“Of course I would," I say. Don't you?
Unfortunately, the reality is much different. Experts say that the odds are actually only about 10% that you would in fact change. That means that for every 10 of your friends and family, 9 of them wouldn’t make the necessary changes to be in your life for much longer.
I just started reading the book Change or Die by Alan Deutschman, which is where this statistic comes from. I had previously read his article in Fast Company (which you can find here), but was so intrigued that I wanted to read more.
Deutschman posits that the traditional model for getting people to change doesn’t work. Doctors tell someone that they have to change their eating and exercise habits or they will risk having a heart attack and possibly die. Do they change? No (well 10% do). People go to prison and are released, knowing that they will return to prison if they commit another crime, and that their time will be that much longer. Do they abstain from committing crime? Probably not—67.5% are rearrested within 3 years.
Instead, Deutschman says that the way to change, and change for good is based on the 3 R’s—Relate, Repeat, and Reframe.
This is how I interpret what he means.
Relationships are key to lasting change. If you are hoping to make a change in your life, surround yourself with people who believe in you--people who you can count on, people who will hold you accountable, and people who will inspire you. If you can’t think of a person in your sphere who can do that for you without judgment, then hire someone who will. (Hint, hint.)
Repeat, repeat, and repeat again. They say that habits are established in 21 days. Instead of trying to kick your “bad” habits, establish new healthier ones, and you will eventually leave the others behind.
Reframe your perspective. Look beyond what you have always done and do something different. I know that habits are hard to break, but some of your habits (and mine too) are worth breaking. And when you stumble, which you will, look at your failures as opportunities to learn, rather than more evidence that you just can’t change. Sometimes a new relationship (see above) can help you in this task of reframing.
Your health and your life are worth it, right?