The clients I work with have one thing in common: they are seeking change, whether it’s professional or personal. Yet even when their motivation is strong, my clients often struggle to alter their existing behavior. Why is this?

Researchers out of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University have identified 10 mistakes people make when trying to change their behavior:

  1. They rely on willpower for long-term change.
  2. They attempt big leaps instead of baby steps.
  3. They ignore how their environment shapes their behavior.
  4. They try to stop old behaviors instead of creating new ones.
  5. They blame their failures on lack of motivation.
  6. They underestimate the power of triggers (no behavior happens without a trigger).
  7. They believe that information leads to action.
  8. They focus on abstract goals more than concrete behaviors.
  9. They seek to change a behavior forever, not for a short time (see #2).
  10. They assume that behavior change is difficult (it’s not hard when you have the right process).

You can successfully change your behavior only when you identify what triggers the unwanted actions. From there, you must focus on creating new habits instead of stopping the old habits.

Through coaching, I help my clients unlock their potential to change. By creating specific action plans to address your needs, you can get past the mistakes listed above — to transform your behavior and attain your goals.

Here’s a snapshot of how I help my clients push through these barriers:


About Regan Walsh

Regan Walsh is an executive and life coach from Columbus, Ohio, who helps people craft strategic plans for their lives. She meets with clients all over central Ohio, and connects with them via phone and Skype all over the world.

One Response to “How to overcome pitfalls and create lasting change”

  1. Ann

    So true, Regan, all of it. I especially live the underestimation of triggers piece. Probably, I’ll need a tattoo.


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