Learn how to make changes that last in 2020.
Usually, when trying to make a change, we think willpower is the answer.
If we just try harder and be more disciplined, it’ll work this time.
But very often, it doesn’t.
A 2016 study found that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week in February.
Whether we want to give up smoking, start exercising, or commit to a new habit, often we find our best efforts fall to the wayside, and after a few weeks we’re right back where we started.
Worse still, now we feel guilty we’ve ‘failed’ which can make us feel less motivated to try again in the future.
Could it be that most of us are just lazy and irresponsible? Or might it be that we don’t understand how our brains really work and the actual science of changing behaviour? In other words, might our common sense about behaviour change be wrong?
A growing body of research indicates that if we want to make changes that last, willpower is not the answer.
Rather, there are evidence-based approaches now being used every day to help people drop extreme addictions and develop new empowering habits.
So for your New Year’s Resolution this year, what if you tried a different approach? One that was evidence-based and scientifically proven to make changes that last – even in extreme cases?
Might you also get a different result?
On Sunday 26th January 2020, three of the UK’s leading experts on behaviour change will present lectures on:
- Neuroplasticity and Behaviour Change; how past experiences influence your perception, personality and behaviour today, and practical neuroscience-based insights for making the changes you want in your life – Dr Gabija Toleikyte, PhD
- How to Make Changes that Last; the truth about the behavioural, psychological and cultural factors that lead to change, and how you can apply these insights to create lasting changes – Sophie Sabbage
- Placebos and Behaviour Change; the role of unconscious processes in change, and how we can hack the amazing power of placebos for changing behaviour; both on a personal, and societal level – Rory Sutherland
You’ll learn how these unique insights can benefit your own life, but also your ability to help others too.
Want to give this experience as a gift to someone else? Check out our gift vouchers.
- 10:00am – 12:00pm: Neuroplasticity and Behaviour Change – Dr Gabija Toleikyte
- 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
- 1:00pm – 3:00pm: How to Make Changes that Last – Sophie Sabbage
- 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon break
- 3:30pm – 5:00pm: Placebos and Behaviour Change – Rory Sutherland
- 5:20pm – 7:00pm: Attendee Social & Networking (Optional)
Lectures & Speakers
Have you ever come up with amazing New Year’s resolutions such as losing extra weight, starting saving up money, starting your own business, exercising regularly, changing your career, eating much healthier or quitting smoking? You pumped yourself up with great enthusiasm and thought things are going to be very different this year. Fast forward – what happened a month down the line?
If you are like the majority of us, you’ve probably gone back to where you started. We form habits subconsciously without even realising it and yet we often struggle to change them. Although our brains have an enormous ability to change (neuroplasticity), following old habits require much less energy and effort. Also, our brains resist a sudden change and we get emotional conform from following the same old ways. Therefore, creating a lasting behavioural change is not easy.
If you are fed up with this yo-yo effect and want to gradually create a lasting change, then you might want to consider learning from a neuroscientist and performance coach Dr Gabija Toleikyte about what conditions does your brain need to activate neuroplasticity and create a lasting behavioural change.
In this talk you will learn:
- Which parts of the brain are responsible for creating and maintaining old habits?
- Which parts of the brain are required for creating a lasting change?
- What is neuroplasticity and when is it active?
- A brain-based explanation on why we fall back to old habits
- Brain-based practical tips on how to create lasting behavioural changes.
Dr Gabija Toleikyte is a neuroscientist and business coach. She completed her PhD at the University College London on the neuronal basis of memory and navigation. During her PhD, Gabija acquired a business coach qualification and worked as an internal coach at UCL for senior academics and administrative staff.
Combining coaching experience with neuroscience insights allows Gabija to develop unique seminars, where solid neuroscience research is presented in the context of the topics relevant for individuals and organisations.
