Owain Service and Rory Gallagher
Most of us have our own goals to be achieved in life. It can be anything like starting a new business, to become a dancer, to lose weight etc. In most cases, we may find it difficult to put things into reality. The book Think Small depicts the importance of behavioral science to make our dream come true. Here are some tips that can be followed.
The role of behavioral science in bringing change
We generally fail to keep our resolutions due to various reasons. It is important to stick to our ambitions until we achieve them. Behavioral science includes a theory known as ‘nudge theory’ which says that small changes can make a big difference in life. This theory uses social norms i.e. behavior of peers that make us imitate them. Behavioral science contains seven steps that helps in nudging towards our goal.
- Set right goals in life
It is important to set the right goals in life. In other words, it must be a practical and achievable goal. The best way to make your goals achievable is to have a single goal. This will help in giving your full attention to that goal. It is said that people with multiple ambitions were able to save only 6% of their income, while others with a single goal were able to save 11%
- Simple rules and positive habits can fetch good results
It is the complex rules that make us give up our goals. Instead, it is important to formulate simple rules to help us stick to our goals. Repeating a particular behaviour can be developed into a habit. Positive habits can help us move forward by overcoming obstacles.
- Making goals public and evaluating progress can help
Making our goals public will strengthen and motivate us to fulfil them. If you keep them private, there is a higher chance that you give up. It is also good to have a Commitment Referee who can monitor your actions daily. Research survey says that people who keep a Commitment Referee are 70% likely to succeed to achieve their targets. This can be a close, personal friend, or a family member.
- Have an appropriate incentive system
Incentives are rewards for our work. It can be monetary or non-monetary. Monetary gain can sometimes have a negative impact. E.g. When you are motivated in doing something, introducing a monetary gain can demotivate us. Therefore, it is necessary to have a suitable incentive system.
- Cooperating with others can fetch good results
Man is a social animal and has an innate desire to help others. Seeking help from others will motivate, guide and strengthen us. This is the simplest and most effective way to reach our goals easily.
- Have a feedback mechanism and compare them
We may be working for our goal but may get lost at some level. Feedback is an effective way to solve this problem by checking your improvement. It helps you to stay determined until you achieve your goal. It is also important to compare your progress with others and this enables you to work hard in life.
- Focused practice and testing can be helpful
It is quite natural that we fail in doing our plan. It is proved that focus and practice will help to achieve success. It is also important to experiment with our work so as to make changes if needed.
Behavioural science influences our ways of thinking, acting and performing. As mentioned before, small steps can give us big results. Setting the right goals, simple rules and the feedback mechanism will keep you on the right track.
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