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The most effective way to implement a behavior change

Commitment Device

A commitment device is a method to lock yourself into behavior modification by associating it with a reward or a punishment.

Example: Limiting or blocking your social media or TV in case you miss your goal.

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The most effective way to implement a behavior change

The most effective way to implement a behavior change

https://www.fastcompany.com/90394652/how-to-implement-a-behavior-change

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

The Dynamics of a Resolution

We all have goals to achieve and behavioral changes we want to implement. Making the resolution is the easy part. The implementation and the work that is to be put in daily is the real challenge.

Why Resolutions Fail

  • Getting motivated by negative emotions like fear or regret.
  • A sudden influx of motivation followed by giving up in the first instance of a setback ("All or Nothing" approach).
  • Having a big and unattainable resolution.
  • Not being in terms with the concept of failure.
  • Not committing fully to the process.

Social Pressure

New research suggests we are less prone to keep working on our goals after we publicize them. This is because we may end up talking about our goals and celebrating our success prematurely rather than implementing them.

Social Pressure makes us fearful, as we can feel afraid of appearing inept. This negative mindset does not work well where we need daily work.

Commitment Device

A commitment device is a method to lock yourself into behavior modification by associating it with a reward or a punishment.

Example: Limiting or blocking your social media or TV in case you miss your goal.

Soft Commitments

The commitment devices that seem to work better than others are the ones that are like gentle reminders and are not having negative emotions (like fear) attached to them.

A playful commitment device that isn't hard to accomplish nudges us into being successful at our goal.

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Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

Immediately responding to messages

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

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The Stages of Change
  1. Precontemplation: Not ready. Not now.
  2. Contemplation: Maybe soon — thinking about it.
  3. Preparation: Ready, taking small steps.
  4. Action: ...
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Don’t Fight Your Biology

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Fighting Your Resistance To Change

Developing new ways of thinking initially creates significant psychological discomfort. But to persevere you have to recognize that you will naturally want to hold onto your own personal status quo.

To avoid the natural resistance, re-frame the challenge into something you gain and learn.

Think In Steps

To better your odds of changing:

  • Create an action plan
  • Break your new habits into small, attainable goals. Tap into your physiological and psychological tendencies to make the change stick.
  • Set cues to help you meet your goal. Cues are often centered around location, time, emotional states, other people, or something that precedes an action; cues help solidify habits.

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