Tag / MEA

Nir’s Note: This guest post is written by Max Ogles. Max writes at MaxOgles.com about behavior change, psychology, and technology. Sign up for a free copy of his upcoming e-book, “9 Ways to Motivate Yourself Using Psychology and Technology.”

6273266577_c37d3fec72_zA commonly quoted and incredibly scary stat reveals that 9 out of 10 people who undergo heart bypass surgeries as a result of poor health are unable to change their habits, even with their lives on the line.

We’ve all failed at something, though luckily most of us don’t face death as a consequence. Here’s a short list of some of the habits I started, only to eventually fail:

  • For two months, I went running 3 to 4 times each week. (I even ran a half marathon!) Then I quit running and didn’t run again for over a year.

5318665531_b62722f817Imagine walking into a busy mall when someone approaches you with an open hand. “Would you have some coins to take the bus, please?” he asks. But in this case, the person is not a panhandler. The beggar is a PhD.

As part of a French study, researchers wanted to know if they could influence how much money people handed to a total stranger using just a few specially encoded words. They discovered a technique so simple and effective it doubled the amount people gave.

The turn of phrase has been shown to not only increase how much bus fare people give, but was also effective in boosting charitable donations and participation in voluntary surveys. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of 42 studies involving over 22,000 participants concluded that these few words, placed at the end of a request, are a highly-effective way to gain compliance, doubling the likelihood of people saying “yes.”

My talk at the  Silicon Valley Quantified Self Meetup at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The two most important slides:

Full slide deck here – Knowing Your Behavior Type – Quantified Self meetup
NOTE: If you are reading this over email and you don’t see the video, click here.

 

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
– Warren Buffet

(photo credits)

If you’re like most people, you have a New Year’s resolution in place and you may have even stuck to it so far this year.  Good for you!  Realistically though, you’re going to fail. How long have you said you really should get in shape, or lamented the need for  more quality time with family and friends?  The fact is, despite the most earnest commitment, resolutions just don’t work.

We make well-intentioned goals, with the false belief that we just lack commitment and motivation; that all we need is a good kick in the ass to get us going.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth, so please stop being so hard on yourself. There are better ways to achieve your full potential, with minimal headache.