How to Make Changes that Last – Sophie Sabbage
Sophie Sabbage defines ‘transformation’ as ‘the shift that doesn’t shift back again’, but that word has been so overused and under-delivered it now qualifies as a ‘jargon’ word with little substance or meaning. The personal growth arena is flooded with ‘mindset coaches’ and ‘transformational’ practitioners promising lasting behavioural change. But, in reality, this is a relatively rare accomplishment – one that requires work, courage, commitment and no small amount of pain.
In this session, Sophie will:
– Address why one of the most powerful words in the English language (transformation) has been stripped of its true meaning and power;
– Outline some of the most resisted and neglected factors for lasting change (behavioural, psychological, cultural) that she has discovered in her work with tens of thousands of individuals and some leading organisations;
– Explain why change is often necessarily incremental and why we need to embrace this instead of expecting seismic shifts that human beings are not designed for;
– Highlight some of the shadows being cast by the self-help movement in this area;
– Share personal examples of transforming in response to adversity and of changing slowly, layer by layer, in other areas of her life.
– Provide information about how you can create lasting change in your life AND accept the changes that need to unfold over time (even in our instant gratification culture).
There will then be time for questions, dialogue and a deeper inquiry as a group.
- Sabbage, S (2015) The Cancer Whisperer. London: Hodder
- Sabbage, S (2018) Lifeshocks. London: Hodder
- Action Inquiry, The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership – Professor William Torbert
- Article on same theme: https://hbr.org/2005/04/seven-
- Braving the Wilderness – Brené Brown
- The Untethered Soul – Michael Singer
Sophie is a writer, speaker and transformational facilitator who has worked in the field of human development, mindset transformation and corporate culture change for over twenty years. During that time, she co-founded an award-winning consultancy with her mentor, Dr. K. Bradford Brown, an exceptional psychologist and theologian who was a direct student of Carl Rogers, Viktor Frankl and Alan Watts–three of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century.
Since being diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in October 2014, Sophie has drawn on all her skills, wisdom, courage and tenacity to pull herself back from the brink of death and create her life anew. Instead of going to war with cancer she chose to listen to it, thrive with it and transform her life in response to it. This has included redefining her work so she can continue to be of service within the limits of her illness.
All of Sophie’s work is dedicated to awakening the mind and freeing the spirit through bold, authentic and creative engagement with the challenges of life. You can find out more about her work at www.sophiesabbage.com.
Placebos and Behaviour Change – Rory Sutherland
Why should aspirin be expensive?
Why are branded analgesics more effective?
The psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argues that placebos work by prompting the body to invest more of its limited resources in recovery. He believes that human immune systems evolved for an environment much harsher than the one we are currently living in, so we have evolved capabilities to ‘trick’ our unconscious into believing the conditions for recovery are much more favourable for our immune system to work at full tilt.
The ministrations of doctors (witch or NHS), exotic potions (homeopathic or antibiotic), or the caring presence of relatives and friends can all create this benign illusion. Yet policymakers hate the idea of any solution which involves unconscious processes. If you suggested that the NHS invest more in elaborate drugs packaging, they’d have conniptions.
Too little is spent researching the placebo effect in proportion to its importance. Why is this?
In this talk, Ogilvy Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland will explore how we can hack the amazing power of placebos for changing behaviour; both on a personal, and societal level.
- Sutherland, R (2019) Alchemy, 1st edn., London: WH Allen.
- Rory Sutherland (2019) Alchemy, 1st edn., London: WH Allen.
- Miller, G (2010) Spent, London: Penguin.
- Miller, G (2001) The Mating Mind, London: Vintage.
- Taleb, N (2007) Fooled By Randomness, London: Penguin.
- Beinhocker, E (2007) The Origins of Wealth, London: Random House.
- Ariely, D (2009) Predictably Irrational, New York: Harper.
- Kay, J (2011) Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly, London: Profile Books.
