How to start a healthy lifestyle? Here’s how to use the science of self-persuasion to make a living a healthy lifestyle automatic.
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A lot of us can do great things in the short term using purely will-power. Even the most restrictive diets can be done for 8 – 12 weeks with self-control.
However, the issue is sustainability and turning the “diet” into a lifestyle. For this to happen, the decisions we make on a daily basis have to be taking us in the right direction.
In a nutshell, the default choice has to be the healthy choices with a few exceptions.
So how we do this? There’s some methods out there for building habits and getting yourself to commit to a healthy lifestyle, and in this video, I’ve decided to focus on one.
In the mid-1960s, researchers went door-to-door in a California and asked people if they’re okay with placing a massive billboard in their front yards.
They also showed people a photo of this huge ugly sign. As you might assume, only 17% said Yes to this request.
However, in another experiment, the researchers applied a simple trick and got 76% people to say Yes to the same exact thing.
Just 2-weeks before this, a different person, had asked this second group to display a tiny 3-inch sign that said “be a safe driver.” and almost everyone agreed.
And because they had agreed to this little request first, they were far more receptive to the huge request two weeks later.
This is known as the “foot-in-the-door” technique, a sales tactic where you start with a small application that is easy to agree to gain acceptance to a much larger request later on.
How can this be explained?
Psychologists say it’s simply human nature.
We are driven to be consistent in all areas of life — in their words, attitudes, opinions, beliefs, values, habits, and promises.
Once we make a decision, form an opinion or performs an action, we tend to make all future behavior match this past behavior.
You’ve probably seen people stick with diet programs even long after it’s clear that it’s not working.
Or those who stick with brands they’ve bought before, even if they’re more expensive and offer fewer features.
Why does the work like this?
Psychologists call the phenomena “decision heuristic.”
The fact is, our lives are sometimes too complicated to take the time to evaluate everything about every situation, so we take shortcuts.
Consistency makes thinking easier. You just make up your mind about something once, and you never have to think about it ever again.
And it also helps us reduce the chance of disappointment, embarrassment, failure, and loss.
How can we use this?
1 – Start small and build from there.
As you can see every little choice to live a healthy lifestyle makes the next big decision easier.
Use the “foot-in-the-door” technique to get yourself to live a healthy way of life.
Once you have a small commitment, no matter how small, you can trigger an identity to maintain consistency.
You can build on this new identity and make ever increasing requests.
2 – Make larger commitments when sustainable.
The more effort you invest, the powerful the commitment becomes and the more you’re likely to stick with your decision.
The more work you do on your nutrition and training, the more committed you are in the future to keep going.
As Robert Cialdini says, “Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.”
Foot-in-the-door technique https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot-in-the-door_technique
Study Compliance without pressure: The Food-In-The-Door Technique by Jonathan Friedman and Scott Fraiser (Published in 1966. ) http://summitevergreen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/compliance_without_pressure_the_foot_in_the_door_technique.pdf
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
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