Fragment from imaginary dialogues
“BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits is excellent.”
“Is it better than James Clear’s Atomic Habits?”
“It complements it beautifully. Tiny Habits approaches habit creation from the perspective of behavior-design. I hadn’t heard of behavior-design before. Now it’s something I want to master.
Let’s go back to James Clear’s four rules of habit-making:
Make it obvious. (Cue)
Make it attractive. (Craving)
Make it easy. (Response)
Make it satisfying. (Reward)
From Atomic Habits, I’d understood how important rewards are for habit creation. From Tiny Habits I got another piece of the puzzle:
When it comes to rewards, timing matters.
In behavior-science, reward has a very specific meaning. Something counts as a reward only if it affects behavior, and it affects behavior only if it occurs either during the activity, or immediately after. That’s when dopamine is released and associated with the behavior. If the reward occurs outside this time-frame, it does not affect behavior, because the association with the behavior is lost.
One of the most powerful rewards is celebration. These ‘micro-moments of positivity’ – beautiful concept which I know from Brian Johnson – are essential for habit creation. In the words of BJ Fogg:
Emotions create habits.
“How can I optimize celebration?”
“What’s the main obstacle?”
“Remembering to celebrate.”
“Celebrate remembering to celebrate.
Also, you can stack it with your Gratitude practice. I call this practice-stacking.
Every time you celebrate, say ‘Thank you‘ and, in the moment, improv-style, find one thing around you that you’re grateful for.“