Tiny Habits: Push-ups

A couple of years ago, I’d heard an interview with Tim Ferriss where he made referrence to Stanford behavioral scientist BJ Fogg. At the time, I jotted down the name in Things under “Interesting” (also like my “Someday” folder) and forgot all about it until mid-late June 2015, at which time I looked him up on YouTube and watched one of his TED Talks. I’m simplifying this for my own understanding: Dr. Fogg had devised a system called Tiny Habits, whereby we gradually acquire new habits by initially attaching them to a different action already being done. He gave one of many examples as doing a couple of push-ups after each time you have a pee. No big deal. I decided to try that particular example out, only doing five push-ups after each bathroom visit (Note: not actually doing push-ups IN the bathroom). Having spent some time going over the book Convict Conditioning, my push-up form was already pretty decent.

Throughout the month of July 2015, I increased my push-ups each week by one for each visit until, as of this week, I hit ten push-ups for each bathroom visit (no plans to go beyond ten). I hadn’t completely nerded out by keeping count of them all, but, at a conservative 30 bathroom visits per week, by my estimates, I’ve done over 1,000 push-ups (!) since the last week of June/first week of July 2015. 

It’s safe to say that, for me, it worked.

If you’re up for making small, positive changes to your daily routine, Dr. Fogg is a great resource. He even has a Tiny Habits app as a starting point.

Now, how’s about me flossing daily at bedtime?

(Spoiler Alert: there is a Tiny Habit for flossing).


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