The biggest challenge in leading a healthy lifestyle is rarely that we don’t know what to do to be healthier, it’s how do we successfully pull ourselves from the pickle of a situation we find ourselves in when we are thrown a curveball in our daily lives, as we so often are. Then it’s how can we sway in the complete opposite direction in response to that next hiccup or hurdle to come out on the other side still in stride with our overall wellness goals?
Michelle Segar, a University of Michigan researcher and long-time health coach says these are called choice points and we encounter a lot of them every day! Because of this, we ought to have a plan, a Plan B and even a Plan C and Plan D for how we can stay on the healthy track while maintaining flexibility and enjoying life.
Making healthy changes in eating, for example, has been challenging for so many people “because of the sum total of individual memories we’ve had with [that] behavior,” she says. “It’s not about this cake sitting in front of us today, it’s the wonderful, warm feelings that come up about the delicious cake mom baked for our sixth birthday and the last time we celebrated with friends — and we reach for that feeling.”
This is based on the grounded-cognition theory of desire that says “our thoughts about eating are grounded in our feelings from previous specific experiences and memories of eating. Below the surface, our brain does the calculus, which often results in a strong desire to consume what has made us feel good in the past. And we consume.”
To start, we might first examine what the root history of that decision might be and then recognize each choice as its very own. To help with this, check out your personal “Why” Wall on your wellness portal. Asset Health created the “Why” Wall for participants in our unique wellness programs to have a virtual space to harness our driving motivators for everyday behaviors and actions. You might consider this confidential tool to become your drawing board for examining the roots of your everyday decisions.
Be sure to check back with us each month for more on this journey so we can all come out on top and live that healthy, dream life! Continue to live zestfully!
“Sustainable Change in the Real World Newsletter,” Michelle Segar, michellesegar.com, accessed March 15, 2022.