Examples of How Changing Your Environment Can Change Healthy Behavior
Examples of Using YourEnvironment to Change BehaviorCristina Leos(email@example.com)Stanford University
Use Your Environmentto Spur Change Your environment impacts many of the things you do every day, structuring your environment to change behavior is one of the quickest and most effective ways to change what you are already doing
Changing My Behavior I aimed to use my environment to help me change three personal behaviors: ▫ to stop snacking between meals ▫ to take my vitamin consistently each morning ▫ to follow my running training schedule more closely
Using My Environment Goal #1: stop eating snacks between meals ▫ I chose to stop carrying cash or cards with me while in class. ▫ This meant that I had no money to buy snacks and I had to wait until I returned home for my next meal to eat. ▫ Successful? Yes, but was problematic when I forgot I didn’t have money and tried running errands.
Changing my environment Goal #2: take my vitamin each morning before leaving for class ▫ I set my vitamin jar and a bottle of water on my dresser next to my lotion, make up, etc. that I use every morning. ▫ Successful? Yes, I am already in the habit of performing specific actions, so embedding this into that sequence made sure I didn’t forget to do it
Changing my environment Goal #3: perform my daily training activity on my running plan ▫ Often I will skip days on my training plan because I am not in the mood to exercise ▫ I created an inspiration board that I keep near my running shoes to trigger me to do my daily activity ▫ Successful? Yes, I mostly only needed a trigger to keep on track
Ripple effects(or unexpected consequences)1. Not carrying money with me intruded on other aspects of my life, not just my eating habits2. Following my training plan made me eat better and drink more water because I associate all these behaviors with running
Insights and future directions In order to change the hardest behavior (stop snacking), I targeted my ability to do it For less difficult behaviors to change (vitamin, training plan), I targeted triggers Next, I might push more extreme environmental changes to gauge the limits of successful and unsuccessful changes
Interested in behavior sequences, triggers, and other fun stuff?Visit BJ Fogg’s website on behavior design captology.stanford.eduOr follow me on Twitter (@consider_change)Thanks for viewing!