Cracking the behavior code

Perception drives behavior which drives your habits. Adaptions means behavior change.

Shape behavior by applying the principles of behavior change – Our habits are subconscious programs that we act out every day for all the good and for all the bad. Building your new identity, either as a Tour Guide or as a player, is the most effective way to shift your perspective and change your life. Computers have hardware and software. Humans do too. Making and breaking habits (changing the code) in your kids is achievable with consistent hard work. LAF is a tool to make that work easier.

Goal setting – Pick your targets wisely. Start small and start now with something achievable. Define and track your successes. Get started is most important, Then build up your history of taking action with lots of repetition. Process goals like working out twice per week should be combined with product goals like losing 5 pounds. Most people do not achieve their goals because they do not have goals. Find nudges which provide big returns for little energy output. Don’t spread yourself too thin by making too many targets or ones that are too difficult. Consider unorthodox targets for skill acquisition like waiting in line, gaining attention, or making smooth transitions.

Key performance indicators – Track your results

High P, low P.

Breaking habits – Know the behavior’s function and find a replacement that serves the same function. Starve our the reinforcement. Change your environment and start a new identity. Be the kind of guy who does what you wish you were doing.

Prompts & cues – Make it easier to be successful. Only prompt as much as necessary and no more than that. Bigger prompts for learning new skills and smaller prompts for more familiar tasks. Use visual schedules and leading questions.

Manipulate your environment – Put your gym bag near the door. Take temptations out of your line of sight. Have your own space for your LAF sessions. Move that plate of cookies from the kitchen table to the pantry behind closed doors.

Relationships and role-models

Preventing fires – Set the scene for the behavior that you want to see. Understand the triggers for your kid’s behavior. Give them a visual schedule to follow and some choices when appropriate.

Establishing boundaries – People are often too tactical and sporadic with their consequences because they do not have a system. The inconsistency invites power struggles and creates uncertainty in your child’s mind. This creates extra anxiety and makes things seem more personal when maintaining boundaries with your kids.

Reinforcement – Internal rewards and external rewards. You need a reinforcement to punishment ratio of at least 4 to 1 if not higher. Contrive opportunities for them to be successful which you then reinforce. This builds their history of success and associates you with positive feelings that stem from the reward. Make sure to give credit where credit is due. Reinforcement comes in many forms from praise, to tangible goods, breaks, and status.

Premack principle – You need to know your order of operations. First work, then play.

Pavlovian conditioning – Learning by association. Associations between events, the participants, the location, and the emotions all become internalized and part of our nervous system.

Find a replacement behavior