Do what you Can't !


By Holly Glaubitz, Health Educator

Recently, at a conference in San Diego, one of the morning keynote speakers was talking about behavior change when hetold the audience, "Do what you can't." Of course this piqued everyone's interest, because this isn't something we usually hear.


The point the speaker made is that new habits almost always require new skills. For example,    if you're not currently active, becoming physically active requires learning a new skill.        In fact, you could even say that being sedentary is a learned skill, because our bodies were meant to move. If you think about smoking, we were not born knowing how to smoke. So quitting smoking requires learning a new skill of how not to smoke. You can apply this concept to almost any behavior.


Part of learning the new skill is learning about yourself. So here's a challenge for all of you trying to change a behavior (stop smoking, exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables, more life balance): Learn about yourself. Be the subject of your own scientific study by identifying crucial moments in your behavior that prevent you from honing your new skill.


For example, if you're trying to stop smoking, when do cravings occur and what can you do to surf the urge? If you have every intention of being physically active after work, but you're tired and really just want to go home -- how can you surf the urge to drive into your driveway rather than head to the gym? What you learn about yourself might surprise you.