie’s presentation (which I attended for maintenance reasons), Tony mentioned that he had been doing 22 pushups every day for the past year. I was impressed and I was curious about why the number 22. Why not 10 or 25 or 55 - why 22? Tony explained that this was a social trend in support of US military veterans with whom there was an average rate of 22 suicides per day. To be honest, I was shocked. In 100 days that is 2000 suicides. In a year that is 6500 people who have died from taking their own lives. All military personnel who had survived the battlefield. I wasn’t aware of the social campaign - this was the first I heard of it.

In response to Tony’s leadership, I made a commitment to try and do 22 pushups per day. I started but I failed. My commitment was low. My motivation was low. I just plumb forgot.

1000 Pushups (in one day)

However, a couple of months ago, I came across an article on Medium called How Completing 1000 Pushups Made Me a More Productive Writer by Kori D. Miller. The word “pushups” caught my eye and reminded me of my failed commitment. The number “1000” caught my attention especially when I figured out that this was 1000 pushups in one day. And then the name “Kori” nailed my interest because I suspected that the writer, and the person who had done 1000 pushups, was a woman - a very determined woman. Impressed - I read more.

It is true, Kori did 1000 pushups in one day! She started in August 2018. She calculated that if she added 25 pushups every day that she would reach her goal by mid-December. It wasn’t easy but she did it.

Tiny Habits

Then I read a sentence in her article that has had a profound effect on me: “Why I didn’t think to apply the TinyHabitsMethod developed by BJ Fogg to my writing, I have no idea.”

My mind asked the obvious question, “What is a tiny habit?” Well, I’ll tell you. Tiny Habits was developed by BJ Fogg. He is a behavioral scientist from Stanford University. In a nutshell, it’s a method to develop and maintain a habit within 5 days. Seriously!

Don’t start by thinking about what habits you want to change. Start by joining the program - it FREE - (https://www.tinyhabits.com/join) and it will all become clear. It’s brilliant. It’s easy. It’s rewarding.

I selected 3 habits to start:

2019-03-05 - TinyHabits.png

I’m now doing at least 22 pushups every day (many days I do more but I haven't committed to do 1000 in one day, yet).
I’m now flossing my teeth every morning.
Every day, I write down at least one thing that I’m grateful for.
In addition to these habits, I feel stronger and more confident. It’s great.

I encourage you to try it.