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Monday, March 19, 2012

I've been listening to the audio version of "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg. I've made it through the first third, which is about personal habits. It closely follows some of the same thinking as that illuminated in "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything" by Kerry Patterson et al. One of the core tenets of both is that in order for change to occur, there must be a belief that the change can occur. Without a belief in the ability to change, it's a non-starter. Duhigg's book indicates that one strategy or characteristic of individuals who are able to change their habits is a network or community of individuals who believe, even if and when the person attempting the change does not. For example, a network of individuals in AA who provide support in someone's believing they can overcome their addiction to alcohol. (Or, dare I say, a website of people attempting to lose weight and get healthier.) Even when an individual doesn't believe they can do it, being surrounded by those who do believe they can has the ability to transmit or instill the belief. Perhaps it's a bit of the idea that "belief is contagious." Or, even if I don't trust my own experience or reality, it is harder for me to dispute the reality of the collective - those who have lost weight, or been able to abstain from drinking. Both are interesting books. I do recommend them for some additional insight into leveraging oneself to be successful at change.

I am attempting to create a behavior trigger for when I leave the office after work to go directly to the gym. This will then become a habit. I think my attempting to shift back and forth between getting up in the morning and going, and then going after work on other days, has not helped. I find that if I actually get there, I do the workout. No problem at all. So, the key is getting there. I really don't suffer from lack of motivation. I just feel like I need and want to take it to the next level. By attempting to go every day I may need to scale back my intensity a bit - not lift weights every day, and not do HIIT every day - but I think the overall affect will be beneficial. This will get me off of my 4.3 average per week to more of a 5.5 average, which is where I want to be.

The food is going real well. I've cut out my morning sugar habit SOOOOO well. I am so pleased about that. Saturday was the first day I had donuts in 2 weeks, and I wasn't obsessing about them or anything. It felt completely normal and fine. I am lucky in not being a binge eater in that respect, or those would be my ultimate weakness. I'm finding that when I have healthier snacks around, it's a lot easier to not eat the high sugar stuff. I know. Rocket science.

Once again, thank you everyone for all of the encouragement and support! I appreciate your thoughts and comments. I'll weigh in today for my weekly check-in, and hope it goes well!

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