Sunday, January 29, 2012
I love the book "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath as well as their more recent book "Switch." Both books essentially give ideas for how to get people to remember your ideas and to get people to change.
The first book uses the SUCCESs model:
S = Simple
U = Unexpected
C = Concrete
C = Credible
E = Emotion
S = Stories
s = no entry for this "S" so I think of this one as "So what?"
I think this model can be used to help people lose weight and maintain weight loss as well as to begin healthy habits.
Simple: You've all heard the saying "KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid (or Sister if you'd like to be a little nicer)." Starting exercise routines and new eating habits can be difficult if you make the process too complicated. Make simple choices that you can manage. Use simple sayings and one-sentence statements to remind yourself of your goals: "A moment on the lips--a lifetime on the hips."
Unexpected: However, don't let yourself get in a rut. Throw in something unexpected every now and then. The authors of the book tell a story about a man who helped improve the formula for movie popcorn. Just telling people that a medium serving had 37 grams of fat didn't work. But when he showed them that 37 grams of fat was "more than a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings--combined," people paid attention to this unexpected fact. That's why I subscribe to emails from the guy who writes "Eat this, Not That" because his information about the health of grocery store and chain restaurant foods is often counterintuitive.
Concrete: Make concrete goals like "I'm going to walk 6 miles per week."
Credible: Make sure you choose credible sources for information about diets and exercise. I get a lot of that information here at SparkPeople.
Emotions: Emotions are often what gets us in trouble--we eat to deal with anxiety, sadness, etc. Start using emotion to motivate yourself instead. Imagine how good you will feel when you reach goals. My father-in-law recently had a heart attack and died. The emotion of that experience had convinced my husband to change his eating habits. Now we need to kick in some positive emotions to keep him on track.
Stories: SparkPeople is full of stories from people's blogs. Stories resonate with people more than any motivator. Jared's weight-loss story ended up being a huge success for Subway because Jared's story was compelling.
So what: So what are you waiting for? Find ways to motivate yourself using the SUCCESS model.