Volume 48
February 24, 2021
Snapshots: For the Better
  • To repeat
  • Go with the flow
  • < 2 minutes
  • Commitment devices
  • Small wins
  • Paired Peers
Having discussed the first 2 Laws of Behavior Change:
  1. Make it Obvious
  2. Make it Attractive
our healthy habits journey continues with…

Making it easy enhances habit formation via repetition. The catalyst is not how long it takes to develop new habits, instead, it is how many it takes to instill them. Human nature often follows The Law of Least Effort and when deciding between active options, people may select the least amount of work. Since paths of least resistance are typically taken, ideally, present choices appeal to optimizing long run outcomes.
In daily operating environments, it is easier to go with the flow than out of our way. One advantage to applying these guiding principles is our intently-structured clinical flow, and as we envision nurturing wellness referrals, decisive moments will be evident with each personal encounter. To promote healthy habits that bring positive results to life, we must reduce friction associated with their adoption. We seek behavioral facilitators, not impediments.
Lacking enough hours in the day to accomplish all necessary tasks (a.k.a. the real world), initiating new habits should take less than two minutes. The less time needed to perform gateway habits, the higher probability that impactful routines will begin. For maximum efficacy, plan to repeatably have wellness referral conversations in less than two minutes, so that with practice, sharing pertinent educational information will become second nature.

To simplify things, commitment devices are pre-planned choices that shape future actions. Here is a proven winner... each morning, select specific educational handouts to share with every patient, with readily accessible placement on your desk or inside charts. Guided by advance preparation, mentally commit to sharing x# that day and by extension, per week. Compare the positive sway of this proactive mindset to scenarios where daily wellness referral conversations are not systematically had.

By making things easier, we encourage healthy habit responses.
“All truths are easy once they are discovered;
the point is to discover them.”
— Galileo
Satisfaction is essential for patients and team members. Logically, behaviors become more automatic when satisfying or avoidant when punished. Feelings of pleasure train our brain to repeat behaviors, while fears ruin habit formation. Knowing this, we thoughtfully foster team members’ satisfaction with their consequential roles in how our wellness-referral program amplifies impact.

Be proud of progress in confidently shaping pathways to improved quality of life, realizing how informative action steps align with your subject-matter-expert role. Consider how behavioral patterns of those you admire in other fields, be it healthcare, business, culture, academia or sports, are driven by innate desires to act consistent with aspirational identities.

Daily feedback reassures when colleagues celebrate each other’s “small wins” such as wellness referrals earned or new patient opportunities from previous imparted knowledge. This positive reinforcement encourages steady progress towards larger goals with longer time horizons. Like patients waiting years before getting properly fit hearing devices, we know that while great things await, life-changing experiences commonly begin with small steps.
To measure improvement, daily tracking is required. With ’s marked on planning calendars for all to see, visible progress sparks team attentiveness. Facts speak and displaying results cultivates positive reinforcement. Perhaps at the end of the day or following morning, methodically reflect on daily learning and continuous improvement processes.
Do not expect perfection and when you “miss a day,” try to not miss twice. Sometimes the unsatisfying feeling of breaking the chain motivates us to avoid repeating. Consider how Paired Peers can ensure mutual and collective accountability, as watchful eyes and constructive advice flex their motivational muscles.
By highlighting both immediate and longer-term rewards, we make healthy habits more satisfying, even wonderful.

Healthy habits are the compound interest of self-improvement and 100’s of gradual actions are decisive. By analogy. if our patients lack healthy habits, they are less likely to enjoy better quality of life. As we look in the mirror, the same is true and with internal locus of control, each of us can make the trend our friend.

While recently has not been ideal times for Disney vacations, next week we will start to learn what Mickey Mouse can teach us about “Perfecting the Art of Customer Service.” Please show up then…
Bruce Essman
High Definition Impressions (HDI)

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