UTV Safety Before you Ride - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

UTV safety before you ride

UTV safety: Off-road vehicles are a thrill, but they can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly ride them. Did you know, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were almost 94,000 off-road vehicle injuries treated in the emergency room in 2017? That’s why it’s important to understand the dangers and take safety precautions before riding.

Off-road vehicles refer to many different machines, including ATVs, dirt bikes, 4-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, and UTVs. In this article, we’ll focus on UTV safety. They’re utility-terrain vehicles, utility task vehicles, or side-by-sides. They look like a cross between an ATV and a Jeep but trust me, they don’t drive like either one. Before you take one for a ride, remember these safety tips:

Don’t Drink and Drive

No matter what, never drink and drive. We’ve all heard this many times, but drinking severely impairs your reaction time and judgment. Drugs can also have this effect on your driving. Stay in control, and avoid putting yourself or anyone else in danger.

Understand the Vehicle

It may sound boring, but read the operator’s manual. It’s best to keep it in the vehicle at all times as a reference tool. Another way to familiarize yourself with the UTV is by reading the warning labels. They’re there to point out potential dangers and how to avoid them.

Do a Pre-Ride Check

Check the tires before you head out. No one wants a flat tire! Also, check your fuel level so you know when you will have to fill up again. Do a quick walk around the vehicle and look for anything that may be wrong. This step can prevent a breakdown – you’ll be thankful you did it.

Wear Safety Gear

Always wear over-the-ankle boots, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, a certified helmet, and goggles if your helmet doesn’t have any eye protection. Wearing a protective suit is also something you should consider; it’s optional, but an important precaution, especially if you’re riding alone.

Wear Seat Belts

Even if you aren’t driving far, everyone in the UTV needs to wear a seat belt. Many states require this. A lot of UTV accidents are rollovers, and in some incidents, people have been ejected from their seats.

Practice Driving for UTV Safety

Practice, practice, practice! The first time you drive a UTV you will probably want to go fast, but I highly recommend taking it slow. Practice going a safe speed, taking corners, and adjusting to the way it rides on trails. If the driver is a young teen, be sure they have supervision.

Remember Passenger UTV Safety

Never carry more passengers than the UTV is designed for, and make sure they keep their limbs inside the vehicle at all times. There should be handlebars for passengers to hold on to – if a passenger is unable to reach the handles, then they should not be riding. Once all of the passengers are in, make sure the doors are secured and locked shut.

Stay on the Trail

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Shield Insurance Agency Meijer Gift Card Winner

Gift Card Winners Compliments of Shield Insurance Agency!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Every week, Shield Insurance Agency draws a winner of a local gift card from its clients and social media followers.

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook Page to get yourself entered to win and see who the winners are!

Shield Insurance Agency has given away thousands of dollars in local gift cards over the last 20 years serving Michigan.

Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner!
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Target Shield Insurance Gift Card Give A Way
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Your Referrals to Shield Insurance Agency Help a Local Family in Need

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Family

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Sparta, Michigan Family

Your Referrals to Shield Insurance Agency Help a Local Family in Need

Your referral can make a difference for Roslyn and Maddox who both have a form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenital. Shield Insurance is helping this Sparta, MI family by donating $25 for each non-client who gets a quote from us.

No purchase necessary!

CLICK HERE to get a quote and we’ll donate $25 to them! (Be sure to mention Roslyn and Maddox in the comment section!) You can also call or text the office (616) 896-4600 and one of our agents will take a few minutes of your time to offer up a quote. Don’t forget to mention Ros and Maddox

“The highest compliment we can receive is the referral of your friends, family & business associates. Thank you for your trust!”

Meet Roslyn
Roslyn and Shield Insurance Agency Referral Program

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Fit and Fat: Weight Loss May Not Actually Make You Healthier, Study Reveals - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Fit and Fat: Weight Loss May Not Actually Make You Healthier, Study Reveals

Want a long and healthy life? New research shows that focusing on this one behavior, may help a lot more than losing weight. By Catherine Pearson10/13/2021 08:58 am EDT | Updated October 14, 2021

Health experts have increasingly embraced the idea that people can absolutely be “fit and fat” — and that the body mass index is deeply flawed and does not provide a very good picture of a person’s health.

