3 Steps to Changing Habits in the New Year

It’s the first day back from the New Year. And I’m guessing you may have a New Year’s Resolution you are working on. Maybe it’s exercise more, arrive early to work, or speak more at meetings.

So how do you make it happen?

Check out Stanford professor BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Model. BJ is one of leading experts on behavioral design and has consulted with the leading non-profits and startups across the globe.

According to BJ, there are 3 three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a desired behavior does not occur, one of these three is missing.

For example, think about my New Year’s resolution – no alcohol January (no I’m not an alcoholic, just a healthy behavior I’ve done for weight loss the last 2 Januarys)

Motivation – Yes, I am motivated for health reasons to accomplish this goal
Ability – Yes, I have the ability to not drink alcohol

Trigger – Key is avoiding triggers that would make me want to order alcohol. For example, I have 0 beer at home so can’t even say “I’ll just have 1 as it’s the NCAA title game”. Or making sure I have a go-to order if end up in a bar (Arnold Palmer) so I have an answer when that trigger is asked (what do you want to drink)

So what’s your New Year’s Resolution? How are you making sure you succeed?

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Eric Melton

New Year’s Resolutions rarely stick past January, but I don’t agree with PLANNING for it to only last January. Better to change your lifestyle for the positive, at a level you can live with all year. Make it stick! Otherwise, good advice.