Make Difficult Changes Easy

To make some changes, you have to put in a lot of effort. Social scientist BJ Fogg proposes a different perspective: making small and simple changes instead.
Making difficult changes easy

In general, people often postpone difficult changes. Just thinking about it can make you feel lethargic. You think of them as an extremely steep slope to climb. In fact, even though you know there’s a reward at the top, just imagining what it takes to get there makes you feel exhausted. In other words, you want to reach your destination, but not make the journey.

However, you may just need to use an effective method. The way you achieve something is just as important as the end result . In other words, the strategy is just as important as your desire.

Social scientist BJ Fogg wrote the book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything on this subject. He concluded that change is easier to achieve if it is broken down into simple actions.

A woman who thinks, maybe about making difficult changes

Difficult Changes

BJ Fogg is a prestigious researcher who originally worked as a designer. There he discovered that the development of new products sometimes did not get started. This was because managers focused more on the complex than the simple.

Fogg then went on to work at Stanford University. He continued his research there and discovered more information along the same lines. This became the starting point for the theory that led him to write his book on how to make difficult changes simple. Today, he believes that simplicity is a very powerful force.

Simple things don’t require too much energy or motivation. Nor do they require any special talent or training. In fact, one of the secrets to achieving big changes is to break them down into a series of simpler, smaller changes.

In other words, going up the steep incline little by little means you can appreciate the breaks in between and rest. These breaks act as small rewards that boost your motivation.

The power of simplicity

One of the reasons change is so difficult is your habitual behavior. Bad habits stick to you like glue and it becomes a real ordeal to get rid of them. Learning healthy habits also takes time. Unless you start with a lot of enthusiasm, you will eventually stop without really knowing why.

Fogg gave an example. For example, suppose that removing the weeds from your garden takes at least five hours. For this reason, you never have time to do it. However, if you invested ten minutes every day doing the task, you would be much more likely to complete it.

Fogg designed his method to make difficult changes easier. He advises starting with a regular routine to incorporate the new habits slowly.

For example, if you want to drink more water to improve your digestion, you don’t need a special regimen. All you have to do is incorporate it into your daily routine. For example, by drinking a glass of water during breakfast.

A woman drinking a glass of water

The method

Changing simple behaviors is usually not problematic. But making more difficult changes can be problematic. For example, quitting smoking or losing weight. In these cases, Fogg recommends identifying the real problem to be solved first.

Take smoking for example. Perhaps the smoker has not really thought about quitting smoking completely, but wants to be able to breathe better and be healthier. He or she might learn small habits to achieve this.

Perhaps smokers could do breathing exercises for a few minutes or smoke that first cigarette of the day at an agreed time. Once they establish those little habits, they can move on to the next one.

Of course, these kinds of processes mean that it takes longer for the person in question to actually change. However, the process should not be rushed in any case.

By eliminating each small habit slowly and gradually, you also eliminate the risk of procrastinating and quitting the whole process. The only thing you need to keep in mind is setting your goals. In fact, you need to make sure that your goals are always small enough to reach. This reduces the risk of you giving up.

Fogg also points out that technology can be very helpful in this regard. Apps or programs that set reminders, motivate, or help keep track of records can give you a boost and help you keep going. This method of adopting small habits to make bigger changes is worth a try.

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