Has this ever happened to you?
You start off the week really motivated and determined to exercise every day. This time, it’s for real – you’re not messing around.
The first half of the week goes great – you workout Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Bam.
The second half of the week, it’s not so great – you only workout on Friday. What happened?
There could be a lot of factors, but essentially, they’re all going to fall into one of two buckets.
Let me explain.
When it comes to behavior change, I look at two main components: The tactical and the emotional.
The tactical component is made up of all of the variables that contribute to “good behavioral hygiene” – getting really specific about what you’ll do and when, starting small, upskilling when needed, having a plan for when you miss a day, and so on. (If you want to dive deeper on this topic, I go into detail about the tactical component in this video.)
The emotional component is rooted in a concept called emotional regulation. Essentially, this refers to a person’s ability to feel difficult emotions and still act according to their values. (Again, if you want to dive deeper on this topic, I wrote all about it in this blog post.)
When a desired behavior doesn’t happen, the reason why – along with the remedy – can usually be found by examining these two components.
So, for example, let’s say you want to start spending time writing every day. You create a solid tactical plan: You’ll spend 10 minutes doing “stream of consciousness” writing on your laptop at the kitchen table as you have your 2nd cup of coffee each morning this week.
But, despite this great plan which checks all of the boxes of good behavioral design, you only end up writing two out of the next five days. Why? As it turns out, on the days you didn’t write, your mood was low and you felt really uninspired.
Ah ha. Now we know the component to spend time strengthening: Your ability to act according to your plan despite difficult emotional weather. This is a learned skill and something we can develop.
So, when you find yourself wanting to do something but not following through, try diagnosing the problem through these two lenses.
If you’d like some help, check out The One You Feed Personal Transformation Program in which I work 1-on-1 with people to help them accomplish their goals and make lasting change in their lives.
If the program seems like it might be fit for you, I offer a free 30-minute Personal Transformation Coaching Session.
On this call, you will tell me about the changes you’re looking to make and I will offer you my thoughts on how you might go about doing this. If we’re a match to work together, that will be clear and I never pressure people on these calls. If the program is not right for you, we part as friends and you will have my ideas to consider as you move forward towards your goals.
You can book your call by clicking here.
Creating good habits and changing your behavior is something that we actually know a lot about how to do successfully. If you’ve struggled to make changes in your life, it’s not a character defect on your part. It’s just that you need to get some support and learn some skills that will help you to do the things you know you want to do.
Don’t stay stuck when you could be moving forward in the direction of the life you want to live.
Until next time,