For us to be able to develop good habits, we must first understand the psychology of behavior change. Psychologists say we have one brain but two minds. You will learn about both – their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies so you will be able to win every battle. You will learn how to overcome intense cravings and develop healthy eating habits. We are all capable of great change when we are armed with effective strategies that address our psychology. Most programs tell you what to do. They fail to address the hardest aspect of behavior change; not repeating what you have done in the past. Our program provides practical techniques for interrupting bad habits and replacing them with good ones.
Lasting change begins and ends with our habits. We become what we repeatedly do. Anyone can get in shape. It does not require talent. It requires the adoption of healthy habits. Every habit, good or bad, is a solution to a reoccurring problem. The key is to identify the problem we are currently solving with unhealthy behavior and replace it with one that contributes to our health instead. For example, drinking alcohol or consuming junk food can relieve our stress temporarily, but it isn’t a good solution. Taking a 5-minute walk or 2-minutes of mindful breathing can more effectively relieve our stress and contribute to our health. If we develop the habit of drinking or eating junk food instead of meditating or walking, we have a short-term solution that is a long-term problem.
A bad habit is a detrimental default solution to a reoccurring problem. A good habit is a better solution to the same problem. Taking a walk to relieve our stress is a better solution that will contribute to our long-term health. Both good habits and bad habits are learned and reinforced through repetition. Repetition is the learning language of the basal ganglia. What the primitive brain lacks in cognitive ability, it makes up for with efficiency. Once a behavior is learned, it can be executed without draining our mental or emotional reserves. The more ingrained the habit, the less willpower or motivation we need to execute them. I will explain why this characteristic, when applied to good habits, is hugely beneficial.
Our prefrontal cortex is a powerful problem-solving machine, but it is an energy hog that exhausts quickly. Our basal ganglia, in contrast, is an inexhaustible learning machine, that is conditioned through repetition. All our habits reside in our basal ganglia. The more conditioned we are to take a 5-minute walk when we are feeling stressed, the more automated the behavior becomes. Taking a walk becomes our default solution. This is a huge blessing since we tend to fall back on default decisions when we feel stressed. Of course, if we have conditioned our basal ganglia, to reach for the bottle instead, this is a huge problem.
We all know what behaviors need to change. We all know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t be doing. It isn’t that we don’t know the mechanics of weight loss. Our problem is turning to ineffective strategies that ignore what we know about the psychology of behavior change and habit formation. It’s easy to tell someone what to do. Most programs work if you follow them, but that is the problem. Most people that struggle to form healthy habits fail to translate desire into action. It is easy to say, “you have got to want it,” and it is true, but every one that is attempting to lose weight is motivated to some extent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be making any effort at all.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”— John C. Maxwell