The Maui Habit: What It Is and Why You Need to Start Doing It

the Maui Habit
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What is the Maui Habit?

The Maui Habit is a tiny habit that has a huge impact and is basically this: When you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the ground you immediately say to yourself: “This is going to be a great day!”

The concept is the brainchild of behavioral scientist BJ Fogg, who is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation and is the author of The New York Times bestseller Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything. Fogg’s accolades also include founding the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University that studies the science behind behavior change.

The main takeaway from his book and TEDx Talk Tiny Surprises for Happiness and Health is that to make a habit stick, one must start small and do something pleasant, or in other words, what they actually want to do. Inspired by his time in Hawaii and a very precious present that included a note that said “Everyday is a gift”, Fogg began to put what he considers to be his favorite habit into regular practice. 

In his book Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg introduces the concept of creating small, sustainable habits that can lead to significant and lasting changes in our lives. He emphasizes the power of starting with tiny behaviors and gradually building on them with additional “tiny habits” to achieve even bigger and better goals. Fogg’s approach focuses on making behavior change simple, achievable, and enjoyable and The Maui Habit is just that!

Fogg’s research, when focused on the question of “What makes a behavior become automatic? shows that it is our emotions that create our habits. And let’s face it, there is no better way to start the day than to give yourself the positive emotional jumpstart that is the essence of the Maui Habit. 

As for how best to create-long term change, Fogg’s data proves that it is simply “simplicity”. In addition, through his extensive research on behavior change, Fogg has determined three essential elements that help to make new habits stick, and they are: motivation, ability and triggers, which the Maui Habit exemplifies each element of. 

How to make habits stick: motivation, ability and triggers

The Maui Habit is one that everyone can get on board with because it easily encompasses all of the factors determined to be the best way to create new habits.

Saying to yourself: “This is going to be a great day!” the moment you sit up in bed and put your feet on the ground is easy and doesn’t take much ability to be able to do so.

The motivation behind the act is also clear to see as putting oneself in a positive frame of mind is just good practice, nevermind the potential “law of attraction” properties that could come along with it.

The trigger, which is what sets up the timeframe that serves as a reminder for a habit, is also as basic as it can be because it is in the first moment you get out of bed in the morning. 

The Maui Habit is something we can all do and while it may seem basic and lacking in its impact, that simply just isn’t the case. Because what Fogg and so many of, if not all, of his followers have found, is that setting oneself up with a positive outlook in the start of the day, inspires us to stack on additional healthy habits.

This is actually the essence behind the tiny habits concept, which is that to create sustainable and permanent positive change, we should start small and then add on additional tiny actions to our day to cultivate the habits that we want for ourselves.

All it takes is one tiny habit to inspire a range of positive outcomes to follow like a domino, butterfly and ripple effect. And in that same vein, taking on this tiny new habit is what can end up putting an end to our tendency for self-sabotage.

You say: “This will be a great day”, I say: “This will be an amazing day!”

One of the greatest aspects of the “tiny habits” concept is that it is flexible and tweaking habits for optimization is a welcomed part of the process. If something isn’t working just right for you and you find there is friction or blockage somehow, then switching up the process is part of the method.

There may be a different time, place or way of expressing yourself as in the Maui Habit or any new behavior you want to adopt into your lifestyle and trying those various options out is an accepted part of the process. You’ll know you are on track too, because there will be a point in time in which the act just seems to click.

If you ever find that it stops running like clockwork, then this means you can try playing your hand again in different combinations to find the best one for you at that particular stage in the metaphoric game of life. 

While Fogg advises doing the Maui Habit the moment you wake up and in his version, the statement he says is: “This is going to be a great day”, he also shares in his TEDx talk that others have switched up the statement and instead may say: “This is going to be an amazing day!” The Maui Habit is also not restricted to mornings, as Fogg has his audience stop everything right then and there to join in a unified chorus to say “This is going to be a great day!”

The takeaway here is the time and place and words don’t matter, but what does make a wanted habit stick for good is feeling good about it, making it easy and having a trigger. Once you have that down, you can easily say “Aloha” to stacking on more and more good habits throughout your day.

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