A recent scientific review strengthens these points. The research, published in the journal iScience, showed that overall wellness and longevity cannot be predicted by a number on a scale, and that exercise is more important than weight loss when it comes to heart health and living a long life.

“We would like people to know that fat can be fit, and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes,” study researcher Glenn Gaesser, of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, said in a statement.

How focusing too much on weight loss misses the point

The team behind the new review aimed their research at a glaring problem: Obesity has grown significantly in the United States and the world over the past several decades, as have the number of people dying from conditions like heart disease that are often closely linked with diet and exercise.

At the same time, the prevalence of people trying to lose weight has also increased. Since the 1980s, at least 40% of women in this country and 25% of men have been dieting to shed pounds. Whatever we’re collectively doing right now isn’t working, and it’s not necessarily making people

“The intense focus on weight loss has not prevented excessive weight gain in recent decades,” the new review states. “Moreover, repeated weight loss efforts may contribute to weight gain, and is undoubtedly associated with the high prevalence of weight cycling, which is associated with significant health risks.”

The researchers analyzed hundreds of studies looking at how weight loss, exercise, and longevity fit together — focusing specifically on research that examined health outcomes in people who were considered overweight or obese. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a BMI of 25 to 30 as overweight; anything over 30 is obese or severely obese.)

Ultimately, the evidence shows being active trumps weight loss when it comes to improving heart health and reducing overall mortality risk, the researchers concluded.

In fact, people who are considered obese may have a lower risk of premature death than those who are normal weight but not in good shape, according to the study.

The power of physical activity

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Staffing Shortages May Affect Your Next Trip - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Staffing Shortages May Affect Your Next Trip

Pack your patience as the travel industry struggles with staffing shortages.

by Bill Fink, AARP, October 13, 2021

Staff Shortages due to the pandemic.

Due to the tourism slowdown at the height of the pandemic, many airlines, hotels, restaurants, and attractions cut back operations, laid-off employees, or closed altogether. Now, as travel has begun to rebound, many of those businesses find themselves short of staff and resources. Travelers are feeling the pinch — both in the pocketbook and in the planning process — with lower inventory for accommodations (sometimes due to a shortage of housekeeping staff), longer wait times for services, limited opening hours at restaurants, and higher prices in many popular destinations.

It’s even resulted in at least some flight cancellations: Southwest grounded one-third of its planes on Oct. 10, with 1,900 canceled throughout that weekend. Airline officials cited staffing challenges as one reason for the chaos.

We talked to experts about the situation and what travelers should consider when planning trips, especially to busy places that might be hardest hit by the worker shortage.  

Book early — and check opening times

Caroline Beteta, CEO of Visit California, says, “Businesses here and across the country, especially in the hospitality industry, are feeling the effects of a shortage of employees as demand for travel ramps up. As the industry gets back to work, it’s more important than ever for travelers to book far in advance.”

During a midday check-in at Napa’s Embassy Suites hotel in the heart of California’s wine country on a recent trip, the desk clerk suggests making dinner reservations “like, right this minute, if you’re thinking of going anywhere in town for dinner. Normally you wouldn’t have to, but everyone’s short-staffed, so it’s tough to get a seat.” Circe Sher, the owner of Hotel Healdsburg in neighboring Sonoma County, says, “Many wineries who made the switch from walk-in to reservations only stayed that way due to staffing shortages. I suggest checking the days and times restaurants are open. If you are returning to a place, the restaurant you remember being open seven days a week may only be open five to accommodate reduced staff.”

That’s true across the country, including on Cape Cod in Massachusetts: The Mews Restaurant in Provincetown is one of many in this tourist town closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, even at the height of the season this past summer. Others, such as Barnstable Tuscan Cuisine, have eliminated the lunch service. Steve Tait, co-owner of Aerie House, a seven-room B&B, said one issue has been that the resort area’s summer worker population is usually boosted by young people who come from Europe on J-1 student visas, mostly unavailable this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. For Aerie House, that’s meant eliminating daily housekeeping services. “It’s been pretty rough,” Tait says. 

Expect to pay more

Michael Jacobson, president of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, told local CBS news, “We are still facing staffing challenges both in the frontline, hourly positions as well as management. It has resulted in some hotels reporting they have to limit room sales because they do not have enough staff to accommodate 100 percent occupancy.”

