You are more likely to do more of something if:
- It is convenient
- It is ubiquitous
- It is pleasurable & desirable
- It is cognitively easy to do
- It is inexpensive & affordable
- It is quick to do
- It is physically easy to do
- It is emotionally inspiring & inciting
- It is safe
- It is always the way you’ve done it
- It is nostalgic
- It is immediately gratifying
- It is easier to achieve
- It is socially acceptable
- It is easier to be accepted
- It is not scary
- It is something your peers do
- It is culturally ingrained
You are more likely to do less of something if:
- It is inconvenient
- It takes a lot of time
- It is scarce
- It is physically taxing to do
- It is cognitively taxing to do
- It is painful & undesirable
- It is not nostalgic
- It is expensive & unaffordable
- It is emotionally uninspiring & dulling
- It is unsafe
- It isn’t the way you’ve always done it
- It is delayed gratification
- It is easier to be rejected
- It is scary
- It is socially unacceptable
- It is something your peers don’t do
- It is not culturally ingrained
Now consider this,
How can you harness any of the conditions above to do more or less of healthy or unhealthy behaviors of your choosing?
What if you wanted to exercise more? Could you make it easier to succeed by shrinking how much exercise you plan to do, from 1 hr of running after work to just 20 minutes of walking after lunch? Could you make exercise a social endeavor by joining an intramural sports team?
What if you wanted to smoke less? Could you leave your pack of cigarettes in your car that is parked 3 blocks away from your apartment?
As a side note, many companies know these things, they know you’re pretty impressionable if they combine any of the things above, let’s consider fast food.
McDonalds knows if it makes their food really delicious, ubiquitous, nostalgic, convenient to eat, affordable and bombards you with advertising to make their products desirable, you’re more likely to buy from them. That is not to say that it will work every time but that it increase their odds of selling you something most of the time, which as you know, has proven to be a very good strategy for McDonalds.
Companies don’t have to be the only ones to harness the conditions above, so can you, you can harness them for your own ends, to keep yourself healthy and fit, and to even defend your health against the forces of unhealthy agendas.
So what things do you want to do more or less of? How can you use anything from the list above to do more or less of things you want or don’t want to do?
Photo via jimmiehomeschoolmom