Forget big change, start with a tiny habit: BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont

  • Published on Dec 5, 2012
  • What if someone told you to floss only one tooth everyday? Or start the new year, not with grand resolutions, but with a simple challenge.. like ONE pushup a day? BJ Fogg shows us that the key to lasting change does not lie in planning big, monumental changes, but in thinking really, really small. Chosen by Fortune Magazine as one of "10 New Gurus You Should Know", Fogg directs the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University.
    About TEDx, x = independently organized event
    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 446

  • Adrian valenzuela
    Adrian valenzuela 22 days ago

    After i drink water i will read 1 page of a book

  • Keith Armstrong
    Keith Armstrong Month ago

    Who labels their sock drawer?

  • Sachi Perez
    Sachi Perez Month ago

    I’ll kiss his wife 11 seconds!

  • Nicole M
    Nicole M Month ago +1

    Key point @11:10.. for tasks that we have low motivation for, make it really easy to do them. Also, pick a trigger which this task will come after. Eg. after I drink me tea, I will drink some water.

  • Osamah Islam
    Osamah Islam 2 months ago +1

    After i read a good comment,,, i will thumb it up!

  • Marek Janouš
    Marek Janouš 2 months ago +1

    No reason to exclude _before_ something you already do.

  • Jessica K.
    Jessica K. 2 months ago

    just saying, i used to live in fremont and have moved to 2 different countries ever since, and i really miss that place, where all my best childhood memories were made...

  • Lessons In Life
    Lessons In Life 2 months ago +1

    Your life is in your hands so start acting on your ideas. You don’t have to go for the big challenges at once. By now you have learned that doing small things consistently on a daily basis can get you great results.

  • aymn alrhbi
    aymn alrhbi 3 months ago

    After i watch this video i gonna play PUBG 🏃

  • Yael Webber
    Yael Webber 3 months ago

    This guy is awesome, by the time I get to a full workout and floss my teeth and wake up early each morning it’s gone 10 years of my life happy dance

  • Concetta Cariello
    Concetta Cariello 3 months ago


  • Steve Filkins
    Steve Filkins 4 months ago

    This guy knows how to bring out his inner child. 'I'm awesome' with a little like a little kid....haha

  • Amran Noordin
    Amran Noordin 4 months ago

    What about dropping an addiction? Eg. Drug abuse or alcoholism? Do you do it gradually?

  • Aulia Ardista
    Aulia Ardista 4 months ago +1

    So, Atomic Habit is just a replication of this concept?

  • Sharan Aithal
    Sharan Aithal 4 months ago +1

    Thanks a lot, will implement.

  • ReCh1299
    ReCh1299 4 months ago

    I wonder if he lives in the wine country

  • Gabriel Campbell
    Gabriel Campbell 5 months ago


  • Elaine Chan
    Elaine Chan 5 months ago

    Tiny change makes great change. Awesome!

  • Aruna Peeters
    Aruna Peeters 5 months ago


  • Nickxxxs
    Nickxxxs 5 months ago

    Bj Socks 😂

  • Stoned Ape
    Stoned Ape 5 months ago

    1/trigger ~= what you don't track you don't change

  • Mathias
    Mathias 6 months ago

    I'm eating a Suzy Q

  • Evimar Siqueira
    Evimar Siqueira 6 months ago

    After I drink a bottle of beer i will drink another bottle of beer

  • Math Info DZ
    Math Info DZ 6 months ago +1

    plain and simple. I actually learned something from this video

  • Mana Lani
    Mana Lani 7 months ago

    absolutely helpful. thank you!

  • Ger Celtic
    Ger Celtic 7 months ago

    Awesome talk! I think that visualizing the motivation 1st is key and finding the right spot in the Daily routine where the new behavior/habit fits, I also loved the ritual of celebrating e.g. Charles Duhigg suggested to allow the Chocolate only after exercising as a reward instead of just eating it in front of the TV and the cue or trigger for the exercising could be after I woke up and went to the bathroom I do an exercise, starting small with only a few repetitions as suggested in this talk! Cool stuff!!!

