I’ve come across the same concept twice this week and I think it’s an interesting one. It goes like this: when trying to change a behaviour, if you have a firm plan for what you’ll do when something tries to steer you off course, you will increase your chance of success.
What do you mean?
Let’s say, you’ve just started to eat more healthily. First day went great, second day went great as well. You’re rediscovering fruit you haven’t tasted in years.
Third day, you have less of a good day and someone offers you a piece of chocolate cake at work.
Will you take it?
According to this concept, if you have made a plan for the times where you may be tempted, you are more likely to say ‘no’.
The rationale I think is that, when you are faced with temptation, you may not exactly be in the right frame of mind to say ‘no’. However, when you made the plan that you were going to say ‘no’, you were in the right frame of mind, it was before someone tempted you and before you had a bad day. So remembering your plan, will help bring you back to the right frame of mind and remind you of the value of your goal.
It will certainly make you think twice. And that may be all you need.
So how can you use this?
In Make It Fly, I talk about brainstorming all the challenges you will face when living your dream and encourage you strongly to make a plan for dealing with all these challenges. It’s kind of the same thing except that in this case, we are focusing more on a change in behaviour.
How you can use this? Think of what you are trying to change and what you will do when the novelty wears off or you are tempted to go back to your old behaviours.
Some Examples May Help…
What will you do when your best friend offers you a cigarette?
What will you do when the people at work try to force feed you cake or biscuits? ‘Go on, one won’t hurt’.
What will you do when it’s raining outside and you’re meant to go to the gym?
1. Smile and say no thanks.
2. If they ask again, you will just smile and keep saying ‘no thanks’ more and more firmly
3. You will make sure you have a rain coat on hand or you will decide that rain won’t stop you or maybe that you’ll go by car rather than walk.
May not work each time, but I agree that you have a much higher chance of success with a plan than without.
So, what behaviour are you trying to change? Have you figured out what will trip you up? What’s your plan for when that happens?
Let me know in the comments below.