With hotels booked, many travelers are turning to Airbnb and other short-term rentals — but increased demand is driving higher prices there as well. Vered Schwarz, chief operating officer of property management platform Guesty, says, “This Christmas is to be the most expensive holiday this year in the U.S. Travelers are currently booking at prices 53 percent higher than 2020 and 80 percent higher than pre-COVID 2019. Reservation volume across the U.S. is up 469 percent compared to 2020, and even 157 percent higher than 2019.”

The opening of U.S. borders to foreign tourists, expected to begin in early November, is not going to make things better for American travelers. Joshua Bush, CEO of AvenueTwo Travel agency, says, “While the news of the U.S. easing entry restrictions is great for the economy and overall travel industry, it does have a downside. With hotels running at limited capacity, this may shut out Americans who have not planned ahead. For the upcoming holiday season, my worry is that some Americans wanting to go to warm U.S. destinations may be left out in the cold.” 

Be Flexible

California’s Beteta suggests looking at alternative destinations or timing: “Seasonal demand is an important factor for staffing shortages. Consider traveling during a destination’s shoulder or off-season when regions are less congested.” Booking a ski resort town in fall, for example, or a cool-weather coastal trip in winter will help with pricing and availability, she notes.

Be patient and kind

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FDA clears Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for vulnerable groups - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

FDA clears Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for vulnerable groups

The decision comes after weeks of debate over whether or not Covid-19 third doses are needed

by Nicole Wetsman  Sep 22, 2021, 7:59 pm EDT

The Food and Drug Administration cleared a third dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people some vulnerable groups — the first booster in the United States’ vaccination efforts.

The agency signed off on boosters for people 65 years of age and older, those who are at high risk of severe disease, health care workers, and other people at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 at work.

The decision comes a month after the Biden administration announced that booster shots would be available to people in the US starting in September. At the time, scientists and public health experts criticized the administration for pushing boosters before there was clear evidence that they were necessary and before either the FDA or CDC signed off on their use. In early September, federal officials told the White House that they may have to modify or push back the booster plan while health agencies collected and reviewed data, The New York Times reported.


The decision only covers the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine shots, and there are no updated guidelines for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots at this point.

Over the past few weeks, experts debated whether or not third doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were necessary. Data from the US and Israel appear to show that protection against infection with the coronavirus drops off over time, though there are different estimates around exactly how steep that decline might be. The effect is more pronounced for older people. Most data shows that otherwise healthy people who get two shots of the vaccine are still protected against severe illness.

The FDA’s advisory committee on vaccination on Friday voted against recommending boosters for people 16 years of age and older, citing limited evidence for boosters in younger age groups. Members were also uncomfortable with the lack of safety data on third doses in younger people. The committee recommended boosters for a narrower group of people: those who are over 65 or who might be at high risk of severe COVID-19. In a less formal poll, it also supported boosters for health care workers and people at risk of exposure at work.

Most data used to make the case for or against boosters comes from outside the US, from countries that have centralized health care systems that they can pull from to understand big-picture COVID-19 trends. The US doesn’t have that kind of infrastructure, so vaccine information is more piecemeal.

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Your Guide to Saving for Retirement in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Your Guide to Saving for Retirement

Your Guide to Saving for Retirement in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s

Our financial experts weigh in on the money milestones to hit throughout your life.

Most of us dream of the day we can retire from the workforce. That doesn’t mean that we plan to sit around and watch the grass grow all day, but we would love the opportunity to enjoy life without worrying about our finances. And by the time we reach retirement age, many of us have been working for over half a century. We have earned the rest from constant labor. That’s why it is important to begin saving for retirement now. “No matter what your age, or marital status, people should start saving as early as possible,” says Yanela Frias, senior executive for Prudential Retirement. “You’re never too young or too old to start saving.”

People are living longer and expenses are higher than ever, Frias explains, which is why we need to plan to save more for retirement than previous generations. And while it is recommended to begin saving for retirement in your 20s, it’s never too late to start. “Studies have shown that to accumulate enough money to achieve a secure retirement, the average person needs to contribute 12 to 15 percent of their annual salary during their working life. So, for those who didn’t start saving as soon as they entered the workforce, it’s not too late to start,” explains Frias. “If you’re 50 or older, the IRS allows you to contribute more into your retirement savings plan than when you’re under 50. And that is a great way to catch up and make sure your account is growing as much as it possibly can.”

