Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation in our lives in which we want a change: the way we eat, the physical activity we do or the way we seek to promote projects and goals.
Three experts from Stanford University offer research-backed advice to start taking steps to help with these vital changes. These are lifestyle habits that are simple because they go unnoticed, so they are really easy to introduce into your daily life.
Think like a designer
Bill Burnett, a professor at Stanford University and co-author with Dave Evans of the book Designing Your Life, teaches a course at this center that became legendary for applying the principles of design to help people create lives. meaningful and satisfying.
Bet on healthy rivalry, one of the pieces of advice. (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Through exercises and reflections, it aims to guide students and readers so that they are encouraged to experiment with different options and adopt a practical approach to the design of their lives. When approaching an important decision, Burnett recommends some of the tools of his trade:
Decision Prototyping: Burnett and Evans promote the concept of prototyping different options before making an important decision. This involves creating “life prototypes” through hands-on experimentation, such as talking to people who have jobs or lifestyles similar to the ones you are considering. Prototyping decisions allows you to obtain practical and experiential information before committing to a specific option. Design mindsets: Using a design approach involves adopting certain mindsets, such as curiosity, integrative thinking, and experimentation. These mindsets can be especially helpful when facing difficult decisions, as they help you maintain an open and flexible mindset, exploring multiple options and considering various perspectives before making a decision. Iteration and flexibility: Likewise, when facing difficult decisions, it is It is important to recognize that your choices are not final and that you can adjust your course in the future if necessary. Staying open to flexibility and adaptability can help you make difficult decisions with greater confidence.Reflection and evaluation: Part of the life design process involves reflecting on your experiences and evaluating what is working and what is not. When faced with difficult decisions, taking time to reflect on your values, goals, and priorities can provide you with a solid foundation to make an informed decision aligned with what really matters.
Bet on healthy rivalry
Szu-chi Huang is a marketing professor at Stanford University Business School and, in her research, she looked at what types of reinforcements help us most reach the goal. In this sense, she showed that, although positive feedback such as a pat on the back motivates us to implement a goal, it is more likely that, in the end, it will be negative feedback that motivates us to achieve it.
The expert points out: “Without a doubt, competition increases motivation. It makes reaching the goal more valuable.” Therefore, she suggests that we take advantage of friendly support when we begin to pursue a goal, but that later we lean towards competitiveness – also friendly – to have more desire to achieve it.
Do it, even if it's not perfect
Marily Oppezzo is a learning and behavioral scientist and medical instructor at Stanford University's Prevention Research Center, where she counsels faculty and staff through its wellness programs. In her work, she addresses the old concept that “the best is the enemy of the good,” in the sense that aiming for perfection can keep us from even beginning to walk toward a goal.
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Therefore, it emphasizes the importance of doing something, a “good enough” version of our goals. Some people, when they can't reach their goal, put blinders on and try not to think about it. Instead, he proposes being aware of where our goal is and trying to take a step, even a small one, towards it. “With this you are giving your brain some practice, some mental participation, and you are helping to create that habit that you are beginning to develop,” he said.