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Guest Blog: Hacking Your Habits: Mastering the Force of Habit in Life & Work

All our life is but a mass of habits.” – William James

If you’re reading this, you’re trying to change the world. However, whether it’s changing the lives of others or changing just yourself, I’m certainly not the first person to tell you that Change is difficult.

What good is your miracle diet, killer product, or breakthrough innovation if people can’t stick to it? 90% of us fail at adopting new changes because of one simple yet daunting challenge: they’re unsustainable. Yes if you want to quickly lose 20 pounds for your high school reunion, there are plenty of solutions that will work. But we all know what happens afterwards; 90% of us regain all the weight within the next year. You might contend, “I just need to get more motivation” or “I need to exercise more willpower.” But, we all know that willpower comes and goes without warning; it’s undependable and fickle. Instead, the answer is to apply Habit Design and make behavior change simple, fast, easy, social, and most importantly… habitual

The Science tells us so. Recently, we’ve seen a Cambrian-era explosion of scientific research in Neuroscience, Neuroplasticity, and Behavioral Science. Over the last 10 years, Scientists have learned more than in the previous 80, leading us to some incredible new insights into behavior change. Our organization – Habit Design.org – is the first and largest research cooperative for sharing science-based, clinically tested best practices in developing sustainable daily habits that last beyond 100 days. We’ve organized hundreds of “habit labs” around the world with over 10,000 members who have participated representing 500+ companies, universities, non-profits, and other organizations. We’ve been featured by The New York Times, ABC News, the BBC, TEDMED, and were just recently selected as a ASTD Breakthrough Innovation showcase.

We synthesize applied research across a wide range of “habit designers” including entrepreneurs, Wellness companies & professionals, non-profits, trainers, coaches, academics, and everyday enthusiasts. Some of the methods, tools, & frameworks we’ve covered include Behavior-Change Psychology, Captology (Persuasive Technology), Game Mechanics & Techniques, Behavioral Economics, Sociology, etc. Colleagues that have integrated their research with ours include Dr. BJ Fogg (Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab), Leo Babauta (Zenhabits.net), New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg (author of “The Power of Habit”), Dr. David Sobel (Kaiser Permanente), Dr. Kelly McGonigal (Stanford), and many, many others. By integrating these crowdsourced best-practices, we advance shared innovation in our community and increase everyone’s understanding of sustainable behavior change.

We’re thrilled to now bring Habit Design for the first time to Boulder, in collaboration with Impact Hub Boulder’s Workbench series! If you or your organization is passionate about sustainable, behavior change, we hope you’ll join us on Wednesday (9/18) evening for a workshop revealing our latest research and learn hands-on techniques and methods for designing positive, sustainable daily habits for your communities, your company, or just yourself. We hope this will spark a local meetup-based community that can integrate their research on a recurring basis.

RSVP ASAP as space is limited: http://www.meetup.com/BoulderHabitDesign/events/133406702/ Hope to see you then! In the meantime, please check us out at http://habitdesign.org. Also, here’s a short intro lecture I gave to Stanford Medical School that will give you some more juicy insights into what we’ll be sharing at the event.

 

About the Author: The son of a former CU Sociology Professor and briefly a CU Buff, Michael Kim is the CEO and Founder of Habit Design.org and has helped design and launch over a dozen new ventures through product management and operational leadership with high-tech companies ranging from startups and worldwide agencies to Fortune 100 companies.

As a former Microsoft executive, Michael was appointed by Microsoft’s CPO to design and lead planning for Microsoft’s first consumer venture incubator, reporting into Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Some of these ventures have reached over $600 Million in revenue and 100+ Million subscribers such as XBox LIVE Marketplace, XBox KINECT, Nike+, Pixelsense, MSN Mobile, BizTalk, and the Facebook Developer Platform. Michael has driven complicated strategic partnerships & acquisitions with companies as diverse as TellMe (Microsoft’s largest acquisition at the time), Dell, MasterCard, Disney, Viacom, WPP, eBay, LinkExchange, and many others. He has also helped raise over $200 Million in corporate venture investment.

Prior to Microsoft, Michael served as a Policy Advisor to the White House; Technical Assistant to IBM’s Chief Scientist and Director of Harvard’s Center for Science & International Affairs; and advisor to Facebook, Google, Samsung, Amazon, AT&T & others. He holds degrees from Harvard and Yale universities focusing on disruptive innovation and social platforms and was selected as a CORO Foundation and IRTS Foundation Fellow.

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