Why You Do What You Do

Do you ever ask yourself this question: “Why do I do what I do?”

Unfortunately, I ask myself that question more often that I care to, but recently I have found myself gaining clarity on the WHY behind my WHAT…

Do you find yourself setting goals, staying committed for a while, then falling back into old behavior? 

Welcome to my life and if this is you; I’m thinking you, and I are not in the minority.

For some time, I saw the scales creeping upward. I would make deals with myself, get committed then voila, like magic, I’d be back to where I was… eating things that tasted good but weren’t good for me.

This isn’t a post about dieting or weight loss, sorry!

(Well, maybe it is!)

I knew I was out of control in my eating. I used to be a mostly vegetables, no sweets, lean meat kind of gal. Over the years, eating became a social thing for me. If I was working or alone, I was still a healthy eater (or no eater at all). However, when going out to dinner or having guests, all those good habits flew out the window. And because I love people and socializing, there were more opportunities to, well … eat socially!

I recently signed up for an app, which uses psychology to increase awareness, change behaviors and build habits. For those of you that know me, you can see why the app resonated with me…. these are actually the three pillars of my coaching practice.

I signed up for three months for a reasonable fee. I was hoping that what I had to lose in pounds would be well worth the price I was paying for it.

As you know, there is no one size fits all weight loss plan. This one requires discipline, commitment and willingness to change behavior.

Each day for the last 25 days, I have recorded every single thing I have put in my mouth. It’s interesting the games I wanted to play with myself… this is only 4 ounces instead of 6… or condiments don’t really count… or, or, or…. but I forced myself to accurately record everything, even if it was ugly or painful.

The system really doesn’t focus on calories even though there is an estimated goal and a suggested weight loss range for the day. It starts with a short quiz that has you identify goals, upcoming events, and how you would feel IF you lost the weight you want to lose.

Once you enter the food (extremely easy), the system categorizes them into green, yellow and orange.  You begin to see what foods are in each category and my subconscious (okay, my competitive nature) began to strive to stay within the recommended amount for each level. NO food is off limits. You are the driver.

You are asked to commit to reading or listening to tips (you decide how long each day – I chose 5-8 minutes), to logging meals, and weighing in (you decide the frequency). There is no guilting or punishment… it is a positive, free-will-based system.

Exercise is optional… great strategy as the bar for entry stares at you each day as you log in your food, and yes, I am trying to increase exercise slightly each day, and as of last week… I added chair yoga….

Back to the WHY you do WHAT you do.

The app describes the process that leads to our actions. Again, 100% applicable to coaching…. The first step is TRIGGER, the next is THOUGHT, the third is ACTION, and the last is CONSEQUENCE.

Think about an example (it may be eating, personal or work related) …

Here’s one example that you might be able to identify with:  

  • Your boss gives you adjusting feedback – TRIGGER
  • That voice on your shoulder begins to tell you you’re a failure… you need to be looking for another job – THOUGHT
  • You get angry, you’re out to show the boss, your emotions take over… you might even start looking for another job – ACTION
  • People begin to notice a change in you, some might ask you what’s wrong… your team begins to feel they are failures because you are leading them differently… your boss thinks there’s something up with you and if you ARE looking for another job… that angry, I’ll-show- you attitude is apparent in every interview you have – CONSEQUENCE

Well, how did that scenario work… not so good, huh?

By heightening awareness, hitting the “pause” button, identifying and reflecting on our TRIGGERS, we have an opportunity to prevent that negative THOUGHT from even forming.

If prevention escapes you, don’t panic!

You still have an opportunity to hit the “pause” button before taking ACTION…  while asking yourself what is reality… and/or if your mind is just playing tricks on you… and what is the appropriate action to take (or is it no action at all?).

Okay, THIS time you sabotaged yourself; there is an unintended CONSEQUENCE… Don’t let it be the TRIGGER to send you back into this downward spiral. STOP!

Reading this post has already heightened your awareness.  The next step is changing behavior.

Come on, join me … your best self is waiting!!

Like what you’ve just read? Sign up now and get JC’s Corner emailed to you every month at no charge. Just send your name and email address to success@jmclark.com and we’ll add you to our subscriber list.

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