Doing something new – make it simpler to start

It’s February already.  Time for a quick review: How are you doing with your New Year’s intentions?

My intention is to become more of a ‘maker’ than a consumer of information.  For me this means writing book reviews – which I did and for which I won a prize from the local library – and writing more blogs.

Looking at my blog posts, I notice I haven’t posted since November, so I haven’t yet progressed with that intention. But I do have a number of posts in drafts.

One was about Tiny Habits and the great work BJ Fogg.  I loved doing his Tiny Habits email program, so I re-read his article on the New Rules of Persuasion.  It’s about persuasion in relation to behaviour change. His proven Behavior Model comprises three elements:

Motivation
Ability and
a Trigger.

Given that I am motivated to do this, and I have the ability, the missing ingredient must be the trigger – remembering to do it. Rather than rely on memory, I know that I can set up regular reminders in my calendar.

OK. Calendar reminders – done.

But wait, Fogg has an additional distinction, which is a key breakthrough for me. He suggests that designers often assume people are more capable that we really are. To increase ability we can make the starting behavior simpler. Even though I have the ability, I often don’t have the time to write a thoughtful piece. But I can easily spend two minutes to say “just read BJ Fogg’s article and liked it because …”  Or just read x and it left me wondering y”.

So my new intention for this month is to write a short ‘reaction’ blog once a week and then make time for a thoughtful piece once a month.

Week one – thoughtful piece – Done.

Week two here we come.

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