There is also no magic number for a retirement savings amount. It all depends on your goals and your estimated living expenses at retirement. Rich Ramassini, the director of the strategy and sales performance for PNC Investments, suggests asking yourself these questions while working with your financial planning advisor: When do you think you will start your retirement? What do you want your retirement to look like? How much will retirement cost? And, where will the money come from? With the answers to these questions in mind, you can develop a plan to begin saving for retirement.

How to Save Money

It’s critical to practice healthy financial habits throughout your life, not just during times of booms and busts. And it’s important to understand that how we think about money can change dramatically over time. In your 30s, you may be thinking about buying a home or starting a family. In your 40s, you’re probably hitting your earnings peak and maybe want to start a new business or change careers, and in your 50s, retirement is just around the bend. All of those milestones require a shift in how you spend and save.

Michelle Perry Higgins, a financial planner and author of The Everything Binder, College Poor No More and Stocks, Bonds & Soccer Moms, says that following rules of saving are important to help secure your current and long-term financial life, no matter what your age: Keep all documents for your financial, estate, and personal affairs in one location so you—or someone acting on your behalf—can easily access information. Pay down debt, pay your credit card balance each month, and live within your means. And lastly, negotiate for more money—it never hurts to ask. “Your true monetary worth takes into account salary, bonus, retirement plans and employer contribution, stock options, car allowance, and any other benefits a company may offer,” explains Higgins. “Knowing the full value of your compensation package gives you the tools to negotiate wisely.”

In Your 30s

Don’t assume that you can put off saving for retirement or that you don’t need to make a budget if you’re only making a little money. Everything counts, especially when you compound interest early in the game. In your 30s, you should make it a habit to maximize your company’s benefits and contribute to your retirement plan. Your minimum contribution should be the company’s match (so if your employer puts in 50 cents for every dollar up to $3,000 a year, for example, you’ll want to put in at least $3,000 to get the extra free $1,500 from your employer). Increase your retirement savings one percent every year as your salary increases. Start an emergency fund: The goal is six to nine months of living expenses. Other considerations: get rid of student loans and other debt, or consider purchasing your primary home.

In Your 40s

Don’t assume that your retirement contributions can lapse while paying for your kids’ college education. Your retirement comes first. If needed, meet with a financial planner to get on track with retirement planning. If you have children, create or review your estate plan, review beneficiaries, and specify a guardian. If you’re married, talk about money with your spouse. It’s easy to put off thinking about money or hand over duties to someone else, but the person who has the most riding on your financial future is you. “I strongly encourage women to advocate for their financial security, be educated, and take control,” adds Higgins.

Saving For Retirement In Your 50s

Don’t assume you’ll have enough for retirement. Sometimes, people set the process in motion and realize they’re falling short on what they need. Consider downsizing your home or relocating to an inexpensive area in preparation for retirement. Review long-term care needs. Start the catch-up option in your retirement plan—for example, if you’re over 50 you can contribute an additional $6,000 to your 401(k). Evaluate medical needs for retirement and insurance coverage.

Related: Three Financial Stages of Life—Plus, the Goals to Accomplish in Each One

Employer-Sponsored Retirement

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Tracking COVID-related securities litigation 4 reasons cases may be on the rise - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Tracking COVID-related securities litigation

Tracking COVID-related securities litigation: 4 reasons cases may be on the rise

When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, many in the insurance industry anticipated a wave of litigation that would mirror the influx of lawsuits after the 2008 recession. During that year, investors trying to recuperate lost funds filed more than 200 new cases, increasing securities litigation by nearly 20 percent from 2007. So far, however, this prediction has not played out—at least not yet.

Courts have experienced a slowdown in securities-related lawsuits since the beginning of the pandemic, with only 29 cases filed since the initial shutdown. But some experts believe a surge of COVID-19-related litigation is on the horizon. In this article, we’ll explore what we know based on the COVID-19 securities cases that have been filed so far, and why there could be a rise in legal activity and related directors and officers (D&O) claims. 

COVID-19 securities litigation: what we know so far

Unlike other events that precipitate stock market crashes, the pandemic has had a unique impact on the economic and legal landscape—in large part because it’s unlike any other financial crisis we’ve experienced. Despite the uniqueness of the situation, however, it’s possible to identify several reasons why the pandemic hasn’t sparked the same rise in securities litigation that we saw in 2008.

