Tweet: Design Crushes willpower and this is why Learning design matters

According to Stanford Behavioral Scientist BJ Fogg, Design Crushes Willpower has 2 meanings.

1st (the good one) is that design wins. If U can design your life & behaviors well, U don’t need to rely on willpower.

2nd is dark: Others design things that overwhelm your willpower. (You take back control via design).

Fogg in his tiny habit design model points out that, doing something you don’t enjoy and failing to make it habitual is actually more detrimental to a mission for change than doing nothing at all.
According to him to create a lifelong habit, the focus should be on training your brain to succeed at small adjustments, then gaining confidence from that success.
To do that, one needs to design behavior changes that are both easy to do and can be positioned into the existing routine.
(more powerful if it’s biological routine).
BJ Fogg design method is comprised of three key steps.
1) Identifying your specific desired outcome: Eg Lose 10% of your body weight?
2) Identify the easy-win behaviors “tiny habits” that will put you on the path to that goal.
3) Find a trigger, something that you already do as a habit and graft the new habit onto it.
That might mean putting out a salad on the counter every time you start the coffeemaker in the morning,
Or sleep in Gym cloths.
Tiny Habits works by design. Its made to avoid the trap of willpower-based decisions which are  huge psychological toll if failed.
Motivational levels come and go with the wind, but flossing a single tooth is achievable no matter the emotional weather.


Fogg’s design perspective of habit change can be further expanded( or supplemented) by using another powerful model i recently came across, ie “Six Sources of Influence model by Al Switzler ( TED Video )”.

In this perspective Al Switzler added new levels of analysis by bringing the macro Social and Structural elements in the design to habits and behaviors.

He argues against the sole dependence on willpower as a reliable source of behavioral change or creating powerful persistent habits.

According to him there are Six Sources of Influence.( watch ted video for explanation) 

Source 1 – Personal Motivation – whether you want to do it.
Source 2 – Personal Ability – whether you can do it.
Source 3 – Social Motivation – whether other people encourage the right behaviors.
Source 4 – Social Ability – whether other people provide help, information or resources.
Source 5 – Structural Motivation – whether the environment encourages the right behaviors.
Source 6 – Structural Ability – whether the environment supports the right behaviors.

Each of which are complimented by other power sources. 

Watch the video here:  



Extra Sources For Reference.


Behavioral Approach to habit change


Mindfulness Approach to Habit change






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