Bite Sized Habits Newsflash - Part 2 Creating Rewarding Habits

“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing.

For to miss the joy is to miss all.”

Robert Louis Stevenson​


Something to watch

One of my all-time favourite pop psychology books is Mindset by Carol Dweck. In which she details her fascinating research on why fixed mindsets (not believing you can improve/grow) hamper our performance and opportunities in life and how growth mindsets (looking for the opportunity to grow and believing you can improve things) can lead to lasting health, productivity, success and happiness.

Or if you’d rather watch/listen you can gain the key insights in her Ted talk (10 min watch):

Click here


Something to do

Learn how your tendency shapes your behaviours (10-minute free quiz). This one comes off the back of a suggestion of one of our wonderful newsletter readers (Hi Penny!) who was curious about how our personality types impact our behaviours.

Author Gretchen Rubin has pulled together a really insightful (and free quiz) that helps tap into how our unique tendencies drive our behaviours (it is also helpful to know the tendencies of our nearest and dearest too!).

Gretchen notes: We all face two kinds of expectations—outer expectations (meet work deadlines answer a request from a friend) and inner expectations (keep a New Year’s resolution, start meditating). Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency”—that is, whether we fit into the category of Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. Knowing our Tendency can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others. To take the free quiz...

Click here


Bite Sized Habit of the week

Part 2 - Creating rewarding habits​

Emotions create habits, not repetition - when you design for habits you design for emotions. These are the wise words of Prof B.J.Fogg. In his book Tiny Habits (which I've recommended to newsletter readers in the past), he discusses the importance of celebrating habits no matter how small they are. the rationale behind this goes back to something we discussed in the newsletter last week; how reward drives habit change below are insights from professor Fogg on how you can celebrate your Bite-Sized Habits to help make them stick.

When you reward yourself or celebrate your bite-size habit you create a feeling stop Professor Fogg calls shine. Shine is a positive feeling created within you for example you could feel shine when you do a presentation and people clap at the end when you get the shot of paper into the rubbish bin the first time, or when your team scores in the final minute to win the League. Shine is a feeling of feeling good about yourself and what we want to do is create that feeling immediately after you perform your bite-size habits. This allows for the dopamine release that signals to your brain that this is a rewarding behaviour that you want to engage with more frequently. This promotes more repetition which can in time lead to habit change. Here are some suggested ways in which you can create this feeling of shine through celebrating immediately after you perform your bite-sized habits:

  • Sing songs you love. Sing, “Hey now, you’re a rock star” or “Champion of the world”
  • Physical movementsPretend you just nailed a half-court shot
    • Say, “Yes!” while you do a fist pump
    • Put your palms together in gratitude
    • Raise your arms and say, “Victory!”
    • Fist-bump yourself and explode both fists 
  • Verbal statements - Say, “Way to go!”
  • Sound effects
    • Hear celebratory trumpets in your head, swoosh
    • Hum a few seconds of a peppy song
  • Visualise what makes you feel successful
  • Silent celebrations Smile big/nod/say you smashed it in your head, “Nice!” and nod your head, do a drumroll on your desk, tap your fist on your heart three times 
  • Or if you're at work draw a smiley face on your to-do list when you've completed it 
    At the gym do a drumroll on the treadmill or tell yourself “you've nailed it” 
  • Or use this as an opportunity to practise self-compassion put your hand on your heart and say I am someone who follows through with my goals I am soon who cares about being healthy

The type of celebration doesn’t matter what matters is you have created the feeling of success, the feeling of shine a feeling of feeling good about yourself. That's what can fast track your healthy habits success.

If you want to kick start your habit changes, why not sign up for the FREE Small Changes, Big Results masterclass! Click here to access it now: FREE Habits Masterclass

Published on 2nd Dec 2021 at 12:00 by Heather McKee

Book my free implementation clinic

Looking to learn more about how to improve engagement and outcomes in your digital app or product?

Once a month I offer a small number of free 30-min implementation clinics to help selected organizations by providing behavioural insights/tackling engagement issues with their products/services. Places for these clinics are strictly limited if you want a slot you can apply here


By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. DISMISS NOTICE

Copyright ©2024 Dr. Heather McKee

Dr. Heather McKee is registered in Ireland Reg. No. 687397 with the registered address at 314 Mother Teresa House, Loreto Abby, Rathfarnham, D14 NR20, Co. Dublin, Ireland

This work is in no way meant to replace any medical advice. Dr. McKee is Non-HCPC-registered. Photography by Dylan Madden.

Designed by Aeronstudio™