When talking about how to create lasting change and transformation, and specifically why people don’t change or struggle with it, I always like to reference a great article called “Change or Die” that was posted on the Fast Company website in 2005.
In essence, the article begins by providing a shocking statistic about how many people who undergo coronary bypass surgery don’t make changes in their lifestyle to improve their health, and continue to deal with health problems or even die a few years after.
How many people do you think would make just one significant change in their diet or exercise if their life depended on it? Large number? Small number?
Try 1 out of 10…
Studies have shown again and again that 90% of people will not make a change in their lifestyle even when confronted with death!
However, the article talks about one doctor who figured out a system to change his patient’s behavior so that 77% of them made lasting change to the lifestyle. That’s almost 8x the normal success rate! His name was Dr. Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine and founder of Preventative Medicine Research Institute.
Dr. Ornish started by reframing the reasons and motivation for his patients to change. Instead of using fear of death as motivation, he reframed it to the joy of living. This is an example of the “towards vs. away” tool, seeking pleasure versus avoiding pain is a more effective way of creating results. This was the first step in changing how his patients thought about their reality and how they are creating.
The next thing he did was create massive and radical change to the patient’s lifestyle. This is an example of the 15 Twinkie tool, which explains why incremental change is actually more difficult than massive and radical change. As stated in the article “They feel deprived and hungry because they aren’t eating everything they want, but they aren’t making big enough changes to quickly see an improvement in how they feel, or in measurements such as weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.”
The third aspect of Dr. Ornish’s program is that he provided his patients with multifaceted support system. Patients were requires to attend weekly support groups with other patients and they received attention from a variety of specialists like dietitians, psychologists, nurses, and personal trainers.
The article does a great job of relating these methods to businesses and why these three concepts are vital to changing not only individuals, but organizations as well. The fact is no matter what area of life you’re wanting to transform, these three things are necessary and important to creating lasting change.
The article concludes with a nice segment about “plasticity” of the brain, and how we are not hardwired and is actually easier to change than we once thought. It has been proven through research that three steps to effective change is to:
1. Reframe your goal to something you want versus something you don’t want
2. Go big or go home
3. Find a support system or create one for yourself
These three things are also part of the foundation of The Inevitable You® system. We use the latest in neural sciences to reprogram how you think, and give you the resources to support your massive and radical changes. And remember, in this coaching system, it’s change or continue to be “Old You”…
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