Importantly, this time the government quickly provided aid to help offset the pandemic’s impact on the stock market. On top of that, many companies went above and beyond to share information with stakeholders following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) guidance from April 2020 to “disclose as much information as is practicable regarding [your company’s] financial and operating status(…).” These factors, plus the widespread belief that COVID-19 was just a temporary setback, likely kept many investors out of the courtroom.

Even with the litigation slowdown, however, there are a few cases currently working their way through the courts. The following is a breakdown of the three main types of COVID-19-related securities lawsuits experts have observed so far.

  • Outbreak-related cases

A few cases have been filed against companies that experienced outbreaks in their facilities. For example, some cruise-ship companies, prisons, and long-term care facilities are facing securities litigation.

  • Cases against false financial claims 

Companies that claimed to be able to profit from the pandemic are also facing litigation. For example, shareholders at some vaccine development companies recently sued over false claims around the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Cases in heavily impacted industries

Finally, shareholders with investments in companies most disrupted by the pandemic have started to file suits. Heavily impacted industries include real estate investment trusts (REITs) and businesses in the entertainment and travel industries.

4 areas of uncertainty around post-pandemic securities litigation

With so few cases in court today, why could there be a rise in COVID-19-related securities litigation and D&O claims? Here, we review four factors that could make an impact.

1. The nature of the stock market

Since March 2020, the stock market has been volatile, and it will likely continue that pattern for months, or even years. Because of this, reductions in stock prices will take time to develop. Many shareholders may wait until the market levels off to litigate to have a clearer picture of the long-term impact 

2. Stricter regulations from the SEC

According to news outlets, the new administration is signaling a tougher regulatory stance than its predecessor. If the SEC tightens restrictions and enforces stricter disclosures for publicly held companies, this may benefit future plaintiffs.

3. A lack of comparable cases and precedent

As noted above, there have only been a few securities lawsuits to date around COVID-19 losses, and most of the cases are still working their way through the court system. Without precedent to use as a guide, only time will tell if cases survive motions to dismiss and the percentage that is in favor of plaintiffs. If more plaintiffs pursue cases and are successful, it could whet the appetite for more suits.

4. Continued economic uncertainty

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Shield Insurance Agency - Types of insurance and the insurance companies Shield is proud to represent

Shield Insurance Agency Product List

Types of Insurance Shield Agency Provides

Shield Insurance Agency has been in business for so many years, we can shop a lot of different companies for a lot of different types of insurance to be sure you get what you need for the price you can afford. Check out the list!


  • Auto Insurance
  • Boat Insurance
  • Condo Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Event Insurance
  • Farm Insurance
  • Flood Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Mobile Homeowners Insurance
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Motorhome Insurance
  • Recreational Vehicle Insurance
  • Renter Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance


  • Auto Facilities
  • Bond Insurance
  • Business Interruption
  • Cannabusiness
  • Church Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Contractor Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Security Bond Insurance
  • Workers Compensation

Insurance Companies Shield Agency is Proud to Represent

Accident Fund
American Modern
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate
Blue Cross Blue Shield/BCN
Bristol West
Companion Life
Delta Dental

Golden Rule
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Union
Molina Healthcare
National General

North American Company
Principal Financial Group
Priority Health
State Auto
Superior Flood
The Hartford
United Healthcare

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How to Create Healthy Habits — and Get them to Stick - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Create Healthy Habits — and Get them to Stick

Science-based advice on how to become a better you as we enter a post-pandemic world

by Michelle Crouch, AARP, May 5, 2021, 

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out across the country and life slowly starts to return to normal, experts say it’s a great time to reevaluate your habits and consider making changes to improve your health and well-being. Research shows that the start of any new phase — be it the resumption of post-pandemic life, turning a year older or the invigorating days of spring  — can serve as powerful psychological motivation to kick-start new habits. It’s called the fresh-start effect.

The end of the pandemic is “this momentous, collective fresh start that has all the features you need if you want to jump-start change,” says Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of the new book How to Change.  “Maybe you didn’t achieve your fitness goals or build better routines, but that was the ‘old you’ during the pandemic. The new you can do it in this new era.”

In an informal poll on Twitter, Milkman found that half of her followers had already set some sort of post-pandemic resolution.

