"Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment."
~Proverbs 4:7 NLT
Of all of the topics pertaining to weight loss and fitness, my favorite thing to study is the science of motivation. Why? Because I know from personal experience that knowing does not always equate with doing. I knew that baked was better than fried, that water was a 100 times better than soda, and that bringing lunch from home was a much better call than eating fast food every day. I knew better, but that knowledge did not inspire me to do better (at least not at first). For 8 years, I kept doing the same old thing over and over and over again. Can you identify?
The cold hard truth: Many times we know exactly what we should be doing. We just don't do it.
The question is...WHY?
Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit, sheds light on the subject. He contends:
"Most of the choices we make each day may feel like they are products of well-considered decision-making, but they are not. They are habits."
Did you catch that? Most (about 60-70%) of the time, we are NOT consciously making decisions. Nope. We are simply operating on auto-pilot. That explains a lot, doesn't it? If I were to boil it all down, my main problem is that I am sleepwalking through my decisions, so much so that they are not really decisions at all!
Charles goes on to say something really powerful: changing the unwanted behavior starts with identifying the cue(s).
According to Duhigg, cues tend to fall into one of five buckets
• Location (ex. at work)
• Time of day (ex. 3 pm or after lunch)
• Emotions and Feelings (ex. tired)
• Social Environment (ex. co-workers that are food pushers)
• Preceding Action (ex. someone offered me a cookie)
So for the rest of the week, I challenge you to start paying more attention to your location, the time of day, any emotions or feelings you are experiencing, your social environment, and what happened immediately before you felt the urge to cheat on your diet or skip the gym.
My clients that take these types of exercises seriously experience breakthrough. I believe it is possible for you too.
Write notes in your journal the rest of the week and let me know what you learn!
Until next time,
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!