3 Tips to use the Tiny Habits® method to become a Better Digital Citizen
In our second Digital Citizen podcast blog, learn how you can develop positive habits online with a few simple steps.
Do you ever have a hard time finding the motivation to consciously manage your online presence? If so, you're definitely not alone.
In this article, we will share our key takeaways on building that motivation, from episode 1 of our podcast, Digital Citizen, where we spoke to BJ Fogg PhD, who founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. In addition to his research, Fogg teaches industry innovators how human behavior really works. He created the Tiny Habits Academy to help people around the world. Find out more at BJFogg.com or visit TinyHabits.com to learn about his New York Timesbestselling book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything.
By the time you get to the bottom of the page, you will know what the Tiny Habits® method is and how to implement it to improve your day-to-day life.
How is Tiny Habits different?
According to Fogg, you select behaviors that:
- You do at least once a day
- Take less than 30 seconds to complete
- Require little effort
Using the Tiny Habits Method makes it easy to create meaningful lasting changes in your life and will help you accomplish your goals without feeling like you are doing any work at all!
#1: Start Small and Be Specific
Your new habit should be so small that it requires no motivation to do, and it needs to be specific enough that it takes less than 30 seconds to complete. In our conversation, Fogg explained this in terms of a garden: "... you take a good seed, which would be the habit. You place it in a good spot, which is where does this fit naturally in your routine, and you keep it nurtured. And it will then take root."
Let's say you want to be a better digital citizen by being more conscious of what you share online. Your new habit should be something small, such as asking yourself "Is this content harmful?" If you repeat this multiple times eventually it will become second nature for you to double-check what you post to make sure it is positive and will help you maintain a responsible online presence.
#2: Choose an Anchor Moment
The first thing to consider when learning a new habit is how it will fit into your life. It’s important to make sure that this habit fits naturally into your existing routine, so Fogg suggests linking the habit to an existing behavior you do on a regular basis—this existing behavior is your anchor moment.
Let's keep to our above example about being a better digital citizen by self-monitoring your posting behavior. You can anchor your new habit to every time you're about to hit the "post" or "share" button. Then, every time you're about post something on social media you will remember to make sure that you're putting your best foot forward.
#3: Celebrate Success
Celebrating small wins is a crucial step to ensuring habit formation.
Humans instinctively seek to repeat behavior that leads to feelings of success. To efficiently adopt a new habit, you should reward yourself directly after completing it. This can be something as simple as giving yourself a pat on the back or treating yourself to a piece of chocolate!
If you're consistent, before you know it you'll be living your best digital life. Using the Tiny Habits method can also help you create habits about all sorts of things like exercise, cleanliness, or even managing your internet privacy. For example, choosing privacy-first services for your email, calendars, data storage is one small thing you can do that makes a big impact on your overall online privacy.
If you want to hear more about the Tiny Habit method, managing your behavior, and how to improve your digital life then go listen to our full conversation with BJ Fogg on our podcast: Digital Citizen.
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