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Are You Driven By Fun? Changing Behaviors, Inspiring Habits

Trying to change a behavior or create new habits at work or in your personal life? Here are seven ideas that might help…

  1. Set specific targets and an audacious goal. As detailed in the book, “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath, the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement set a goal of 100,000 fewer deaths in exactly 16 months. As he said in his bigstock-Change-Ave-Business-Improveme-50705153speech where he announced the goal, “Some is not a number; soon is not a time. Here’s the number: 100,000. Here’s the time: June 14, 2066, 9:00 a.m.” When that magic date rolled around, the institute announced 122,300 fewer deaths.
  2. Create a constant reminder of the why. When there’s a strong enough why, people tend to figure out the how.
  3. Change the situation/the context to make it easier to change. For example, people eat less food and find it easier to lose weight when they switch to smaller plate sizes.
  4. Numerous studies confirm that people have a willpower reservoir – if you do things throughout the day that take a lot of willpower, you slowly deplete your reservoir and it becomes harder to make the right choice later in the day. So schedule things that require a lot of will power (exercise, making sales calls) for early in the day.
  5. Celebrate small wins. As Teresa Amabile, the author of “The Progress Principle” points out, recognizing and celebrating small wins has a disproportionate impact beyond their actual size. Celebrating small wins creates momentum.
  6. Seek out success stories and figure out specifically what they’re doing that made it work.
  7. Make it fun! Recall the Integris Credit Union rallying cry: “Work Made Fun Gets Done!” Or Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign which turned a staircase in Stockholm into a giant piano to encourage people to take the stairs. They’re back, incidentally, asking the question: “Are You Driven By Fun?” Check out how they’ve made grocery shopping more fun (this is how I’ve shopped for years!): Shopping in the Fast Lane.

Michael Kerr, 2014.  Michael is an international business speaker and very funny motivational speaker who travels the world researching, writing and speaking about inspiring workplaces.

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