Behavior Model [My Homework for a Course]
There is a formula for changing your behavior. Professor BJ Fogg of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab developed it (he is also the creator of Tiny Habits™. As part of my training, we had to record ourselves teaching it. Let me know what you think… this is highly applicable for designing effective practicing habits!
So what do you do if motivation is low?
The model holds the answer:
the harder something is to do the more motivation it takes to do it.
And then, the opposite is also true:
if something is easier to do you need less motivational muscle to do it.
How can you do that for your bass practice?
- Have the bass out of its case (easy entry)
- Work with “prompts” or “anchors” as described in the Tiny Habits Method book
- Pick a short, easy exercise, like one scale. Do it. And then celebrate.
Why do I have to celebrate? It was just a scale, that doesn’t even count!
Because creating a good feeling is what creates habits.
Not 21 days. You can create a “cookie at 3PM habit” in one sitting. You give a teenager a smartphone and watch the habit form instantly.
It is the bit of “celebrating” that we miss.
Likely your internal voices are dismissing all of the above by saying things like:
- I cannot just make myself “feel good” if I am not indeed feeling it!
- If I just start with one silly scale how do I get to ever be able to play TeenTown?
- This is ridiculous, one scale fffft. If I start celebrating THAT I am cheating myself out of ever practicing for real.
Not so fast. Professor Fogg has answers for all of these in his book.
The Tiny Habit® method works if you follow it verbatim. What’s the risk of trying something new?
For me, it was an absolute life-changing game changer.
Don’t forget to celebrate!
Here are a few other Tiny Habits videos on practicing music and an interview Professor Fogg did with me.
Why Just Keep Playing is not Working
May I Have Two Minutes of Your Time?
More on Practicing, Technique and Music Theory here: