Why it’s so hard to convert good intentions into action

There’s clearly no shortage of good intentions in the world, and most of them actually have to do with health. People want to get into shape, they want to eat better, they want to lose weight. Unfortunately, very few of these good intentions get converted into reality.

Believe it or not, there’s a technical term for this: It’s called the intention behavior gap. And in this episode, I want to share with you some research-based strategies for bridging the gap between good intentions and healthy habits.

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How to know when it’s time to make a big change

Careers are one of the ways that we find meaning and purpose in our lives. Not the only way, of course. But what if you wake up one day and realize that your true purpose might be better fulfilled by doing something other than what you originally trained for.  Now what?!

Design thinking offers tools and processes that can help us both imagine and then execute big shifts in our lives. 

Lisa Waltuch and her business partner, Jen Sullivan, are co-founders of Encore Retreats, where they host transformational getaways and events. Lisa also has her own practice as a Life Coach through Thrive Coaching, where she uses design thinking to help her clients imagine and then inhabit really big changes. I thought she’d be the perfect person to talk about this with.

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What if you didn’t have to be more disciplined to succeed?

I was recently exchanging emails with someone who was struggling to change some unhelpful behaviors.

He wrote:  “I do really well for a couple of days and then I go totally off the rails again. It’s such a vicious cycle. I just need to be be more disciplined.”

And if there is something that you are struggling to change, you’ve probably thought the same thing. But I don’t think summoning up more discipline is necessarily the answer.

In this episode, I’m talking with someone who found a better way to create positive change and momentum–which led to dramatic improvements in her health.

As you listen, think about how the specifics of her translate into whatever you’re working on and the kind of effort you are applying to that work. 

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Behind the scenes of our recent reboot

I’ve decided that my special word for 2024 is Reboot. 

Much of my last year was consumed by the reboot of the Weighless program–a coaching program that I launched with Brock Armstrong 7 years ago, and which has now been now relaunched in a new format that I think is its best version yet. 

The Change Academy is not about weight management, per se. My goal in this podcast is to give you tools that you can apply to create positive change in any aspect of your life. But in this episode, I want to talk more specifically about the Weighless Program and take you behind the scenes of our recent reboot. 

If that is not of interest, you might want to check out our introductory series The 8 Things You Need to Create Change, or the more intensive series called the 50,000 Mile Tune up.  There are free listening guides available for both of them and either one of them would be a great way to charge up your batteries for your own reboot, or whatever else 2024 has in store for you.

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Is your diet-tracking app helping or hurting?

There are apps and devices that help us what we eat, weigh, spend, save, how much water we drink, how many steps we take. But what is all of this tracking doing for us? Are we using these tools and this information to improve our wellbeing or have we succumbed to the tyranny of tracking? 

Joining me on the podcast is registered dietitian and workplace wellness consultant Cassie Christopher. Tracking is a a topic that comes up a lot for each of us in the coaching work that we do and in this episode, we explore what tracking offers, where it often goes wrong, and how we can leverage the benefits without it becoming an unhealthy or unhelpful practice.  

I’m also excited to share that the Weighless Program is once again accepting new members! The next group begins on January 1st. All the details are at weighless.life/enroll.

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In order to succeed, you must risk failing (again)

If anyone is telling you they can guarantee that you will succeed (as long as you follow their method or their strategy or whatever), they are not being upfront with you. Here’s the hard truth: If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to risk failing.

In fact, if there is anything that actually does guarantee success, it’s being willing to fail–repeatedly if necessary.

But let’s not make this harder than it needs to be. In this episode, I (and a bunch of former clients) talk about how to make this easier.

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How to build the circle that supports your best work

Today, I’m sharing a bit about my circle of support and inviting you to evaluate your own network. Who are you grateful for? Where might your support network need a little building out? Whose support network are you a part of and how do you support them?

Many of us have bigger and more varied support networks than we even realize–or fully take advantage of.

And for those whose networks are a little threadbare, I have some ideas on how to shore those up.

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What they forget to tell you about the stages of change

If you’ve ever taken an introductory psychology class or done some reading on human behavior and development, you’ve probably stumbled across the Transtheoretical Model, better known as the Stages of Change. 

It offers some insights into how behavior change happens, why it sometimes doesn’t (or seems like it doesn’t) and how we can better support behavior change efforts–both our own, and those of people around us.

But there are some nuances to this that I think deserve a little more exploration and who better to do that with than clinical psychologist and friend of the podcast, Dr. Bethy Campbell?

We have also created an assessment for you to get a read on where you are in relationship to any change you are working on or contemplating, along with a playlist of Change Academy episodes targeting that particular stage of change.

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If it feels good, it must be bad for me…and other fairy tales

Hedonic self-care involves activities that we find pleasurable. A massage or a nap or time spent with dear friends. 

Eudaimonic self-care includes those things we do not necessarily because they are pleasurable in the moment, but because they support our goals and objectives.  Things like getting our teeth cleaned, or doing meal prep ahead of a busy week, or spending time and money on a therapist or hiring a health coach. 

You could easily get the impression that eudaimonic self-care is better or more virtuous than hedonic self-care. But this is not the case. And I don’t want you to forsake hedonic self-care as lesser than. 

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Better together: How community and connection build healthier habits

In the previous episode, I talked about some of the things that can go wrong when we put corporations in charge of our wellbeing. In this episode, I share an example of what it looks like when it goes right, and how corporate-sponsored wellbeing programs can actually have a very positive impact on individuals and workers as well as on the company’s bottom line. 

Lindsey Soroka is a registered dietitian and works as a health promotion specialist for a major national corporation, where she’s in charge of (among other things) engaging the employees in wellness education, services, and programming. 

Lindsey and I first worked together when her company brought me in to offer the 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade program to their employees, Afterward, we sat down to talk about what she’s learned about motivating people and why major corporations want to invest in wellbeing programming.

But there are valuable lessons for all of us in this conversation. In particular, I hope you catch the ways in which our efforts to enhance our own wellbeing can ripple out into our families, workplaces, and communities. 

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