Why motivation isn't enough?

Motivation fluctuates, it goes up and down. During peaks we are temporary capable to do hard things. However, most of the time we are in the dips, where we can do only simple things.
Relying on motivation is a losing long term strategy.
The key is to make things easy enough to do regardless of the motivation level.

It’s a design challenge not a motivation challenge.

Designing for the outcome is designing at the wrong place. You need to design for behaviour that leads to the outcome.
Behaviour change is a skill and gets better with practice. But it must be practiced the right way:
  • pick behaviours that you want to have, not ones you should have.
  • if you practice and it’s not working, revise it.
  • have fun with it.
  • don’t worry about being perfect. If you miss a day, it’s not over. Adapt until you find a fit.

What causes behaviour?

Three things that must happen at the same time: 1. Some level of Motivation. 2. The Ability to do it. 3. The Trigger, call to action.

The Formula:

Step 1: Make it TINY: floss one tooth. Step 2: Find a spot: right after brushing your teeth. Step 3: Train the cycle: repeat everyday.
Plant a tiny habit in the right spot and it will grow without coaxing.

The Secret: chaining tiny habits.

If you use an existing behaviour in your life and you put the new tiny behaviour after it, you can use the existing behaviour as a trigger.
The Format for Tiny Habits: After I [existing habit], I Will [new tiny behaviour].



  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister
Last modified 2yr ago