BJ Fogg, a behavioral scientist at Stanford University and author of Tiny Habits, explains that anytime your context or environment changes, your habits change naturally.  “So this is a good time to put in a little bit of thought to design the habits you want,” he says. “Don’t leave your habits to chance.”

Motivation alone is not enough

Research shows that nearly half of our actions are habitual and that changing them isn’t necessarily all about willpower. In fact, motivation alone rarely works for the very reason that our habits are an unconscious behavior, says Susan Weinschenk, a behavioral psychologist at The Team W, a training and consulting firm in Edgar, Wisconsin. “We have to set things up to use the unconscious part of our brain to do this for us,” she says. That opportunity “is the part a lot of people miss” when they try to flip a switch to override actions they’ve been doing on repeat for years, if not decades.

Weinschenk and other experts share these science-based tips on how to develop better habits that will last.

1. Start with a small and specific action.

Experts say that if you’re serious about wanting to create a healthier habit, you have to narrow your focus first. Skip the kinds of goals that are vague, broad, or intimidating. Want to get in shape? Too broad. Determined to start walking regularly? Still too big.

You’ll set yourself up for success, however, if you break a bigger goal down into smaller, more specific ones. Fogg recommends starting with one tiny, easy action. If you want to walk more, for instance, first set a smaller intention to put on your walking shoes when you finish dinner (but don’t necessarily commit to taking a stroll). Or if you struggle to floss regularly, tell yourself you will floss just one tooth every night after you brush.

The key is to choose an action that feels entirely — even ridiculously — doable and that takes less than 30 seconds, Fogg says. That way, even if you don’t feel like doing it, you’ll do it anyway because it’s so easy. “It takes out the need for willpower — that’s the psychological component,” Fogg notes. “Tons of research shows the easier something is to do, the more likely people are to do it.”

In time, the teeny habit will become an automatic part of your routine. Once that habit is rooted, you can expand it to include really taking the evening stroll or flossing all of your teeth.

2. Pick a trigger or anchor for your new practice.

Next, figure out where your habit can fit into your existing routine, and anchor it to something you already do. In the examples above, each action is tied to an existing behavior: When you finish dinner, you put on your shoes. After you brush your teeth, you floss one tooth.

When it comes to anchors, there are endless possibilities. You could decide to take your vitamins after you turn on the coffeemaker, do two squats before you get into the shower, or meditate every morning as soon as you wake up. Having an anchor is important because otherwise, it’s too easy to run out of time in your day, not to make your new habit a priority, or just to forget to do it.

According to Weinschenk, the best triggers have a physical component. That’s because of the way the brain is structured, she says, with the “the motor part of our brain connected with the conditioned response.” Seeing a “start exercising” reminder pop up on your phone, then, is not as ideal as using something like making showering your signal to start your squats.

3. Find pleasure in it.

Research shows that you’re more likely to stick with a new habit if you enjoy it. So if you hate the gym, commit to doing a physical activity you relish, whether it’s gardening, hiking, or taking a dance class.

One easy way to make a habit more fun is to make it social, Milkman suggests. Set up a regular time to walk with a friend or sign up for a yoga class with a pal.

In a study, Milkman’s team paid one group of people a dollar every time they exercised and another group a dollar every time they exercised with a friend. Even though recruiting someone added a hassle factor, the participants who went with a pal exercised about 30 percent more, Milkman says. Having an exercise buddy is “a double whammy,” she says, “because you get that accountability but it’s also more fun.”

4. Try “temptation bundling.”

Another way to make a new habit fun is to pair it with an activity you enjoy, a strategy that Milkman has coined temptation bundling.

In a study published in Management Science, Milkman found that people went to the gym significantly more often over a seven-week span when they were given audiobooks to listen to during their workouts. To motivate the participants, the researchers specifically chose tempting page-turners like the Hunger Games and the Da Vinci Code series.

Milkman says the pairing strategy can work with many types of habits. Maybe you watch a TV show you love only while you’re walking on the treadmill, you go to your favorite burger joint just when you’re spending time with a difficult relative, or you listen to your favorite podcast only when you’re preparing a home-cooked meal.

Milkman likes to bundle pedicures with the paperwork she’s been putting off. “I love getting my toes done, but I use it as a hook to get myself to do important work I need to finish.”

5. Slide a good habit into the space occupied by a bad one.

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