If I go to Wawa, Then I will buy a protein shake…If I don’t have food in the house, then I will buy a Cobb Salad from Giant… When I turn the shower on in the morning, then I will do 5 pushups while the water heats up… When I get to my office, I will Meditate using Headspace before I open my laptop…
…What you just read is the single most powerful tool to facilitate behavior change and they are called Implementation Intentions, and they are a part of the 21 Day Rapid Weight Loss program we have for clients here at Gage Strength Training (Want info on that? Scroll to the bottom of this post to click the button)
Hundreds of studies have been done on this method, and the consensus is that using this strategy can lead to a significant change in behavior- More significant than any other behavioral intervention studied.
Implementation Intentions are simple, it’s essentially taking the time to think about future events and planning your response to them, and the reason your trainers haven’t told you about these is because you don’t have to spend any money, or need a professional to do it!
Weight loss comes down to habits.
A Habit is a behavior that is repeated so many times that the brain automatically responds with it at the time it typically appears.
If you have a habit of eating ice cream at night, it’s because you’ve done it enough times that your brain responds to a certain trigger with the craving for Ice Cream.
If you have a habit of checking your phone first thing in the morning and getting sucked into a social media rabbithole, it’s because you’ve done that enough times that your brain automatically does it each morning.
To make a new habit means to start behaving differently during those moments… But the truth is that its HARD to do that because our brains perform our bad habits without us knowing.
The magic behind Implementation Intentions is in the fact that your brain has trouble differentiating between a THOUGHT and an actual physical event… So just THINKING about a future event and writing down your response to it, to the brain, is the same as actually doing it.
It’s like laying the groundwork between Stimulus and Response and deciding how you’ll respond.
I won’t go any further into why this works, but it does and if you want to make a change to your body, lose weight, follow a diet, or stick to a workout plan it’s time to get Pen to paper, and write down how you’ll respond to things that will happen in the next few weeks… So here’s your 3 step guide to weight loss.
Awareness. We’re lying to ourselves if we think that the next 30 days will be perfect and we won’t face any obstacles when it comes to working out and eating clean. Just because we want to lose weight doesn’t mean we won’t crave sweets, our kids schedules won’t have us spending every waking moment busy shuttling them around and we won’t have the urge to kick back with a glass of wine at the end of it all. Those things aren’t going anywhere.
So, if they’re not going anywhere, and your previous responses have gotten you to a state of health and weight that you now want to change, then you need to change how you respond.
Identify everything that might come up in the next 30 days. Awareness is the first step.
Take out your pen, and write every scenario down. Do it now. Seriously.
Here are a few of mine: – When I come home from work and I don’t have anything healthy to eat and I’m tired.. Previously I’d order a pizza. -When I don’t have time to eat lunch at home during the workday, previously I would either run to Wawa and buy junk or order Chipotle
Start by just acknowledging those things.
2. Craft a Response.
Take that scenario, and think about how you can respond in way that keeps you on plan. It seems small, but I can’t overstate how powerful this is.
There are two ways to frame this statement:
The “If/Then” and the “When I…”If I _______, then I will _______
If I come home from work and there’s nothing healthy to eat, and I’m tired THEN I will buy a Cobb salad from Giant.
If I don’t have time to eat lunch at home during the workday, THEN I will make a meal replacement shake at the gym
When I get to my office every morning, I open the Headspace App and do a 10 minute meditation before I open my laptop.
When I turn the shower on in the morning, I will do 5 pushups while the water heats up.
Do this right now! Seriously… Do it!
3. Be Specific!
Remember, your brain can’t tell the difference between a thought and a physical action so you need to make these intentions very specific.
You’ll see in my statements I don’t just say “if I don’t have healthy food then I’ll go to wawa”… There’s plenty of junk at Wawa, and they’re really good at getting you to buy it.
I say exactly what i’m going to buy when I go to Wawa.
Now, if you haven’t been specific- Go back and make them specific.
…I don’t make very many “This is the magic secret” statements, but I’ll make this one.
If you take ten minutes to do this exercise, then you will make changes that you have never been able to make before.
Lastly- If you live in West Chester, PA and you’re looking for a weight loss program or a personal trainer to help you lose weight then contact me by E-mailing [email protected]
If you’re interested in our proven 21 Day Rapid Weight loss Program, then click the button below!