One of the most powerful forces in social psychology is "it takes one to know one". This can be stated in many different ways:
* Identification is the most powerful force in learning
* Role models show the way
* Existence proofs: "If X can do A, then I can too, because I'm the same as or better than) X."
* Competition: "I can outdo X"
Success Factors at SparkPeople
What I've noticed about many/most of the successful folks that have reached maintenance, and then been able to stay there for any length of time:
* Recognition why change is hard. And, if you're here (at SparkPeople) "you" have recognized, at least at some level, that you need to change.
* Change requires a program, and requires consistent, continuous effort to be effective.
* Purpose of measurement and recording ("tracking")
* Importance of empirical data
* Importance of (a) identifying a problem, (b) understanding a problem, (c) finding a solution through measurement and empiricism.
* When and how to get help.
* Setting up a feedback system that uses observation and measurement to modify program parameters both quantitatively and QUALITATIVELY to make sure that the program progresses through all stages of its evolution.
Many (most?) of the folks I've "seen" on SparkPeople do not have the skill set I've outlined above. Therefore, they cannot identify with these successful folks. Moreover, many of them are "dedicated" to avoiding these issues. Sometimes, the culprit, in these mis-efforts, is defense mechanisms, but most often it is a world view (including but not limited to religion, or other idealisms) that precludes the skills from being "entertained" much less learned.
I'm trying to figure out how to make this skill-set, or meta-program more attractive or "digestible" (excuse the expression
) to more people.
Warning to Me -- If Not You!
And, I'm aware that my language -- especially -- in this particular post -- is often not helpful to this end. However, first, I must figure out the right concepts -- and that process necessarily requires me to use whatever conceptual tools I can muster. Moreover, I may never figure it out, or I may never be able to articulate it to enough people for the effort to be worthwhile. That means, that, best case, my posts, here, are a sandbox -- and of limited use to a limited group of folks. I get that.
Kudos to Angela Balda
Speaking of role models, and identification, I'd like to put in a plug for Angela Balda's blog posts. She's one of the team leaders of the "At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team".
What makes Angela's Balda's (4A-HEALTHY-BMI -- www.sparkpeople.c
) efforts in the Team and her blogs so important is (a) she concretely and articulately exemplifies the skill set, and (b) is making the transition from applying her powerful skill set from losing to maintaining.