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Posts Tagged ‘behavior change’

I am sick of New Year’s Resolutions and I have had a Revelation…I want to have a Resolution Revolution.

Okay enough alliteration, but it does bug me that we get obsessed with “new beginning” on January 1rst.

Most folks set themselves up for disappointment by making the same sweeping promises to themselves (eat better, lose weight, stop smoking) and not really thinking about all the bite size behavior changes it might take to get there.  Then when the New Year rolls around again we have a groundhog day moment and are back to where we started.

Plus we always seem to be cracking the whip on ourselves without taking a moment to recognize any of the positive changes we actually did make.  Come on….I know there is one thing you can think of that you changed in the last year that you are proud of?!?

So how can you focus on that small thing you did right and build on that?

Did you reward yourself for it?

A reward is one key way to solidify those bite sized behavior changes so be sure to give yourself a (ideally non-food) reward once you did that thing you said you were going to do.  Or just as a pat on the back for being human.

The reward doesn’t have to be $plurgetastic– how about just a flower for your bedside, a bubble bath or taking a moment for a funny dog/baby/blooper video on youtube?

One of my favorites is pure Tali-time with a cup of tea and a stack of magazines.  Delicious.

What are you going to give yourself for 2013’s successes?

tea & magazine reward photo

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I love working with folks around food choices, exercise goals and weight loss and most often what we talk about is behavior change.  It starts like this…

“I want to lose 20 lbs”

“I want to eat better”

“I want to avoid diabetes since it runs in my family”

And then comes the hard part– how to get there…

So often we want to make HUGE commitments (think of your last New Year’s Resolutions) but it turns out that small change over time works best.  Setting small goals that are measurable and realistic = Bite sized behavior change!

So instead of saying “I want to lose 10 pounds”, try “I will only eat dessert once a week” or “I will walk 10 minutes at lunch every day”.

Dr. BJ Fogg from Stanford’s Persuasive Tech Lab agrees and in fact has started a program based on tiny habits and counters the argument that change happens with “will power” and instead encourages people to make it as easy as possible by setting up your environment to promote the new behavior and attach your new “habit” to one that already exists (eg. brushing your teeth, eating a meal etc).

I love his website which you can sign up for free and pick your own 3 tiny habits to work on.

What tiny habits would you like to add to your life?

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Photo by zole4

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