Rory is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK, and the co-founder of a behavioral science practice within the agency. He works with a consulting practice of psychology graduates who look for ‘unseen opportunities’ in consumer behaviour – these are the very small contextual changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make – for instance tripling the sales rate of a call centre by adding just a few sentences to the script.
Before founding Ogilvy’s behavioral science practice, Rory was a copywriter and creative director at Ogilvy for over 20 years, having joined as a graduate trainee in 1988. He has variously been President of the IPA, Chair of the Judges for the Direct Jury at Cannes, and has spoken at TED Global. He writes regular columns for the Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and also occasional pieces for Wired. He is the author of two books: The Wiki Man, available on Amazon at prices between £1.96 and £2,345.54, depending on whether the algorithm is having a bad day, and Alchemy, The surprising Power of Ideas which don’t make Sense, which was published in the UK and US in March 2019.
Rory is married to a vicar and has twin daughters of 17. He lives in the former home of Napoleon III – unfortunately in the attic. He is a trustee of the Benjamin Franklin House in London and of Rochester Cathedral.
What TWU attendees are saying:
Great initiative! For people that like myself are passionate about psychology but wouldn't commit to long term course or training it's a wonderful opportunity to listen to qualified professionals in the area in a relaxed atmosphere.
Just attended my second Weekend University day of lectures at Birkbeck, this time on Memories, Dreams and Existentialism. A great mix of speakers, styles and content which left me wanting to go home and find out more about two out of the three subjects. Fantastic to see Emmy Van Deurzen in action - she's a bit of a heroine of mine! One tip would be to ask the audience to fill up the rows of seats before the start as inevitably some people arrive late (like I did) and it was all a bit chaotic at the back of the auditorium. There were empty seats near the walls but no way to get to them without having four or five people stand up.
Great initiative. Eminent speakers, fascinating talks.
Another amazing day of learning! Thank you Niall.
I just wanted to say what a fabulous day it was on Sunday. The presenters were all highly engaging and the material fascinating. I am ever so grateful to have been able to attend and look forward to any future similar events with 'zest'!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a well organized event with fantastic informative talks by knowledgeable and charismatic speakers. Looking forward to future events.
Great event, 3 fantastic lectures presented
I found the 3 speakers to be extremely well prepared, professional, charismatic, authentic in their delivery of there content. They all had something to share. They were very clear on the "takeaways" which I found in important for such a long day. They all 3 were also very generious in spending time after their talk, to answer more 1-2-1 questions on the side of the room. Very generious. I look forward to future weekend university days.
Just to say that I was so impressed with the quality of the lectures today. It is rare to find that kind of substance, and I imagine you looked long and hard to choose. You are doing a great job. I will definitely come again and tell those I know who would be very interested.
I have attended lots of psychology workshops and would rate this organisation very highly. Interesting, engaging speakers and well run course at an affordable price. Well done Niall. You deserve to do very well
What an intense and heartening day, Jan 28th at Birkbeck U venue. Despite being crowded (testiment to the desire for these events and the calibre) we were comfortable enough to be riveted by the material for hours. I appreciated the free coffee, because the day was long for those like me who come from outside the city. I look forward to the slides being sent to fill out my notes. Fellow audients were warm and attending for a variety of reasons, and are the second fab reason to be there for the day.
Just attended Scientific Behaviour Change - Ancient Wisdom & Modern Psychology and had the most fantastic, enlightening and inspiring day. All three speakers were at a tremendously high level and (to echo the reviewer below) the variety of approaches and theories around a single topic gave great insight. I've already booked for next month.
Today's event was so good, I immediately booked for next one in February!?
The day of Psychology was really insightful, it has inspired me to start researching into all spectrums of mental health & psychology. Something I particularly liked about the day, was the contrast and variety of theories and approaches by each of the three speakers
Interesting lectures on a variety of areas of Psychology and well organised.
A really good mix of topics. I was engaged all day and i'm looking forward to the next one!
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The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience. If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.