At Actionable we have analyzed 1000s of commitments – defined as a learner’s habit or new behavior they would like to implement as outlined in Actionable’s Habit Builder framework. This analysis reveals many things, chief among them: the importance of relevance.
Relevance in this context is learners having a strong “why” behind their commitment, or, what we might call the “reward”. A reward in our language is the answer to the question “What will be the benefit of establishing this new habit?”
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We encourage learners to identify a reward to help them consider the impact of the established habit and to help anchor them to a desired future state.
While we can’t know how meaningful a specific reward is to a participant in the platform, we can look at word count to get a general idea of how detailed the word count is.
What we see in the platform is that participants who write longer rewards are more likely to continue to engage with their commitments.
Not only are participants more likely to engage with their change commitments when they have longer reward statements but they’re also more likely to realize a greater overall change. Rewards don’t have to be incredibly long. However, rewards that are very short have been associated with lower rating changes for users. Rewards with 15 or more words see, on average a 15% higher rating change than rewards with fewer than 5 words.
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Examples of rewards from the Actionable Habit Builder can be seen below:
If we assume that reward length directly correlates with depth of thought and emotional resonance, we can interpret that facilitators will have a measurable impact on participants’ success by coaching participants to craft a reward statement that is thought through and articulate. Reflection activities, one-on-one coaching, or simply carving out focused time to consider the fulsome reward will directly correlate to behavior change outcomes.
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