  • Rohan Joshi
    Rohan Joshi 7 months ago

    After I get up and get fresh I will watch 1 ted talk :)

  • Mo Ana
    Mo Ana 8 months ago

    U will never see my ART again ..!!!

  • Midosh Brown
    Midosh Brown 8 months ago +2

    Try 3 min of walking every 1 hour ,you can do it 15 times at least in a single day .this is 45 min of walking a day (5 km+ for me)
    = 150 km a month = 1800 km a year that's more than half of the moon diameter

  • Light Bender
    Light Bender 8 months ago

    Nice job

  • marilyn gandhi
    marilyn gandhi 9 months ago

    Each of my teeth need to be flossed differently ....

  • Zio Records
    Zio Records 10 months ago

    Finally, a specific example. Great learn

  • Rosyada Arina
    Rosyada Arina 10 months ago


  • cisco world
    cisco world 10 months ago

    Good one , i like the way he has explained

  • Niken Massy
    Niken Massy 10 months ago

    Nice sticker on the mac

  • Emil John Lopez
    Emil John Lopez 11 months ago

    How can you use this to remove a habit?

  • Pan Ge
    Pan Ge 11 months ago

    Great speak. Thank you :)

  • Thongam Sanjoy
    Thongam Sanjoy 11 months ago

    Wow sir great n ausome

  • mohit duvedi
    mohit duvedi Year ago


  • Deborah Choma
    Deborah Choma Year ago

    BJ, thank you for sharing your research. I am awesome for watching this video.
    Key finding, "After." A timely tweak here and there will add up to one big gulp of change.
    In summary: Habits are seeds. Each one perpetuates change when planted in the soil "after" it rains. Repeat the process and the harvest will come.

  • Shubham Muley
    Shubham Muley Year ago

    Insightful & informative !

    SATISH GHATGE Year ago

    Great talk , Thank you .

  • humanyoda
    humanyoda Year ago

    That's good for little people and low-level things. How about doing BIG things that require a lot of motivation for long periods of time?

    • Deborah Choma
      Deborah Choma Year ago +1

      humanyoda, go back to start and do not pass "Go" until you listen to BJ's formula.

  • linh pham
    linh pham Year ago +1

    that is a good opinion to make a big change. How can you image about achieve without trying every hour in everyday. We always dream about big things but dont want start from small things. That is dreamer. Because it is easy for you to think that you are more special and better than others. But if dont do anything for the best, dream will never come true.

    • Zio Records
      Zio Records 10 months ago

      Accomplish the small things and celebrate it as if it is the big thing you’ve always wanted to do and it’ll grow

  • jessie theodore
    jessie theodore Year ago


  • DJ
    DJ Year ago


  • Dave Duarte
    Dave Duarte Year ago

    Master teacher at work. He makes a potentially complex subject relatable, understandable, actionable, and replicable.

    A CHICKEN NINJA Year ago

    Thank you for speaking. I will take this advice greatly!

  • Leia Cat
    Leia Cat Year ago

    The problem is that we need immediate results and habits take a long time to form.

    SLY SPY Year ago +2

    Good talk but a lot of unnecessary examples which tended to drag this out longer than necessary . Let's get to the point and treat people like they have a brain . I just wanted the information he discovered through research , that's what I'll keep and use .

  • Absolutus
    Absolutus Year ago

    Thanks, you have helped me to structure my thoughts. I had been doing it but not consciously.

  • irie1tes
    irie1tes Year ago +1

    Baby steps, Bob. Baby steps.

  • Glanco Environmental Solutions

    Can anyone suggest how I get BJ's systematic grid of behavioural change? Thank you

  • Danette Conley
    Danette Conley Year ago

    this is so funny

  • Rock monster
    Rock monster Year ago

    Wow. So insightful!!!!
    Love your findings, grateful for your teachings
    Thank you💖

  • Nachtfalter
    Nachtfalter Year ago +5

    The best and easiest thing I do in the morning:
    I smile after I wake up. :) I just do. No matter if I hate the weather, if I slept in and am in a hurry, if I am afraid of something later that day or if it is the most beautiful day in the world and I can wakeup to my boyfriend, I smile.
    It only takes a second, but really improves my mood.
    Anyways, I try to stick to the habit of going to the bed early. But there is no habit I do at the evenings at the right time, that I could stick it to afterwards. I am just sitting on the laptop or sketchbook for hours. Also, you cannot really break it down to a easy tiny habit?

