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  • Writer's pictureKDC

Tiny Habits for Back-to-School

Imagine a home where after school time consists of help in the home and connection of the humans in it. Now imagine the same home where these things are true and there is no need for motivation, would you believe me if I told you it was possible?

Human Behaviour researcher BJ Fogg at Stanford University has come up with a foolproof method for creating habits where the focus is on simplicity, as this matters more than motivation or willpower.

When we were helping our kids learn to walk, the emphasis has always been on that first step. That one small step always receives celebration, connection and continuation.

The Fogg Behaviour Model lets us know that if a behaviour is easy to do, you don’t need a lot, if any motivation. On the other hand, if a behaviour is hard to do, a lot of motivation will be required.

Yes, the method may seem almost too easy, but go back to your child’s first step and remember how that was all the motivation that was needed to keep on going!

By feeling good during this process we are able to bypass motivation altogether. Fogg calls this feeling shine. The power of just thinking, saying or doing something small to reinforce the new tiny behaviour is what replaces motivation.

Some favourite celebrations include; smiling, singing a favourite song in your head, doing a little dance move, giving yourself a high five, telling yourself that you are awesome!

As a family set up a few cups and grab a ping pong ball, throw a few and notice what you do when you get one in! Try these things and notice when the shine comes through.

To create your own Tiny Habit recipe it’s as simple as A, B, C.


A is for ANCHOR. This is something that is already a part of your everyday routine. When we pair the rest of the Tiny Habit recipe with this anchor we will always know when to start the tiny behaviour.

What anchor moments happen when people return home from school?

  • Putting down a bag

  • Opening the fridge

  • Picking up the phone

  • Closing the bedroom/bathroom door

B is for tiny BEHAVIOUR. What can be done in 30 seconds or less? What can be done that requires little effort? Think of the very first step of the ultimate behaviour you want to see after school and start here.

The behaviour that you are trying to introduce should be in the same space that your anchor is in to make this step as easy as possible.

A Tiny Habit recipe looks like this; After I insert Anchor moment, I will tiny Behaviour

A Tiny Habit for after school might look like this, “After I put down my backpack, I will take out my lunch kit.”

C is for CELEBRATON. There are 3 moments of celebration so no matter where you are in the process you are creating those feelings of shine to reinforce the habit.

Celebrate when you remember to do the tiny behaviour, while you are doing the tiny behaviour and once it is completed.

The recipe now looks like “After I put down my backpack, I will take out my lunch kit and give myself a High 5.” A, B, C.

Like all recipes, it may take some tweaking. Find the right mixture to start creating more Tiny Habits in your home and as you feel good along the way you’ll know that you can create shine for yourself and create more habits for a life you want.

“Habits last longer than goals.” BJ Fogg

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