The Brain-Behavior Gap
Have you ever had one of those moments where you stop all of a sudden and wonder, "when did I stop doing that?" I know meditation is good for me personally (I tend toward racing thoughts), but the habit of meditation has never been very "sticky" for me. Recently I had a busy week, and somewhere in the midst of it, my meditation habit fizzled out.
Do you have a recent experience like this? If so, let me share some insight from Kyra Bobinet, MD, a researcher at Stanford who I heard discuss behavior change on the Sigma Nutrition Radio podcast.
She tells a story of interviewing a woman in a weight loss program who was excited about the progress she was making, but then said, "I know what I should do and eat, I just don't know why I don't do it." That is a thought I've heard repeated in my clinic over and over through the years. Anyway, this thought motivated Dr. Bobinet to delve deep into what she termed the brain-behavior gap. That is, the gap that exists between what we know we should do or want to do, and what we actually do.
Success Leave Clues
Her talk was very rich, so if you find this at all interesting I'd encourage you to listen to the whole talk, about 45 minutes of your time but well worth it. I thought I'd share a few takeaways which came from her observations about what separated people who were successful in their attempts to make healthy changes from those who were not:
What can you do this week to "do what you know you should"? How will you plan to deal with setbacks or failure? What systems can you put in place to help you? Are you feeding your motivation? Are you staying curious about yourself?
I hope it's a good week for you.
Dr. Topher Fox
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