Change only happens when we work our tails off, right? Not necessarily. In his new book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, Stanford social-behavioral scientist BJ Fogg presents ground-breaking research on habit formation. One of our favorite takeaways from the book is Fogg’s insistence that “People change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.” Try the powerful exercise from the book at bottom…

The Tiny Habits Process Of Positive Change

In order to design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things:

One Stop judging yourself.
Two Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors.
Three Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them to move forward.

This may not feel intuitive. I know it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Self-criticism is its own kind of habit. For some people, blaming yourself is just where your brain goes—it’s like a sled in the snow, slipping into a well-worn path down the hill.

If you follow the Tiny Habits process, you’ll start taking a different route. Snow will quickly start covering those self-doubting grooves. The new path will soon be the default path. This happens quickly because with Tiny Habits you change best by feeling good—not by feeling bad.

The process doesn’t require you to rely on willpower, or set up accountability measures, or promise yourself rewards. There is no magic number of days you have to do something. Those approaches aren’t based on the way habits really work, and as a result, they aren’t reliable methods for change. And they often make us feel bad.

The Feeling Good for Change Exercise

Remind yourself that you change best by feeling good. If there’s one concept from my book I hope you embrace, it’s this: People change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.

Try this exercise at home:
+ Write this phrase on a small piece of paper: I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.
+ Tape the paper to your bathroom mirror or anywhere you will frequently see it.
+ Read the phrase often.
+ Notice how this insight works in your life (and for the people around you).

Bottom banner image
From our friends