The Power of Tiny Habits

Contributed by Nicholas E. Blonien, D.O.

Research and firefighter wellness initiatives, like the Minnesota Firefighter Initiative (MnFIRE), have worked hard to spotlight the pervasive occupational stressors across the fire service: shiftwork, fatigue, hazardous exposures, psychosocial trauma and more. Collectively, these stressors increase the risk for injury, cardiometabolic disease, cancer and mental illness.

While awareness and support for firefighter well-being is increasing and the drive for organizational change seems stronger than ever, large-scale changes take time and money. So how can firefighters take action now? Understanding the basic science of behavioral change can be a good place to start.

Dr. BJ Fogg is a leading behavioral scientist who founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University and wrote the best-selling book Tiny Habits. His Behavior Model has been most successful in helping individuals initiate and sustain behavioral change. The model focuses on simplicity and three key elements that must be present in order for behavioral change to occur: motivation, ability and a call to action, or a prompt.

Behavior (B) = Motivation (M) Ability (A) Prompt (P)

Fogg’s Behavior Model states that in order to achieve behavior changes, people must be motivated to do so. They must also have the ability and resources to do so, and be prompted to initiate the change. Without motivation, ability and a prompt, behavior will not change.

Making lasting behavioral improvements for healthier living in the demands of the fire service is challenging. For firefighters looking to exercise more, eat healthier, sleep better, manage stress more intently, or simply start on a clearer path to well-being and resilience, the journey may begin with building tiny habits.

Train your department on firefighter well-being

Learn more about shifting the culture and building healthier habits in free training classes provided to your department by MnFIRE. These two-hour sessions are available whenever it’s convenient for your department and focus on important health topics like cardiac, cancer and emotional wellness, among others. Sign up your department for a FREE training here.

Recent News

Meet a peer supporter: Kyle
June 20, 2024
The Most Effective Medicine on the Planet
June 12, 2024
Former State Auditor Rebecca Otto Joins MnFIRE Team
May 29, 2024
Changing Firehouse Culture to Prevent Cancer
May 17, 2024
Meet a peer supporter: Jen
May 8, 2024
Spotlight on MnFIRE Training: Q&A with Instructor Andy Willenbring
April 25, 2024
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

When you're stressed or anxious, deep breathing can help you reset and find some calm. Box breathing is a type of deep breathing you might do in a yoga class – just as a box has four sides, you breathe in four steps:

Breathe in slowly for four counts.
Hold your breath for four counts.
Breathe out slowly for four counts.
Hold your breath for four counts.

🟦 Repeat as many times as needed. 🟦

#anxiety #boxbreathing #relaxation #relaxationtechniques #mentalhealth
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Improving firefighter health outcomes starts with education, so shout out to the Remer Volunteer Fire Department, Alborn Fire and Rescue and the Warba-Feeley-Sago Fire Department for attending MnFIRE trainings recently and becoming "MnFIRE Aware" of their occupational health risks! ... See MoreSee Less

Improving firefighter health outcomes starts with education, so shout out to the Remer Volunteer Fire Department, Alborn Fire and Rescue and the Warba-Feeley-Sago Fire Department for attending MnFIRE trainings recently and becoming MnFIRE Aware of their occupational health risks!Image attachmentImage attachment

July is finally here and we're just two weeks away from the 2024 MnFORE Golf Tournament presented by Aon! 🏌️‍♀️🏌️‍♂️

We are so grateful to our partner and title sponsor Aon for their ongoing support of our state's firefighters and their health.
... See MoreSee Less

July is finally here and were just two weeks away from the 2024 MnFORE Golf Tournament presented by Aon! 🏌️‍♀️🏌️‍♂️

We are so grateful to our partner and title sponsor Aon for their ongoing support of our states firefighters and their health.

Thanks to the city officials who stopped by our booth at the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference this week! We love spreading the word about all of the FREE health and wellness resources available to firefighters throughout the state. ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to the city officials who stopped by our booth at the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference this week! We love spreading the word about all of the FREE health and wellness resources available to firefighters throughout the state.
Load more
Skip to content