Small Improvements One Day at a Time
Welcome to IGNITING a Better YOU –one step at a time.
Confucius the famous Chinese philosopher and teacher, who lived between 551 – 479 BC once said “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. So I invite you to join me from today as we embark on a journey of gradual improvement together – one tiny step at a time.
And I promise you that I will be trying to improve and develop myself a little bit each day as well. I have realized over the years that the more I teach – the more I indeed learn. That is … if I am looking to learn, looking to improve and ready to make changes – even small ones – in the quest of building the better ‘Me’ – and I definitely am. If I am not open to learning and change – then of course whatever I teach – will not help in improving myself at all. And what a waste that would be!
I have actually found that whenever I carry out some form of teaching or developmental activity – be it for top corporate executives or teens; I find myself looking forward to learning from them as much as I look forward to sharing something that I have learned with them. This makes each day really exciting – and something to look forward to.
Well enough of that – let’s start building the better YOU, one step at a time.
Tiny Habits – The single step that starts the journey
Dr. B. J. Fogg of Stanford University who is head of the ‘Persuasive Technology Lab’ – has done a lot of research into what we should do to build habits we want to. His model can be simplified in the equation ‘B = MAT’. Let’s say I want to lose some body weight (Goal). So I need to practice the ‘Behavior (B)’ of exercising. That will be the habit that leads to my achieving the goal. So first I need to really want to exercise and make the change (Motivation), need to know how and what to do – and feel I am able to do it (Ability), and then have a Trigger (T) to actually do it. So what does trigger mean? Something that reminds me and makes the action to change the behavior happen. Confusing? Let’s make it simpler.
I want to start the behavior (B) of exercising. To do so – my motivation (M) should be there – I need to want to do it. Next – do I know what to do and have the ability to take action (A)? This could be the first stumbling block, as if the action is really hard – then I will not do it. So the action needs to be really, really easy. So that even if my motivation is not super high – I can still force myself to do it. For example if I cannot exercise for 40 minutes – or 30 minutes – or 20 minutes – can I do something for 10? Of course I can. Even the laziest person can. And finally we need a trigger to start the action. Something to remind me to get started. So let’s say – ‘after I brush my teeth – I will exercise for 10 minutes’. Brushing my teeth is now the ‘Trigger’ for the action of exercising. Well that’s the model of B = MAT. Decide on what you want to change – and let’s make it happen by just doing one small action at a time. Not too difficult and so even doable for the lazy folk among us.
Let’s get started to building a better YOU – one step at a time. I am excited!