Archive for October, 2010

Break It Down to Build It Up: Behavior Elements

Rarely does anyone succeed at changing all of their less-than-ideal behaviors in one fell swoop. When people attempt to do everything correctly for their health and fitness all at once , it often leads to failure. And when they fail, it leads to discouragement and that leads to “I can’t do it!”

The path to sustainable change is to address one piece of the puzzle at a time. Sit down and list the behaviors that you know are not helping your cause of greater health and fitness. (for some of us , that could be a very long list :-))

Now, for each behavior, list what it will take to change it for the better. i.e. I need to work out at a health club, so, 1) I need to locate clubs around me, 2) I need to determine which of those clubs have the programs that I’m interested in, 3) I need to purchase a membership, 4) I need to pack my work out clothes, and 5) I need to go and work out.  Some of the initial steps to starting to work out can be stumbling blocks that slow us down in “getting around to it”.  That’s when this breakdown of each behavior can get us going and help us create momentum. At the first element level, it becomes harder to find reasons to not do it. i.e. locating a health club near you – <5 min by internet. Do this for each behavior that needs to change.

Which of the behaviors should you start with? There are two theories on that (well, maybe more, but these are the two I know).

– Start with the one that will make the greatest difference in your health and fitness. This way will show results faster. Or…

– Start with the quickest and easiest. While this doesn’t get you results quite as fast, it does help create a sense of accomplishment and, as with breaking the behaviors down, it’s a way of creating change momentum.

 In order to change behaviors, sometimes it takes breaking them down to their elements to see the path toward building better ones.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of help.

Best wishes, Mark Nutting

10/30/2010 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment


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