If you've ever tried to lose weight, quit smoking, train for your first half marathon, or reach some other lofty personal development goal, one thing becomes clear very quickly: establishing new habits is tough stuff.
Chris Boyce feels your pain. He's the CEO at Virgin Pulse, a company partially held by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group that develops mobile and desktop apps aimed at helping workforces develop healthy habits. Its products are similar to those offered by consumer wellness companies--think a mobile feature that gently prods employees to make daily progress toward, say, a financial goal, and a wrist band similar to a Fitbit that tracks activity and sleep habits. But Virgin Pulse aims to compete mainly with wellness programs offered by insurance companies.
Boyce says the difference with Pulse is that it strives to offer something responsive to employees’ desires, rather than prescribing specific actions or participation. And Pulse uses positive reinforcement to help people establish new habits.
Inc. recently caught up with Boyce to discuss a five-pronged approach for making habits stick, regardless of whether you use a wearable device: