October 7

Episode 9: What does change look like?

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In today’s episode of “Work Proof your Brain and Body”, personal trainer Aaron Morton discusses change and what it looks like.

Do you actually want to change? (1:14)

  • Before getting into the subject of change, it’s important to determine whether you actually want to change.
  • Needing to change is not the same thing as wanting to change.

We are all creatures of habit (3:13)

  • Research suggests that up to 45% of our daily activities are habitual.
  • Your brain doesn’t like using more energy than it needs to.
  • Habitual behavior and actions require less energy.
  • Aaron compares habitual behaviour to a road or route that you’re used to taking VS taking a new or alternative route.
  • In terms of change, talk is cheap. Actions require extra brainpower.
  • Aaron mentions a few studies that express the impact that habitual behaviour has on health and fitness.

Staring death in the face won’t do it for some. So why is this? (06:02)

  • We seek gratification
  • Aaron speaks of ‘delayed gratification’ vs ‘instant gratification’
    • Researchers found that the children who opt for delayed gratification during the marshmallow experiment tend to be more successful in their careers later on in life.
  • Turning change into the new normal is delayed gratification, 
  • Reverting back to how things were is instant gratification.

The trick to making change that last is being able to delay gratification and mitigate the temptation of reverting back to old behaviors (8:44)

  • Aaron takes a look at a common factor in the workplace: physical exercise.
    • A common factor of exercise habit is whether people see themselves as someone who exercises or not
    • In his experience, it is the people who ‘aren’t the exercise or gym types’ that struggle the most.

I order for the drive to be there, you need to see yourself as someone who does (10:08)

  • Saying “I should be doing…” provides a different effect as opposed to “I am doing…”
  • We often don’t realise the effect of communication on ourselves.
  • Even so, it plays a huge part in maintaining our identity.
    • Children tend to emulate parent behaviour as they grow into adulthood.
  • Identity plays a large part in behaviour, habits and outlook.

Your identity can change given the right environment (12:18)

  • Aaron speaks of the social experiment that Ellen Langer performed with 8 elderly men in 1981.
  • How you see yourself plays a large part in how you live your life.
  • From the many clients he’s seen in the past, Aaron concludes that many people want to change, but not everyone is ready for change.

Five stages of change (15:00)

  • Transtheoretical model by James Prochaska and Carlo Di Climente
  • Stage 1: Pre contemplation
    • Apathy or willing acceptance of a situation
  • Stage 2: Contemplation
    • The desire to change has come to the forefront
  • Stage 3: Preparation
    • Ready to make a change
  • Stage 4: Action
    • You’ve started experiencing change
  • Stage 5: Maintenance
    • Starting to think and behave in a new way without effort

Conclusion (21:24)

  • All change starts with a commitment
  • Once that commitment has been made, the path to change becomes a series of actions done repetitively until it becomes a habit.

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