  • tijrus
    tijrus Year ago

    Thank you! Love this.

  • Gustavo Vidal
    Gustavo Vidal Year ago

    Hi, very nice speech , how we could get the habits list showed in the presentation? Thanks!!!

  • City Park Properties

    You don't live in the wine country. I live in Italy surrounded by vineyards. It's the real wine country!

  • Braaapapalooza
    Braaapapalooza Year ago

    Where were the parents at. Middle america now oh yaeh now its a tradgedy oh now its so sad to see

  • C A Campbell
    C A Campbell Year ago

    I was introduced to the concept of 'small steps' decades ago and it helped me quit smoking in 1981. Took me three years back then, but have not relapsed, suffer no cravings; I'm 'home free'! Awesome!!!
    Now I'm struggling with PTSD, poverty, agoraphobia, isolation, AND deeply entrenched defences that translate into bad habits. One is suicidal ideation!
    Indescribably grateful to have stumbled on this RU-clip video! (I entered "Change behaviour" in the search bar.)
    Am so excited to start my life over again, differently, now!!!

  • DJ Woof
    DJ Woof Year ago

    perfect to watch at the beginning or end of the year

  • Gwin Goodwin
    Gwin Goodwin Year ago


  • Pukabowers
    Pukabowers Year ago

    After i do a 10hr bingewatch marathon on Netflix I go to sleep

  • Brenda Walton
    Brenda Walton Year ago

    Thank you! I don't love flossing, but I can do one tooth!

  • Mynameis Geoff
    Mynameis Geoff Year ago

    Did u know he lives in the wine country?

  • Asma Kena
    Asma Kena Year ago

    It is one of Prophet Mohammed teaching.. Awesome talk and research

  • Francis R
    Francis R Year ago

    Now I will do 1 push-up every time I do 1 push-up

  • Foghorn Films
    Foghorn Films Year ago

    Great video! I dunno if I'd go as far as saying I am awesome for flossing my teeth or doing 2 push-ups, but defo okay with a "Bingo" or doing a little happy dance. I'll save awesome praise for something that really is awesome!

  • shivam lotusway
    shivam lotusway Year ago

    Best talk ever

  • Cathy Ruehl
    Cathy Ruehl Year ago

    I have to figure out what my trigger is so I will take vitamins. I can't seem to make a habit of taking them.

  • Gail Freese
    Gail Freese Year ago +9

    Enjoyed the video. Don't quite understand the 261 thumbs down. Hmmm

    • Omar Radwan
      Omar Radwan 10 months ago

      Gail Freese It just became 362 thumbs down ( not me included )

    • Paul R
      Paul R Year ago

      Gail Freese At this very moment in time... 51 more people did
      (I was not one of them)

  • SureCanDo
    SureCanDo Year ago +5

    This stuff works. I'm drinking more water getting up at 6 a.m. Taking my work clothes off

  • Anthony Rossi
    Anthony Rossi Year ago


  • Alexandra Glukman

    Great.Thank you.That what i was thinking about little habits power ,but you formulated it in so clear and structured way,You give easy and simple magic to everyone who wants changes

  • Brian Saturnino
    Brian Saturnino Year ago

    After I watch a RU-clip video, I will type out a paragraph for my essay.

  • Dave Johnson
    Dave Johnson Year ago +1

    "Any habit which weakens one's will power invites a flock of its relatives to move in and take possession of the mind." Napoleon Hill

  • Rolando Roman
    Rolando Roman Year ago

    verte good

  • Ananda Teertha
    Ananda Teertha Year ago

    Thank you for nice video..!!

  • S T A G E S Booking and Promotions

    I love this guy
    I've decided to start doing two squats every time I pee will increase weekly

  • Jack Golden
    Jack Golden Year ago

    For people who floss one tooth, then can't bear the challenge of flossing the rest.

