Humans are great at setting goals, but not nearly as good at attaining them. Why? Countless resources have been dedicated to answering that question in academic fields, including consulting psychology, management, and social psychology. And even those efforts must be dwarfed by the cumulative time spent pondering the question by every human being who set a goal and failed to achieve it.
A 2018 study by Columbia University found that 80% of New Year’s resolutions had failed before the end of February.
Behavior change is complicated and complex because it requires a person to disrupt a current habit while simultaneously fostering a new, possibly unfamiliar, set of actions. This process takes time—usually longer than we prefer.
Motivational interviewing is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.
For all these reasons, the Resiliens clinical and research teams collaborated with an expert in Motivational Interviewing, Dr. Stan Steindl, a Clinical Psychologist an academic and a researcher in Motivational Interviewing and Compassion Focused Therapy. Together they built the MI Coach app to support people with behavior change concerns such has addiction, diet, exercises, life changes etc.
MI Coach is designed for anyone who is considering making a change in their life and wanting to find their motivation. Whether that be everyday changes, such as finding the motivation to do the chores around the house, more significant life changes, such as moving jobs, or specific health behavior changes, such as smoking, drinking, diet, or exercise, MI Coach offer principles and practices to help. The app offers video lessons, practical skills and strategies, exercises and meditations, and daily goal setting and monitoring, all designed to assist people to build the motivation they need to make the changes that are important to them.
MI Coach is rooted in the clinical rigor and evidence-based techniques of Motivational Interviewing (MI). MI is a longstanding approach to helping people change that has been scientifically evaluated over many years and across many behavioral change targets. Many published reviews and meta-analyses support the effectiveness of MI for people trying to make a change.
MI Coach is designed to help people change. There is a behavioral focus on MI Coach outcomes, which are tracked across the period of the program via self-report questionnaires and self-monitoring. It is anticipated that MI Coach will contribute to increasing the user’s confidence, importance, and readiness to change, their commitment to making a change, and the changes themselves.
Learn about motivation, ambivalence, arguments for and against change, how to build confidence and importance for change, and how to make a commitment to change via MI principles, practices, and skills using video lessons and fun animations which help you to remember skills longer.
MI Coach features seven core lessons with over 35 videos and associated exercises. Exercises are interactive and users can complete exercises, enter responses, and return to their responses later. Lessons and exercises can also be taken multiple times.
MI Coach includes a user-friendly daily check in for mood, behavior change measures, habit tracking; summary screens to check your progress; analytics to get insight into your own behavior as you learn new skills; community groups for peer discussion and learning; and the ability to share with therapists and care team.
MI Coach exercises and practice ideas are similar to strategies used in health conversations with a health practitioner skilled in MI. There are over 35 exercises designed to be worked through in a way that motivation builds across the use of the app and culminates in making a commitment to change. You can also see a history of all the exercises that you did in the past to compare. Each of the exercises links directly to lessons and can be alternatively accessed through an Exercises page.
Users can even access their favorites list where they can save exercises, skills, and meditations that they found particularly helpful or use frequently.
Engage with other members of the MI Coach Community via Discussion Groups and Peer Support Groups. Provides a safe area for you to practice and integrate your motivation to change.
Finally, the app integrates with a clinician app. If your therapist is signed up and you are set up to share your diary card and exercises then you don’t have to share via email every week. Your therapist can engage with you in real-time.
Columbia University: The Science Behind Behavior Change
Berkman, E.T. (2018). The neuroscience of goals and behavior change: Lessons learned for consulting psychology. Consulting Psychology Journal, 70, 28-44.
Hettema J, Steel, J, Miller WR. Motivational interviewing. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005;1:91-111.