In life, everyone wants to make positive changes, even if it is simply saving more, eating better and stopping using social networks.
There are many books, videos, podcasts that promise to help you achieve your goals. However, many people who have watched, still struggle to make real change. Katy Milkman, professor and author of the book “How to Change,” says we’re missing an important aspect of change, which is the science.
Milkman spent most of his career studying how people make decisions. One of the big mistakes people make when trying to change their lives, she realizes, is finding a magical solution. In fact, we should take a more strategic approach, based on the hurdle faced. “The real change depends on what’s holding you back,” she says.
Here are three ways science can change your life.
Take advantage of the “fresh start effect”
“Fresh start effect” describes the tendency of people to take action towards a goal after the event marks a new beginning.
“It can come from a big life event, like a new job or moving into a new home. It can also be as small as the start of a new week. These fresh beginnings make a difference compared to the previous week. with the former,” Milkman said.
Experts say that a new beginning is a really powerful and effective motivator that people can use as a springboard towards change.
Right now, when the pandemic hits, she believes there’s an opportunity for a fresh start. “I hope we don’t let this moment pass,” she said.
Milkman advises not just trying to make a change. Analyze the situation first and think strategically about the barriers. “Instead of jumping right into the solution, go into the analytical phase, trying to understand what is holding you back from achieving your goals,” she advises.
Some common barriers can keep us from changing. You want to exercise but hate exercising. You want to quit social media but find it fun to surf the net. These are examples of temptations working against you.
Once the barriers are identified, you will have a solution toolkit. If temptation is holding you back, turn it into joy. For example, when you’re afraid to go to the gym, combine it with time watching your favorite show. You’ll probably start looking forward to exercising.
“If you follow your goal the way you like it, you’ll stick with it more,” says Milkman.
Many studies show that giving advice to others can also help you achieve your own goals.
″ Mentoring and being asked to advise others will boost their own confidence. The counselor also considers what works better for him. They see themselves as hypocritical if they don’t follow the advice,” Milkman said.
A study of high school students found that when they were given the role of “give advice” to younger students, their own grades improved.
To be able to apply that, Milkman suggests creating a group where people with similar goals can give each other advice.
“You can help others and learn from their insights, while also reaping the benefits of giving advice,” suggests Milkman.
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