Your Success is Our Success

Teach Clients to Build Tiny Habits

April 29, 2022 - Christy Goldfeder

Your clients probably think that they have to change everything to make a huge impact on their health. Cut out everything they love to eat and only munch on raw vegetables. Run a marathon. Only drink water.

But they don’t have to have an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to creating healthier habits. In fact, behavior change is actually more effective when you make tiny changes.

According to BJ Fogg, behavior design expert and the author of the book, Tiny Habits, making small changes leads to bigger lifestyle changes.

What is a Tiny Habit?

Put simply, a tiny habit is one simple thing that changes behavior. Some examples of tiny habits include:

  • Flossing one tooth after you brush your teeth in the morning.
  • Doing one pushup at 12pm each day.
  • Saying a mantra like, “It’s going to be a great day!” when you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the floor.

When you see these habits, you might think, “What’s the point of doing such a small action?” But according to Fogg, tiny habits work better than making huge changes for several reasons, including that it’s:

  • Quick — it is a 30-second habit, so there’s no excuse for not having enough time to do it.
  • Immediate — tiny habits allow you to get started right away without having to make any huge changes.
  • Safe — if you start running by going one block at a time, you won’t hurt yourself the way you might if you started with a 5-mile run on day 1.
  • Provides room to grow — when you get a 30-second habit ingrained in your routine, it’s easier to expand it one minute at a time.
  • Not reliant on willpower — when a tiny habit is so easy to do, you don’t have to rely on your motivation to get it done.
  • Improves your thinking — you can celebrate your tiny wins when you complete them each day, which helps make you feel good.

A tiny habit works like this: you take a behavior that you want, make it tiny, find where it fits naturally into your life, and nurture its growth. You can help your clients design their own tiny habits, and use the MBODY360 app to help remind them to do the habit.

Revise Your Plan’s Daily Message

If you want to help clients change their thinking, you can easily do so by rewriting the daily messages in their nutrition plan. For example, you could change the message to the “It’s going to be a great day” mantra.

In your practitioner portal, you can click on the nutrition plan that you most often assign to your clients and edit the reminder message. You only have to make the change once and then save it into the plan. Whenever you assign that plan, the messages will automatically pop up in your client’s app.

Help Clients Cook More at Home

Let’s say, for example, you have a client who wants to cook at home more frequently. But they are used to getting take out for dinner and picking up breakfast on the way to the office.

Instead of getting them to buy a fridge full of food, start with a tiny habit. Every morning when they go in the kitchen, have them turn on a burner and heat up a pot of water. The hot water can be used to brew a cup of tea or prepare instant oatmeal. Once the habit is ingrained, your client might branch out and start cooking eggs at home before work.

You can assign them a nutrition plan with recipes, but make it easier for them to get started by having them pick out one recipe for the week that they will try to make. So instead of getting overwhelmed by having to cook everything from scratch for every meal, they can get used to making one meal at a time.

Help Clients Learn to Meditate

Many clients want to bring more peace and calm into their lives — and reduce their stress levels.

You can have them use the meditation timer to start building a mindfulness practice. But have them start really tiny with just one minute. Or you can record and upload your own guided meditation video, or your favorite from YouTube or Vimeo, and your clients can follow along.

If they have a meditation cushion, you can have them put it in the middle of the floor to help remind them to do their one-minute practice. Or you can have them habit-stack their mindfulness with another habit that they already have — like making a cup of tea in the morning.

Help Clients Get More Active

Many clients also want to increase their activity levels and spend less time sitting. But they might find it challenging to do so if they are very busy.

You can have your clients track tiny workout habits to start moving more. Instead of running 3 miles, they can start by running and walking for 10 minutes. Or do 2 minutes of jumping jacks to get their blood pumping. Or the one pushup at noon.

Whatever activity fits into their schedule will make a difference. Over time and once they get used to moving more often, the workout habit will include more minutes. They’ll get stronger and fitter — and more confident.

Tiny is Mighty

Your clients can transform their habits by making tiny changes. As their health coach, you can keep them inspired to chate their habits and take back their health.