  • A RTNS
    A RTNS Year ago

    Thank you so much for the video, this is something I think it worths a try and I'm sure that it will work with me; even I am a super lazy person. Thanks again :)

  • Fawad Charkhi
    Fawad Charkhi Year ago

    I started changes as easy as changing my seat and the move forward is going on. Now I see this video and I know exactly it works and really good info in it to help me further.

  • Edwin Korver
    Edwin Korver Year ago +1

    Love the way you think about purpose: The whole purpose behind motivation might be to want to do difficult tasks. I can so relate to that!
    Your story inspired me to do define a simple model for change. I call it: GOTTA! Change
    G = GOAL - What is the Goal you want to achieve?
    --> Loose weight; make more money; write a book; ..
    O = OBJECTIVE - What Objective will help you to achieve your goal?
    --> Loose 10 kg in two months; find a new job that pays 50% more; write the first chapter in the next 6 weeks; ..
    T = TINY HABIT - What small step will help you to begin to achieve your objective?
    --> Do 2 push-ups every day, increased by one every day; apply for a new job every week; write a paragraph every day; ..
    T = TRIGGER - What existing behavior (habit) will act as a trigger to help remind you to take your next small step?
    --> Getting out of bed; after church on Sunday; when I step into the door; ..
    A = APPRAISE - How do you Appraise yourself after an accomplishment, motivating yourself to do more next time?
    Say: I'm awesome; Cheer and smile; do a little wiggle ..
    Thanks for sharing your insights. They were very helpful in understanding how persuasion, or rather coaxing, works to change behavior!

  • Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc

    The question we are asking on our free, easy to join IDEA Cafe Chat today, who do you trust? TED has this constant stream of advice, which do you trust and why? Do you trust TED? Tweet with #IDEACafeChat to be part of the conversation.

  • Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc

    You are referenced in the current issue of Entrepreneur Magazine today. I imagine you'll be getting lots of hits here on TED and/or How did you first think of this technique? Do you have clinical evidence it works?

  • WiPOS
    WiPOS 2 years ago +1

    One of the great videos I've seen in a while! Thank you, sir!

  • Alexandre Darmon
    Alexandre Darmon 2 years ago +2

    Good vidéo ! I always found it hard to have the right trigger but you made it easier ! Thanks :)
    For those who want to go deeper into habits you can read that really nice book : The power of habit by Charles Duhigg

  • Zahra Ezzy
    Zahra Ezzy 2 years ago

    Amazing concept!!! Thank you for the wonderful explaination.

  • ochemistrytutor
    ochemistrytutor 2 years ago +1

    This is a Boyles law plot for the physical properties of gases; A natural law not a theory or a believe or philosophy. An increase in pressure lowers ones motivation to complete incremental tasks. But by lowering the pressure on motivation lends itself to increasing the number of volume or one's ability to complete volumes of incremental tasks and improving one's habits and behaviors to get the work done. I'm awesome.

  • C VDP
    C VDP 2 years ago +6

    THANK YOU!!!! I was making a presentation about how we can motivate our patients to increase their oral health and teeth brushing habits, and this presentation has made me throw every slide out of the window. I not only learned the most effective way to motivate our patients, but also how to better my own life!

  • Jonathan Williams
    Jonathan Williams 2 years ago

    I will obtain total power over the world after I make every person into a brainwashed slave by using my behavioral control model.

  • Chitra Sahai
    Chitra Sahai 2 years ago

    Before I go to sleep, I will do 1 set of squats and stretch.

  • lhandrovhal
    lhandrovhal 2 years ago

    Awesome video :)

  • Mehul Patel
    Mehul Patel 2 years ago

    Pure Gold.... Thank you, BJ.

  • richiemonkey120
    richiemonkey120 2 years ago

    After watching self-help videos on youtube all the ads i see are trying to sell me a get rich quick scheme. thanks google adsense.

  • Dan Yxng
    Dan Yxng 2 years ago

    flossing while watching this video

  • Ahmed Ali
    Ahmed Ali 2 years ago

    the worst presentation I ever heard of omg u worst

  • Fatxia Said
    Fatxia Said 2 years ago

    thank u so much ,it was very helpful speech