Let's be honest. All of us have gone on a diet and quit after just a couple of days. Did you know that the most successful diets have the same basic 3 or 4 meals repeated over and over? Or that exercise programs that begin with 1 minute or less of a single, simple activity have as much as a 300% greater participation rate after 1 year than does one that GIVES participants a FREE gym membership. What's happening is a phenomenon that most people miss, especially in their own behaviors. Habits are much stronger than willpower.
If you want to make significant changes in your behavior, you much change that which drives your behavior. That driver is your habits, not your willpower. The truth is it is not difficult to modify or change your habits IF the changes are small and consistently performed. The correct changes can produce extremely large and satisfying results beginning almost immediately. The PouchPlan is specifically designed to take advantage of this habit changing power by the use of small and consistent actions on your part.
Once you have followed the plan through 3 or 4 payroll cycles (typically 3-5 weeks), you will have the foundation of a new habit. Now is the time to reward yourself in order to establish the habit as a permanent behavior. A second cycle of 3-5 weeks will “fix” the habit in your life. A reward will show you that the hope you had in the beginning is not being deferred, but instead being realized. Let me give you an example that I have seen put into action.
Nearly 100 million Americans cannot write a check for an unexpected expense of $400 without going into debt or suffering financial disruption in their day to day living. A goal of “B”, a single mom and new PouchPlan user, was to get out of that group. She decided she could budget $30.00 per week into her emergency fund and accomplish that feat in 3 months. After 4 weeks she had saved $120.00 but was finding the PouchPlan “hard”. “Hard” should be an early warning signal that something is going to require more willpower, which we know is a bad plan usually destined for failure. We suggested a reward for her true success.
“B” agreed to our suggestion, moved $20.00 from her emergency fund and took her 5 year old and 2 year old to Braum’s for ice cream cones. They stopped by a Redbox for a movie and a corner grocery for microwave popcorn and cold drinks on their way home. She spent $17.83 in total. “B” related to us later that it was a life changing experience. She no longer looked at the savings plan as something that “took” from her, but something that “gave” to her. It gave her a date night with the most important people in her life. A night with no regrets or worries, just the pure satisfaction of loving on her children. She continued with this adjustment for the next 3 months.
The results were awesome. After 4 months “B” had $430.00 in her emergency fund and had permanently established 2 new habits: The PouchPlan and a monthly date night with her children. She says she is not giving up either! ( I want to update you on where she is now. “B” has almost $1,000 in savings and made small changes to her PouchPlan which allowed her to do date nights with her children every other Friday.) If you want to make a new life, make new habits.