How To Make Proven Lasting Changes
Wonder how to make proven lasting changes? According to Dr. Sean Young, author of the book Stick With It: A Scientifically Proven Process For Changing Your Life–For Good*, if we understand the science behind lasting change, we can learn how to create a process that fits who we are.
There are seven “forces” (in the acronym SCIENCE) behind lasting change:
- Stepladders: Success is more likely to come to those of us who break down our dreams into long-term goals, then short-term goals, and then specific steps so we can focus on the day-to-day work rather than be overwhelmed by our dream.
- Community: People can harness the power of an active and engage community to achieve lasting change. Spend time with those who have already achieved the level of success we seek. We need to trust our community, feel self-worth and their approval as well as feel empowered and be rewarded for our work.
- Important: People are more likely to make lasting changes if we feel it is important to us. We should focus on what we think is important to keep life exciting and to stay motivated.
- Easy: The easier we make it, the more likely we will stick to it. We should control the environment (remove temptations and add accountability), limit choices (do not over-complicate things), and use a road map (create an action plan).
- Neurohacks: First change our actions and then our mind will follow. People form an identity of themselves based on our past behavior. By successfully performing a behavior, we can reset our mind to think of ourselves as a success (and not a failure).
- Captivating: Make our behaviors rewarding enough to convince ourselves to stick to our goals. People differ in what we find rewarding, so it must be rewarding to the person trying to make the change. People keep doing things if we are rewarded with things that we need.
- Engrained: Create an efficient process to keep doing what we need to do. Do it repeatedly to make it a routine behavior (we could do at the same day, place, and/or time). Pair similar behaviors together. For example, set our running shoes out so we can get our shoes on and then do the running.
We are more likely to follow through with things if we use as many of these forces as possible and that is how to make proven lasting changes. To truly change behavior, we need to understand WHY they do certain things. There are three types of behaviors:
- Automatic: something we do unconsciously without being aware of it
- Burning: irresistible urges ad thoughts we feel are impossible not to act on
- Common: things we commonly (yet consciously) do
We should make a list of behaviors we want to stop doing and behaviors we want to start doing. If the behaviors are opposite of each other, then replace the behavior we want to stop doing with the behavior we want to start doing. For each behavior we want to stop or start, we should think of as many ways to use the seven forces in our favor to increase our likelihood of success. This is how to make proven lasting changes.
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