BJ Fogg‘s work suggests that all human behavior can be explained with a simple equation.

I’m going to take a few moments to get into that but there is a lot of power behind this simple equation. It is something that I continually see in apps that become extremely addictive. There’s companies out there that are using this extremely well – companies like Facebook, Twitter, and any company that is using an electronic device where they have been able to get a rapid adoption and continue that growth on a viral scale. They’re using a lot of the theory behind BJ Fogg’s work.

His theory explains why it works and how you can use it. It is a key factor any time you are developing marketing materials, you are sending anything out, even when you you’re talking to someone. You need to keep this theory in mind because it’s only going to help you to meet your objectives.

Here is a model from BJ Fogg’s website – This is the Coles Notes version of his theory. It explains the main points extremely well. In the upper right-hand corner, we see Fogg’s behavior model and it is reduced down to a simple equation that the behavior is equal to a combination of motivation, ability, and trigger.

So now we can take a look at the chart and think in terms of when we have high motivation even if the behavior is hard for us to do, we are going to be able to follow through on it. So let’s say we want to exercise and we want to lose weight. The doctor has just told us that we have a serious health condition and that we need to address this right away or else it is going to have a huge negative impact on our life. You’re going to be highly motivated. Perhaps it’s going to be more challenging and it’s going to be harder for you to do.


We can get through anything no matter how hard it is as long as we are motivated. Photo credit:

If you’re going to be less motivated, you’re going to be somewhere down here. You need to have the ability to perform the task much easier to accomplish because your motivation is lower. You need to make it as easy as possible for you to go to the gym and exercise. So maybe in the case that your motivation is low, so you’re going to be much more likely to do is just to leave your house and walk around the block. That will be something that will be much easier for you to accomplish rather than buying a gym membership, driving halfway across town, and signing up for an extremely intensive workout program. There’s a lot of factors and a lot of steps involved in that process. It’s going to be much easier and you’ll have much greater level of success if your goal starts off just getting out of your house and or your apartment and walking around the block.

We need to keep this in mind when we are applying this on marketing materials or we’re helping someone change their behavior. There is an activation line and honest action line. People will either succeed because their motivation exceeds the amount of energy required to start the task. I spoke to you in an earlier video about activation energy. The easier you can make a task to start, the greater the chance of your success. Therefore what we need to do is we need to look at these key factors for the equation. If you want someone to exhibit a specific behavior, and that can be yourself or someone else, you need to look at motivation, their ability to complete the behavior, as well as the effectiveness of the trigger.

In the next videos, we’re going to talk more about motivation, ability, and how you can create specific triggers and the different types of triggers that you can create based on BJ Fogg’s models.

The best success that you’re going to have is when you focus on this area. It is either because the ability to do the task is higher than the level of motivation or your motivation is higher than your ability to complete the task. Both of those combined together to execute behavior and a key factor that I found for all my habits is triggers. This is something that when you’re looking at devices, once you read BJ Fogg’s work, it’s extremely hard to go back and not see the triggers that you are constantly receiving when you’re going and visiting something like Facebook or Twitter. Those triggers are extremely effective and they are developed specifically for you to increase your level of interaction with that software program. Facebook has an interest in keeping up the number of hours that you’re using, the level of interactions, and the more that you’re using it, the higher their success rate is.

They are someone who is effectively using motivation, ability, and triggers. They have an awesome combination that will encourage you to do the behavior that they are hoping that you’re going to fall through on. We’re going to look at another chart from BJ Fogg so we can see that this one explains more of the relationship between motivation, ability and trigger and the target behavior.


When we combine motivation, ability and trigger, we can create the desired behavior. Photo credit:

The greater that you can move out and get to the point where the required target behavior is reached, the greater the likelihood that you are going to have someone do the behavior that you want. So let’s think of this in terms of another video that I talked about, which is you’re driving down the highway or you’re riding in a bus. There is a billboard that talks about going to a website for buying their product or looking at their product. If you don’t have access to a computer, smart phone or something like that, it’s going to be very hard for you to take immediate action on that, to follow through on that billboard.

Another classic example that I’m surprised by and I seem to see a lot of them lately is billboards advertising for eyeglasses or eyeglass frames. I replace my glasses maybe once every two years. I’ve needed glasses for the last 20 years. The likelihood that I am going to be in that window of opportunity where I’m actually thinking about buying eyeglass frames and then seeing that advertisement and being in a position where I can actually act on it, I just think WOW. Why is that eyeglass company spending that level of marketing dollars on buying billboard space? In my mind, there is such a large gap in between providing the information and someone’s ability to actually act on it. It is incredible. I would be very curious to see any numbers on that from the justification for spending dollars on billboards for eyeglass frames. When you’re driving by your car, how are you having the ability to act on that? If you’re looking at BJ Fogg’s model of behavior, I really question whether or not you would be spending a single cent on advertising something like that for that billboard. You really need to focus on something that’s much more targeted and when you’re looking at smaller budgets with small business, you can’t afford to waste money on a billboard. That’s why I think this is going to be a key factor in addressing your marketing and how you can use that to get the maximum value. You want someone to exhibit that target behavior and perhaps he’s buying your product or service.

BJ Fogg lays out a simple method that you can apply in your business to make that as extremely as successful as possible. For now, this one lays in a lot more of the information about BJ Fogg’s work and his core motivators which we will get into in another video, the various types of triggers as well as the simplicity factors that will have a large impact on someone’s ability or level of interest and completing the desired behavior.

There is a lot of information here and a lot of theory that covers the whole gambit of why people exhibit specific behaviors and if you can understand this model of behavior and start applying it in your business, it is going to have a huge impact on the value of the dollars that you’re spending, it’s going to have a huge impact on where you may be spending your dollars and it will have a direct result in your success rate.


When you understand BJ Fogg’s model of behavior and start applying it in your business, you will have a direct result in your success rate. Photo credit:

BJ Fogg has really developed an extremely useful formula that you can apply to any situation where you are conveying information, you are marketing, you are delivering a message, and you want someone to exhibit a specific behavior. That can be yourself or someone else.

We’ll talk more about BJ Fogg’s model on how you can change your habits, the tiny habits behavior model, and that is an excellent way if you want to adopt any habit and if you want to have a routine where you have the habit of exercising, drinking more water, whatever it is.

We’’ talk about how you can use BJ Fogg’s theory where you can apply that to any situation and have dramatic and huge impacts in your success rate versus anything that you have been doing in the past.