Think back to all of those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made in your life. You’d get all hyped up- “This year will be different- I can do it! I am so MOTIVATED”….Then the habit was all but forgotten by February.
What happens when your motivation wanes and you give up? Do you wait until next year to give it another try? When it is important, there is no better time to start than now. Let’s get down to work turning those intentions into results.
One of the best formulas for success I know, from B.J. Fogg’s book Tiny Habits, is the Fogg Behavior Model, B=MAP.
You produce a Behavior when your Motivation, Ability and a Prompt align. Hopefully this is a desired behavior, but if it isn’t, you are in luck because it is pretty straight forward to hack the formula to make that unwanted behavior nearly impossible.
Let’s focus on creating a new behavior. Consider this scenario; You want to exercise daily but the winter blues have set in. There are a few more inches of snow each day, and you are busy with work but sick and tired of Zoom. It’s all you can do to get through the day… (Oops- this may not be a fictional scenario)
Back to the example: exercising everyday is the behavior. Now we turn up motivation and ability with an easy to follow prompt.
Motivation-It doesn’t matter how high your motivation is when you set the goal. How can you increase your motivation for when you should be going to the gym so you actually get out the door? You could save a favorite show or podcast for the treadmill. Maybe have a friend meet you there.
Ability- Challenges are great and I bet you love to accomplish hard things. But this isn’t the time. You are in it to win it-so now is the time to make this new behavior as easy as possible. The idea is to set yourself up for success so you can celebrate and be excited to do it again. Don’t wear your motivation down by making it too hard. Does the idea of working out at the gym everyday feel so hard you want to take a nap just thinking about it? Make it easier by just doing the first step- drive to the gym everyday for a week. When you get there, do a happy dance! Because you did it. You can leave. If you stay, everything else is frosting on the cake.
Prompt- You need to figure out when you are going to do your new behavior. Where are you going to put it in your schedule? Right after work? Block the time on your calendar with a reminder. Change into your gym clothes before your wrap up for the day. If you have a drive home from work, a sticky note on the steering wheel can help keep you on track.
Using the B=MAP formula is simple, and it can be used for any of the habits you want to implement in your life; it may just take a few tries to get the combination right. Keep playing with it and you will get the outcome you want. Success is a journey, not a destination. We can work on this together, sign up for a free 30 minute coaching session and we can get you on the path fits your motivations as well as your abilities.