You read and hear it everywhere: a new year, a new start. There is a lot of pressure on those first weeks of the new year. Did you make a good start with all the intentions you have set for yourself? Have you set enough goals? Are they also the right ones? Nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself, certainly not! But as Renee also states, it is not necessary to start the year with all kinds of new resolutions.

What might be fun though, is to learn more about habits. This time we want to talk about creating new habits, which contribute to your overall sense of happiness. And, according to behavioral scientist BJ Fogg, you can create new habits in very small steps.

Flossing teeth
How small? BJ Fogg cites the example of teeth flossing. Start by flossing 1 tooth per day. Maybe it seems a crazy example at first, but just think about it: probably you or someone in your immediate environment has already made an attempt to incorporate flossing into the daily routine. You keep it up for a while cause the dentist made you aware of how important it is to do so. But, after awhile, you stop.

By starting small, you become accustomed to the action without it having a major impact on the rest of your routine. Slowly you are working on creating a new habit for yourself, which in turn will ensure that it becomes easier to learn other habits.

According to Fogg, the ripple effect is common and psychologists do not know exactly why it happens. One theory: thanks to the small wins, people can consciously or unconsciously break through other obstacles in their lives.

Start small and what else?
If you only start small, you may not be there yet. To learn new behavior it is also very important that you are motivated, that you have the opportunity to actually do it and that there is a trigger that reminds you to cultivate your new habit. A trigger can be brushing teeth in the case of teeth flossing. For sports this can be, for example, work: I go to the gym twice a week after work.

Which habit do you want to teach yourself?

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Lisa den Boer

Content creator who believes in the power of content: breaking taboo, motivating and inspiring. Curious about new places, cultures and other people.

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