Weight Watchers has been one of (if not the most)successful weight loss programs around. If you dig into the process behind Weight Watchers, you'll see that the program is built on three central concepts. Easy. Rewarding. Normal. Because of this, it actually changes habits instead of incentivizing temporary, short term improvements. But, if you stray from one of these pillars, you will have an ineffective solution.
For something to be easy, means that an individual already has the skills and understanding necessary to follow through on the desired behavior. When something is actually easy, there's no need to drastically change one’s current processes and routines. For example, look at the structure of the Weight Watchers program compared to other weight loss programs. Most weight loss programs are restrictive in nature. You can’t eat bread, carbs, sugar, etc. This goes completely against the first pillar of making things easy. What Weight Watchers does differently is say that you can eat whatever you want (providing flexibility as opposed to dictating), as long as you stay within a certain number of points for the day. This is easy for someone to implement and understand. No having to read labels for the amount of sugar or asking whether something has a particular ingredient. Technology makes this easier as all you have to do is input what you eat to monitor your points.
How Wela makes budgeting easy: We've implemented this same concept into our Daily Spend Limit. With one simple number, there's no more categorizing your budget into coffee, gas, shoes, etc. Your daily spend limit combines all of these together ultimately giving you flexibility. So, just like weight watchers makes it easy for you to diet, Daily spend limit makes it easy for you to budget.
It must be rewarding. The results of the actions that you are pushing someone to take must provide them results that are valuable to them. The value can be felt physically, emotionally or in practicality. They must get a reward that they desire, not that you want for them. Weight Watchers accomplishes this in many different ways. First, think about how they engage their participants. They allow you to use an app to scan barcodes or input meals/foods to get an instant understanding of the number of points that particular food/meal would be. You get this emotional reward right away as you determine whether or not you can eat the food. Doing this stimulates individuals from an emotional and instantly gratifying standpoint. Secondly, though, you are seeing the rewards you want (losing weight) on a weekly basis via the weekly weigh ins they recommend. And the Weight Watchers program provides a community of others to help keep you motivated through the process.
How Wela makes budgeting rewarding: Daily spend limit rewards you by allowing you to do more with your money. Who says you can't save for retirement while also taking a trip to the Grand Canyon? As your daily spend limit adjusts with each transaction, you can spend and save at the same time with confidence. All the while, instantly knowing where you stand and how to proceed.
Lastly, the desired behavior/process must be normal. The actions it takes to change a behavior must be similar to actions that others like them take. Or that people that they want to be like take. It's increasingly difficult for a process or tool to be effectively used if someone feels like they're the odd man out when using it. Weight Watchers accomplishes normalcy by giving you the flexibility by making sure you're still able to go out to eat with your coworkers at work instead of awkwardly declining because of your diet.
How Wela makes budgeting normal: With your daily spend limit always in your pocket, you'll never have to stop and think at a restaurant, "Have I used all of my 'eating out' budget for the month?" Daily Spend limit gives you the peace of mind by allowing you to still experience life with your friends and not having to necessarily worry about acting differently or becoming a hermit. Just like weight watchers allows you to not worry about eating out with your buds, daily spend limit allows you to not worry about getting FOMO while your friends experience life.
To create a process that gives you the opportunity of success, a program or process must follow each of the above cornerstones. To allow individuals to maintain the changed behaviors after the initial process you must compliment the cornerstones with the right tools for individuals. This ultimately helps them to learn a new behavior.
As you can see, Weight Watchers has many attributes that have made the company successful and the weight loss program the best weight loss program on the market today. But at the core of the program, you can see the cornerstones that were implemented into the plan to position the program for longer term success relative to peers.
That’s what we’re doing with daily spend limit. It’s an easy to understand and implementable solution. While rewarding people with an ability to experience more, save more and invest more. And throughout the entire process providing this solution in a way that is normal. This allows them to fit in, while also allowing them to separate themselves from their peers by effectively improving their financial situation over time.