How To Really Change Your Behaviour?

Changing behaviour is not easy, most people say. But it is not. There is a surprisingly simple way to change your behaviour. It is simple, elegant and easy if you follow it. This is the method advocated by BJ Fogg and used by many to successfully change their behaviour.

The method can be easily remembered as “SET”:


1. Specific: Once you have a goal or outcome you want to achieve, you need to translate it into a behaviour. The behaviour has to be very specific. This means it should not be vague.

Let us consider a common goal many people have: to lose weight. We all know two behaviours will lead to weight loss. Eating less and exercising more. But this is not very specific. It is too vague. You have to make it very specific.

What do I mean by that?

Eating less= non specific. Eating 1 fruit for breakfast. Eating a 250 ml cup of rice for lunch. Drinking juice for tea. Eating a large bowl of salad for dinner. That is specific. Exercising more=non specific. Walk for 1 km each day 5 days a week. That is specific.

2. Easy: The behaviour that you start with has to be easy. If it is difficult you will give up too soon. Start off really easy, then gradually increase the difficulty. Give yourself a minimum goal that you should meet that is really easy to meet.

Like: Meditation: Watch your breath for 5 minutes every day. Gradually increase to 10 minutes but say that you will at least do the minimum 5 minutes every day.

3. Trigger: We need prompts for our behaviour. Listen or read stuff that inspires you to do your behaviour. Even if it is only for 5 minutes. Ask somebody to remind you to do it and tell you the importance of doing it. Make yourself accountable publicly or to your spouse. Think about the trigger that will help you do the behaviour. Ask people around. Triggers are important. Environment is stronger than will-power.

That’s it. Specific behaviour to do, starting off doing easy and tiny things and setting up your environment to give you triggers to do your behaviour.

Done this way, you will end up achieving more than you can ever dream of. Your are SET for the rest of your life.


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