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Tracy Winchell

3 Science-Based Steps to Separate Your Identity From Your Habit Successes & Failures

published3 months ago
3 min read

Hey Reader,

You have learned to identify the lies you tell yourself about self-reflection.

You have been introduced to the Fogg Behavior Model.

Today you will learn to apply the model to your life and work.

Let's GO!

The Fogg Habit Recipe

In this lesson, we apply all we have learned about what journaling is and isn't and the types of friction that may be keeping you from a tiny habit of consistent self-reflection.

This instruction applies to any habits we want to change.

We're building what Professor B.J. Fogg calls a habit recipe, based on his behavior model.


B=MAC

Lesson 3 in this series will refresh your memory


Remember these questions? Grab your responses. Today is the day we apply your self-learning.

  1. Worst time of day to insert a new habit.
  2. Most reasonable time of day to insert a new habit

Journalers: How and when do I typically log a journal entry?

Your response to the "most reasonable time of day" question defines the general day part that works best for you.

Begin with something you do every day, at the time of day you’ve pre-selected.

1. The first ingredient in your habit recipe is to select a Prompt (or an anchor).

A few prompt ideas:

When I sit in my chair each morning, I will ___

Before I shut down my computer at the end of the day, I will ___

As soon as I pick up my first cup of coffee, I will ___

2. Select the thing you want to do (journal consistently) and break that activity down to its first ridiculously simple action.

A few options:

Power up my computer, then I will ___

Open my digital journal or notebook, then I will ___

Sit down in my coffee-drinking chair (where you placed your journaling tool the night before), then I will ___

3. Performing a tiny celebration rewards your brain with a dopamine hit.

Look, it seems silly. Even alone in my office I had trouble with this part, but this is the secret brain chemistry sauce that makes the whole thing work.

A few options:

Dance in my chair

Smile in the mirror

Softly (or loudly) yell like you would if your team won in extra innings or overtime.

tl;dr Fogg’s structure for building your own habit recipe:

  1. Anchor the new tiny opening action for the habit to a solid habit you already perform regularly.
  2. Break down the thing you want to do into its smallest operational component.
  3. Identify your celebration, whether it’s a fist pump or a smile into your bathroom mirror, a happy dance in your private office, or something else that will fire a dopamine hit to your brain.

The recipe will look something like this:

After I sit at my desk each morning,

I will open my computer (app or book).

Then I will smile a cheesy grin into my mirror.

In a single sentence:

After I sit at my desk each morning, I will open my journaling app and smile a cheesy grin in the mirror.

4. BONUS STEP: Send me your recipe!


Let's Recap Our Friction-Busting Practice

We have exposed points of friction, myths, and truths related to self-reflection.

3 Most Common Types of Friction

  • "Myth" friction
  • "Tool" friction
  • "Perfectionism" friction

4 Most Common Myths

  • Written self-reflection must be practiced:
  • In the mornings
  • On pen and paper
  • Every day without fail
  • As an hours-long pouring out of one's soul

4 self-reflection truths

  • Truth 1: Digital self-reflection is effective.
  • Truth 2: Any time of day beats not journaling at all.
  • Truth 3: Consistency beats perfection every single day.
  • Truth 4: Journaling about the same junk repeatedly can make things worse.

You have learned that the tool you select doesn't really matter as long as you're using the tool consistently. Nothing is permanent. Switching between digital and analog is perfectly fine.

The truth about habit design

You have learned that you're not a lazy bum, you're not unmotivated, and your struggles with building new habits have nothing to do with your character.

Instead, you have learned the Fogg Behavior Model, which is steeped in research.

You have learned to apply the Fogg Behavior Model.

Recipes have 3 ingredients:

  • A prompt (a preexisting habit)
  • A tiny first step
  • A silly celebration

You have learned that you're not a lazy bum, you're not unmotivated, and your struggles with building new habits have nothing to do with your character.

Instead, you have learned the Fogg Behavior Model, which is steeped in research.

Solve for the most expensive limiting belief you don't know is holding you back

The process of self-reflection, and keeping track of observations about what your body and mind are telling you is a mothership habit.

Once you are consistently practicing self-reflection for a few minutes a day, a few days per week, you will discover the lies in your head.

The lies in your head are too expensive to quantify, and they range from health and happiness to the relationships you desire, and the career growth waiting for you.


I hope you will utilize each lesson in this free email course half as much as the principles and frameworks continue to change my life.

In a couple of weeks, I'm launching a 6-week cohort-based course that dives deeper into the friction that makes us question our character.

I'll be sending along information about the course soon.

Thanks so much for reading.

-Tracy