“Every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought. ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle..'” -Sun Tzu. The Art of War
Psychologists say we have one brain but two minds. I’ll help you understand both – their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies so you will be able to win every willpower battle. When armed with practical strategies, we are all capable of change. Most programs tell you what to do. They fail to address the hardest aspect of behavior change, not repeating past behavior. Our program provides practical techniques for interrupting bad habits and replacing them with good ones.
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 promotes better health. For example, drinking alcohol or consuming junk food can relieve our stress, but it isn’t a good solution. Taking a 5-minute walk or 2-minutes of mindful breathing is more effective and contributes to better 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 you master a new behavior, you won’t drain your mental or emotional reserves. The more ingrained a habit is, the less willpower or motivation we need to do them. It is a fantastic system that conserves our mental and emotional energies.
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 feeling stressed, the more automated the behavior becomes. Taking a walk becomes our default solution. A positive Default-Solution is a huge blessing since we tend to fall back on default decisions when stressed out.
We all know what we should and 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 our psychology. 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 everyone who is attempting to lose weight is motivated to some extent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be making any effort at all.