Sustainable Behavior Change for Organizations, Professionals, and App Developers
The promise of “better health” is one of the most popular tools health care professionals use to motivate consumers and employees. But it doesn’t work! This idea is abstract and not valuable enough, TODAY, to motivate most people to practice healthier lifestyle behaviors – especially when we need them to maintain a behavior for years, even for life. It’s easy to make an initial change —signing up for the gym, for example—but old habits die hard.
“Health” by itself isn’t enough to motivate sustainable behavior change over the course of a lifetime. Inevitably, other compelling priorities get in the way. The result of that failed motivation is very costly– leading to high rates of disease, poor readmission rates, lost productivity, burnout (for individuals and professionals), and spiraling health care costs. In addition, body-shaping motivators, often based in self-rejection, also fail to motivate long-term behavior, particularly for women.
It’s time to get more strategic. Let’s stop promoting “health” and start rebranding it as the key to emotional rewards and personal meaning that these behaviors really are. We must transform healthy behavior from a chore individuals feel pressured by into a gift they want to give themselves.
How I Can Help
I have found that people are more likely to sustain behaviors when they understand the immediate and noticeable benefits of their behavioral choices (e.g., more energy), and furthermore, how this positivity actually helps them better enjoy and succeed in their most cherished daily roles. Before your health promotion programs, patient care coordination, health coaching/counseling, apps and other resources can build behaviors to last a lifetime, the individuals you aim to help must first achieve these essential shifts in cognition and motivation. I write extensively about how to create these shifts in my new book, No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.
Through twenty years of research and real life health coaching, I have developed systems, protocols and messages drive these shifts and lead to the sustained human motivation and consistent decision making that drive fitness, health and well-being. Through keynotes, training and consulting, I have advised professionals and organizations on how to achieve these shifts in their end users (in employees, patients, and customers.) – including Google, Adidas, Walmart, PepsiCo, Beaumont Health System, EXL, Influence Health, the National Business Group on Health, and Zingerman’s.
If your organization wants to benefit from understanding how to create sustainable behavior change in your target audience, connect with me or see my video and white paper below for more information.