cover image Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything

BJ Fogg. HMH, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-35-800332-8

Fogg (Persuasive Technology), founder and director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, shares his myth-breaking and persuasive research on habits and human behavior. As a behavioral scientist, he writes, he spent years consulting with companies to create products to help employees and customers live happier, more fulfilled lives. However, after experiencing burnout, Fogg realized he needed to concentrate on developing his own healthy habits. Using his success with weight loss, drastically improved physical fitness, and better productivity, he developed the Fogg Behavior Model, which is built on motivation, simplification, and the correlation between emotion and habit, and summed up as “behavior happens when motivation and ability and prompt converge at the same time.” He recommends six steps: clarify the aspiration, explore behavior options, match with specific behaviors, start tiny, find a good prompt, and celebrate successes. For instance, when going through a period of depression, Fogg struggled to maintain a morning routine, so he concentrated on “tiny habits” by setting an intention of brushing his teeth, then flossing, and declaring this a “Victory!” to start the day. This simple routine helped to gradually lift him from depression. Balancing useful practices (including many charts, tables, and graphs) with his own story of personal transformation, Fogg’s convincing method will help any reader reconfigure their habits. (Dec.)