To create a healthy life we need a healthy mindset. A healthy mindset comes by developing the ability to create new healthy habits as your body and life changes.
Habits are behaviors that we repeat regularly and tend to do automatically and subconsciously.
To change a habit, we simply need to repeat the same thing over and over again, until our brain recognizes the pattern and creates specific neural pathways to account for the pattern and thus stores it for future repetition.
The problem is that repetition is not that simple
It happens constantly – “I know I should change.” I want to change.” “I don’t change.”
Why does this happen?
Many would argue that it is a simple lack of will power. You didn’t change because you did not try hard enough or you did not want it bad enough. However, this is a faulty assumption called the Will Power Trap. This trap leads people to fail to change because they exclude many other factors that affect habit change.
These “other” factors are called the “Sources of Influence” and there are 6 of them:
- Personal Motivation: the want to change
- Personal Ability: the physical, mental, or emotional ability to change
- Social Motivation: support and encouragement from those around you to change
- Social Ability: having other people provide help, information, coaching, and resources to support the change
- Structural Motivation: the reward or incentive that encourages repetition
- Structural Ability: your environment makes the good habit easy and the bad habit hard
Thus, by failing to account for all the sources, you could have all the will power in the world but you may still be fighting an uphill battle because of the 5 additional sources pulling against you.
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