Habits and Addictions Are The Same
This is crazy, but did you know that less than 50% of people who intend to begin healthier behaviors actually follow through….
Less than 50%.
Which means only half of us, at best, will actually follow through with changes to our diet.
And that’s not meant to discourage you, it’s meant to build awareness in you.
It’s called the intention-behavior gap and the reason this alarming percentage exists is because people have a big gap between their intentions and their actual behaviors.
See, all those people DO actually intend to make changes in their health and nutrition or training.
They want it, honestly.
But their behaviors do not match up with this.
Well, first of all… the processes in your brain that control habits are very similar to those of addiction.
And it makes sense; habits are pretty damn hard to break.
Good or bad.
This means in order to start following through with our intentions, we need to first start replacing (not eliminating) bad habits with good ones.
Because it’s often those bad habits that derail us from making good actions (which are associated with those good intentions).
Remember that breaking bad or old habits is much harder than weight loss is.
Next we need to set specific goals that are meaningful to ourselves.
In fact, research shows that goals based on social pressure or other peoples ideals are less likely to be achieved and less likely to be satisfying.
AND…. Research also shows that intentions based on personal beliefs or goals are a better predictor of successful behavior change than social pressure or goals based on others opinions.
What does this mean?
It means that science even shows us that you will be more successful if you base your intentions and actions on YOUR own goals, not on what you think “they” want you to do or what goals “they” have for themselves.
After this, comes education.
The reality is that we do need systems based on evidence (research) in order to get from point A to point B.
I always use the analogy of a GPS…
Imagine if you got in your car and just typed in “Kansas”…
Or even better, East Coast.
Well… you’d get there, but is it actually where you want to go?
The exact destination?
Probably not. And you won’t have any specific knowledge on how to get to “your cousin Leroy’s house”, either.
You need an exact address and an exact road map, showing you every turn around the way.
SO THAT… you can actually learn the path to your destination.
And next time, you probably won’t need a GPS – because you learned.
Lastly, you need to put in the work.
Neither self discipline or willpower are infinite.
Which means you’re not just going to continue “staying strong” infinitely… at least not at first; some will suggest you do build this up as a skill over time, which I would agree with.
But right now?
It’s not there.
And in order for you to stay strong, have discipline, being restrictive when it’s needed and flexible when it’s allowed…
To continually DO THE WORK day in and day out…
You need accountability.
Accountability is what pushes you to consistently put in the work, which is our final piece of the puzzle in seeing success and NOT falling into the percentile of people who suffer from the intention-behavior gap.
You’re going to get what you set out to get and do what you said you’d do.