Ever stumble across a great idea or a new way to show up and be more effective in your career, and promise yourself: "I'll get to trying that when .."?
Unfortunately far more times than I'd care to confess I've found reasons to put off making the positive changes that I know might really help me show up, shine and succeed in my career. Despite my best intentions, I get distracted, life interrupts me, I become too busy and the very idea of trying to do one more thing -- even if it made it more efficient and effective in the long run -- is completely overwhelming.
"While many people talk about behavior change as being hard. It's actually not hard if you do it in the right way, by creating tiny habits," explained BJ Fogg, an experimental psychologist at Stanford University when I recently interviewed him.
"Tiny habits help you scale back bigger behaviors into really small behaviors and sequence them into your life where they can be easily accommodated," said BJ. "They rely less on willpower and motivation and more on redesigning your life little by little, so over time these small shifts create dramatic results."
Given researchers estimate 40 percent of our days are mere habits -- that's a little more than six hours -- it seems reasonable to hack some of these routines to create the kind of changes we really want to make in our work.
For example, let's say you want to finally read the growing pile of articles and books next to your desk to improve your expertise in a key area of your work. Applying BJ's formula for making small changes you might create a tiny habit by taking the following steps:
- Scale back change to something very small - If something is very simple to do you'll need far less motivation to follow through. It'll also help remove all those "too busy right now" excuses and create feelings of success that can be built upon. Rather than trying to get through the whole pile, try setting yourself the goal of reading one page each day to get started.
What tiny habits might unleash your success at the office? If you'd like help to walk through this recipe step-by-step visit www.tinyhabit.com and join one of the weekly tiny habit programs or get trained to be a tiny habits coach.
And if you'd like more tested, practical ways to show up, shine and succeed at work, grab this free podcast series from leading thinkers on human flourishing.
This article first appeared on Live Happy Magazine.