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Ready for a lasting health change?

Tried for a lasting health change before and not succeeded? You started and then gave up? Don’t have the motivation. Here’s a simple strategy that works.

The main reason for most of us not being successful in implementing a lasting health change is that we carry forward the same old thinking and strategy. As a result, we get the same old results (or lack of them). So to be successful this year we need to change our thinking and strategy!

lasting health change

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein

So what is the secret to a lasting heath change ?

Is it high motivation, planning or will power? According to Dr B J Fogg of Stanford University, an expert and researcher into human behaviour change, it is none of these. The secret is in TINY HABITS.

Most of us tend to set outcome goals like losing 10 kilos and rely on determination, willpower and motivation to push to our health goal. But Dr B J, who devised the “Fogg Behaviour Model”, says, “Relying on motivation as a long-term change is a losing strategy.”  Using motivation is only successful in short bursts; hence, why people yo-yo diet or start and stop exercisers.

So to understand his “Fogg Behaviour Model” of B=mat (Behaviour = motivation, ability and trigger), here are some of the simple concepts:-

lasting health change

  • Behaviours lead to outcomes.
  • 3 elements are required at the same time for a behaviour to occur: motivation, ability and triggers
  • High levels of motivation are required to do hard-to-do things.
  • Low levels of motivation are required to do easy-to-do things.
  • Starting new behaviours works best after existing habits or “triggers”

So how does it work?

  1. Determine the change.
  2. Break it down to tiny behaviours e.g. for weight loss it might be to drink an extra glass of water per day or one push up per day.
  3. Add this behaviour after an existing pre-established habit like cleaning your teeth.
  4. Reward yourself by celebrating immediately by saying “I’m awesome”, “Bingo” or a small happy dance.
  5. Repeat and add one extra each day.
  6. Give it time for behaviours to become life-long habits rather than short motivational changes.

This new strategy may seem too simple to work, but it so effective because it does not rely on high motivational levels and strong willpower. It relies simply on tiny and easy changes that do not overwhelm and focuses on repeated and improving behaviours for long-lasting habits.

Proudly published in January 2017 edition South City Bulletin

Ready for a health change?

 

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