In life, we all have our small goals. For example, lose 20 pounds, read 50 books a year, go to bed early and get up early, etc.
During the first few days when we started, we were full of energy, after a while, we began to slack off. In the end, we forgot our goals and returned to our original state.
Once, I thought it was my willpower that wasn’t strong enough to make it impossible to go to bed early and get up early. It wasn’t until I saw the book “Stick with It：A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good”, that I realized that I had actually used the wrong method.
The author of this book is Sean Young, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford University. He specializes in combining the work of psychology, medicine, business, and technology to help people change their behavior.
The book proposes seven ways to change our behavior, which are suitable for individuals to change their behavior, but also suitable to be used in a business environment to guide users to something. These seven ways have been scientifically proven to help us do what we want to do.
These 7 ways are stepladder, community, important, easy, neurohacks, captivating, and engrained. Next I’ll focus on three of these ways: stepladder, captivating, and neurohacks.
Stepladder: Little by little, move forward using the model of steps, goals, and dreams.
A company has a female colleague, she set a goal to lose 20 pounds years ago. She often shared with her colleague that she will buy a lot of new beautiful clothes and take beautiful photos after she successfully loses weight.
Colleagues decided to run for 30 minutes a day after work in order to achieve her small goals. However, she only persisted for a few days then gave up. She comforted herself that she was so tired at work that she should spend her time off work to rest.
In fact, the inability to persist longer is not because her willpower is not strong, but because she has not learned the stepladder method, using the combination of steps, goals, and dreams.
Stepladder model is a theory that combines steps, goals and dreams together.
We all yearn for success, and as a result, we focus too much on our dreams, because it’s a wonderful thing to realize them. For example, that female colleague, eager to lose 20 pounds. She was thrilled to share her success results with us. However, the dream is out of reach, and many people give up in the middle of the realization of the dream.
The stepladder model tells us that if we want lasting change, we should focus most of our attention on the steps and goals, focusing on the process of achieving the goals, not the results.
Shaun divides steps, goals, and dreams according to the length of time to achieve. Dreams are things that take three months or more to complete; goals are things that take 1 week to 3 months to complete. Among them, short-term goals can be achieved in a week to a month, and long term goals take 1 month to 3 months to complete.
The key to using this set of combinations is to set goals that take a week to achieve and steps that can be accomplished in less than two days.
Back to the female colleague who wants to lose weight, losing 20 pounds is a dream, it takes more than three months to complete. She should focus most of her energy on steps and goals. For example, set short-term goals first and run for an extra five minutes a day as long as she feels comfortable. Then set the steps, learn breathing techniques, etc.
Put your dreams in your head and be the driving force behind your actions, and then follow the steps and goals. Insist on doing the right thing and focus on the process of achieving the goal, in order to get good results.
Second, captivating: keep persisting
Many parents have a common problem: Their children are not interested in studying but are obsessed with games, games are a fatal attraction for children.
In life or at work, if what we are doing is captivating to us, then persistence is a thing that we can’t stop.
Making boring things fun and giving a reward for deadly attraction is captivating.
For everyone, the captive is different and needs to be based on the actual situation.
How to use captives in life? Do “quick repair” and “magic repair” things.
“Quick repair” means to directly reinforce people’s need to do something.
For example, people who enter the casino generally have the goal of winning money. When someone walks into a casino, they happen to hear the jingle coming out of the slot machine, as if telling the gambler that you can win. This is the application of “quick repair” to strengthen the psychology of the gamblers who want to win.
“Magic repair” refers to indirect reinforcement.
Casinos also use the “magic repair” method, when gamblers lose several games and decide to leave, let them win one round. This indirect winning feeling is more wonderful than always winning so that the gamblers can not stop.
Third, neurohacks: change behavior, consciousness will change with it
What would you do if you want your child to eat more vegetables? The average parent may tell their child about the benefits of eating vegetables, but despite the parents’ good words, the child still seems to refuse to eat vegetables.
At this point, parents can adopt the neurohacks approach. Instead of being persuasive, let your child make some changes in behavior. When they realize that vegetables do not taste as bad as they think, they gradually get into the habit of eating vegetables.
Changing the thoughts of others is not an easy thing to do, some people may not be able to change their thoughts for a lifetime. And let others make changes in behavior first, and then change their consciousness, and then succeed in doing something, that’s how neurohacks work.
The logic behind neurohacks is neural memory. Neuro memory is a set of psychological techniques that can reset thinking through behavior. In other words, changing behavior can help people look back at things and finally stick to what they want to do.
Neurohacks can also be used in every aspect of life, such as, stop yourself from eating junk food, help your children learn to be grateful, and so on. Make yourself aware of the importance of things by making some changes in behavior, and then continue to do something to maintain your image. Finally, our consciousness changes unknowingly and continues to do what we want to do.
Without having to have strong willpower, we can do what we want to do and help others make lasting changes, using the psychological methods described in the book. Author Sean Young also details four other psychological methods. The full use of these seven psychological methods can further enhance our chances of success.