MINDRAMP has found that successful programs and personal plans tend to follow what we call the MEDES© Approach. This is an acronym that stands for Motivation, Education, Design, Evaluation and Sustainability. In other words, successful programs for behavior change motivate and educate their participants in ways that help them design and implement concrete and effective strategies. These strategies must be regularly evaluated and adjusted to make sure they are working to insure that they can be sustained for whatever time period is necessary. The same is true for any project to promote brain health and wellbeing.
Simply knowing what to do and why it should be done is a good start, but it isn’t enough. If good intentions were enough we would all follow through on our New Year’s resolutions. But, we don’t. Making sure that we actually follow through on our good intentions is a complex matter that involves, motivation, will power, grit, perseverance and a plan. In other lessons we will discuss all of these important considerations, but for right now the most important point is that our chances of cultivating true and lasting wellbeing requires A PLAN.
Or, more accurately, we need a series of interconnected plans. We need to develop a series of individual strategies that address specific and uniquely personalized aspects of wellbeing and must organize them into an overall strategic plan.
The cornerstone of The Better Brains by Design Approach© is the ability to take good, scientifically valid evidence and translate it into ACTION. For years, MINDRAMP has been collecting research about how to promote brain health and, more recently, about how to promote happiness and wellbeing. Our primary strategy has been to select and synthesize the best information and to share it with the general public in easy to understand language. But, we have come to realize that providing good advice is not enough. To really make change happen — to really help people craft long lives worth living — we had to develop a simple, easy-to-follow system to help people develop and implement personalized lifestyle strategies. The Better Brains By Design series explains this system and explores a variety of important concepts that support the successful implementation of the lifestyle strategies.