5 Keys To Ignite Lifestyle Change


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Our signature report on the 5 elements needed to ignite lifestyle behavior change in edutainment media.

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5 Keys To Ignite Lifestyle Change

  1. 1. 5 Keys To Ignite Lifestyle Change Lifestyle Edutainment Media That Works Growing Brands That Change Lives By Mikhaila Stettler- Creative Director, Creatrix Interactive
  2. 2. 2 5 Keys To Ignite Lifestyle Change Lifestyle Edutainment Media That Works The ultimate objective of any *LOHAS brand (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability) must be transformation; inspiring and supporting the positive change of daily behaviors and attitudes. Yet, getting people to make enduring lifestyle changes, whether it’s diet and exercise habits or green living choices in their routine consumption, is one of the most difficult challenges to meet. * LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. What drives transformation? How can a lifestyle product or service company grow their business while supporting their community to make lifestyle changes? We’ve identified 5 key factors that consistently lead to sustainable lifestyle transformation. Chief among them is emotional engagement, without it people will not make the personal investment of time, money and attention to change their habit patterns. Education drives sales in the LOHAS market. Whatever service or product you’re selling, whether nutritional supplements, natural foods, exercise equipment or non-toxic cleaning products, an educated consumer buys more products and services. Any LOHAS brand must include lifestyle education in its overall marketing and business-building strategic plan. Edutainment = Education + Entertainment This reports outlines a 5-point system for designing digital edutainment media that spurs and supports enduring lifestyle changes. This system was generated by reverse engineering 20 years of lifestyle education success, working on the front lines of lifestyle medicine educating other clinicians and thousands of patients and their families. We’ve identified what works and what people need to make sustainable changes, and then redesigned it and applied it to the online/mobile world. Although the specific focus of this report is on diet and lifestyle habits, the 5-Star System applies equally to green living and other types of LOHAS brands. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  3. 3. 3 Our Lifestyle Is Making Us Sick: The Growing Epidemic Of Chronic Disease As any health care practitioner or weight loss coach will attest, it is notoriously difficult for people to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes and stick with them. Yet lifestyle habits are the single greatest causal factor in our growing epidemic of chronic diseases and accelerated age-related degeneration. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases account for over 78% of all health care expenditures and are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Hypertension alone affects up to half of all adults over the age of 55 and over 43% of the population over age 60 has developed metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance and dysglycemia). Conditions of obesity, child-hood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are soaring. What is truly tragic about these statistics is that by and large, this epidemic is easily preventable with diet and lifestyle changes! And as our Baby Boomer population enters their senior years, we’re about to be faced with the age-related health care problems of the largest population of people between ages of 65-85 then ever before. What is important to know is that conditions commonly seen as signs of ageing- like low energy, poor memory, low libido, chronic pain, and weight gain—are actually signs of chronic disease. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  4. 4. 4 The 5 Keys To Lifestyle Education: How to support people to change their diet and lifestyle habits to transform their health. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  5. 5. 5 1. Inspiration First and foremost people need to be inspired, to feel inspired, to make changes. Give your audience/customers/patients an inspiring vision that focuses on positive outcomes and results. Describe how they will look and feel when they make healthy diet and lifestyle changes, how their quality of life will improve. For example, paint the picture of the activities they’ll be able to enjoy again, of fitting into their clothes, looking good, having more energy, playing with kids/grandchildren, doing sports and recreation activities, seeing their skin clear up, enjoying a revived sex drive, have clean-smelling breath, feeling attractive and desirable, able enjoy themselves. Speak to their aspirational desires. Images of enticing, visually appealing healthy food and fun activities, rich with sensual pleasure, are so much more motivating than warnings and rules. 2. Connect The Dots And Make The Links Very clearly connecting the dots and making direct links between how a person is living/eating and how they feel, look and function empowers choice and change. Time and again, we have seen that when people clearly understand how their diet and lifestyle choices actually change body function and subjective feeling states, they are more connected with what’s actually going on and more motivated to change. By using metaphors, humor and rich media, we can explain core principles in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Clarity, simplicity and analogies help folks visualize what is going on at a system, organ and cell level. For example, describing the gastrointestinal system as a wetlands ecosystem makes it easy for people to understand how certain foods can affect balance and function. Just as in a wetlands, if you change one thing in the system, like the pH, it changes the population of the lowest living beings on the food chain. The negative effects can quickly travel up the food chain resulting in the entire eco-system being thrown out-ofbalance. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  6. 6. 6 3. Empower Choice Positive gene expression is a choice, not an accident of birth! When people clearly see the connection between their diet and lifestyle habits and their gene expression, it empowers them to make healthy changes. Once people understand that positive gene expression is a choice and not an accident of birth, it empowers them. Once they understand the difference between genotype and phenotype, and that they have power and control over their phenotype, their entire attitude and mindset changes. 4. Add In, Switch Out Most people have a general impression that changing their diet and lifestyle habits is all about restriction, sacrifice, deprivation, austerity and discipline. Instead, we take the approach of inclusion, expansion and replacement. Instead of focusing on lists of do’s and don’ts, what you can’t have, we focus on expanding what’s included. In prioritized, tiered steps, we ask people to add things into their diet, add activities to their routine. The next step it to switch out unhealthy versions of favorite foods and replace them with healthy versions or alternatives. The strategy is to occupy the space with healthy choices and options, healthy ingredients and products. 5. Support Network & Accountability One of the reasons diet and lifestyle changes are so hard to make is that people bond over food and lifestyle choices, and we all have a history of family imprinting around these patterns. In fact, the latest social science research shows that social contagion is more a factor in obesity and other lifestyle-related illnesses than genetics! Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  7. 7. 7 To successfully change lifestyle patterns, people need community, need to be connected with others going through the same process, need to receive support from others who care about one’s process and progress. We’re social creatures who need to feel support and connection, like we’re doing it together. To change lifestyle patterns, people also need a way to be held accountable, a way to see, track and share progress. People need recognition and approval and that basic emotional need can be leveraged to support healthy lifestyle changes. What Doesn’t Work In Lifestyle Education 1. Preaching or proselytizing 2. Deprivation, restriction, austerity and discipline 3. Dictatorial “Because it’s good for you.” “Because I said so.” These 3 approaches lead to sabotage by setting up an internal conflict with a tyrantrebel polarity. An inner rebel will have to emerge to preserve the rights of free will and choice. 4. Not giving a strong enough why, no direct links made between diet and lifestyle habits and personal body experience. No foundation laid of basic fundamentals and principles that are clear, easy-to-understand and make immediate intuitive sense. 5. Making it too complicated, rigid or extreme. People can get overwhelmed with too much too soon. Not enough simple basics, no priority ranking of importance. 6. No support network, doing on their own, often in face of family resistance. 7. No accountability or way to see, track and keep connected with their progress. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  8. 8. The 5 Keys To Designing Lifestyle Media That Changes Lives It’s a new dawn for lifestyle education. With advent of Web 2.0, SaaS (Service As Software), smart phones and tablets, and the growing prevalence of social media, it is at last possible to create a mobile, virtual digital learning experience that is truly sensory-rich, dynamic, interactive and user-centric. The end user’s experience is paramount, what is the interface like for the user? The entire experience must be designed to be easy, pleasurable, interesting, fun, engaging, interactive and responsive.
  9. 9. 9 1. Intuitive User-Friendly Interface The key to designing lifestyle media that changes lives is making the all-important user interface super user-friendly and intuitive. It must be easy to use and understand, immediately without any difficulty. Confusion and frustration with the interface quickly leads to disengagement and disconnection. A confused, frustrated user doesn’t take the actions we want (make healthy lifestyle changes), he or she leaves! An intuitive design would include things like bold audio/visual cues to take the next action and/or clearly show the user where to navigate next. It must be easy for the new user to get exactly where she/he needs to go to get the content she/he wants. Clean, visually coherent design prevents visual overload and confusion. Too much content on a page, too many visuals, are confusing. The user doesn’t know what to focus on. 2. Fun, Entertaining & Dynamic Engagement is king! Boring, long content quickly leads to disengagement and disconnection. A bored user leaves! The short form prevails! Small-bite sized pieces, small action steps, and short videos are better than long. A short video is no more than 2-3 minutes long, but a video message or animation under 30 seconds is even better. Edutainment: blending education with entertainment keeps users engaged! A media-rich experience that is tactile and sensual, full of visual and audio content, with video and animations, keeps users engaged and coming back for more. Using actionoriented learning games is a prime example of edutainment that works. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  10. 10. 10 3. Interactive Instead of a one-way stream of information, make it interactive! Make it fun, entertaining and personal to your user/consumer. People learn best by doing, through active engagement. Take an innovative approach to translating lifestyle content into interactive learning tools, self-assessments, games, and other programming. Engagement is the key. When the user takes action, the portal/system should respond. Then the user’s experience becomes personalized. 4. Emotional Connection For lifestyle media to lead to lifestyle change, people have to emotionally connect. The emotional brain trumps the logical brain when it comes to behavior and habits. Recent advances in the neuro-sciences can help understand how to create and design media that speaks directly to the limbic brain. The limbic system is the area of the brain responsible for emotions and behavior. 5. Social Media Social media is here to stay. A social media component is crucial to lifestyle brands that want to create positive change. A carefully crafted strategy, based on a deep understanding of the drivers of behavior, can leverage the power of social media to help users feel connected and supported. People want to share their experiences, compare notes, and interact with others who are interested in making healthy lifestyle changes. Through social media, lifestyle brands can reinforce commitment, give acknowledgment and feedback, foster emotional connection, and create community. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com
  11. 11. 11 We grow lifestyle brands that change lives. Creatrix Interactive provides strategic advising and creative concept, design and production of innovative interactive edutainment media for healthy lifestyle, green living and personal development brands. Our mission is to help LOHAS* brands grow loud n’ proud tribes with emotionally compelling online content and media that ignite positive lifestyle change. We make it simple, easy and attractive for your audience to adopt your brand’s lifestyle values. We specialize in speaking to the emotional brain to create engagement and spur action. (* LOHAS: lifestyles of health and sustainability, the market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.) Call or email for an assessment of your lifestyle education and media content. Mikhaila Stettler, Creative Director Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com 206.276.6386 As Creative Director of Creatrix Interactive, Mikhaila Stettler brings her considerable creative and intuitive gifts to the joyous challenge of dreaming up ways to make the digital media interface engaging, interactive, imaginative and transformational. Mikhaila Stettler 206.276.6386 Mikhaila@CreatrixInteractive.com Creatrix Interactive.com