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The Fogg Behavior Model

Fogg Behavior Model Sketch

The Fogg Behavior Model is a powerful framework for understanding behavior. Why is it that even though we know the "right thing to do" we often struggle to follow through. (It's all of us, not just you :)

Understanding the model:
The Fogg Behavior Model, created by behavior scientist Dr. BJ Fogg, states that behavior happens when three things are true:

  1. We have some ability to complete the behavior
  2. We have some motivation to complete the behavior
  3. There is a prompt that initiates a behavior

The model states that when we have more motivation, we can accomplish harder behaviors. When motivation is low, a behavior must be easier for us to follow through. Notice how this explains how much easier it is to follow a program in the 1st month, when motivation is at its highest, compared with 2-3 months down the line.


Why This Matters:
Understanding the model allows us to shape our behavior with several approaches:

  • Increase motivation. It turns out this is hard and unreliable over the longer term.
  • Make behaviors easier. For example, if you've not been exercising, build a habit of walking for 5-10 minutes daily rather than striving for 60 minutes initially.
  • Manipulate prompts. One example of this is called habit stacking, where you attach a desired routine to a habit you already have built in. E.g. after I brush my teeth I will do my ankle rehab exercises.

Going Deeper:

Have a super week,

Dr. Topher Fox

P.S. If you missed any previous emails, the content is posted weekly here

P.P.S. Below are the pictures from my exam room wall which we are exploring for this email series. 

Dr. Christopher Fox I am a board-certified endocrinologist in Superior, CO, and I have been in private practice since 2003. People I work with achieve success when they learn all the ingredients of healthy lifestyle and the system to consistently follow through on good intentions. I use my knowledge of endocrine science, psychology, neuroscience, and human behavior to help people make meaningful, lasting changes in their health that they can sustain long-term.

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