For the week of April 23, 2015

Habit-based coaching often requires us to debunk long-held beliefs about behavior change All of this week’s authors are doing just that — on the topics of food rules, failing to go to the gym, mindfulness, and before/after photos. Let’s start with James Clear, who, by way of metaphor, explains that you are enough:

The More We Limit Ourselves, the More Resourceful We Become

“We start to believe that moving somewhere new will remove the messiness of life. Or, that if we just lived in a new location or had a new job, then we would finally be granted the permission and ability to do the things we always wanted to do. If had more, we would be set.”

Here’s another one from James Clear:

Do More of What Already Works

“We have a tendency to undervalue answers that we have already discovered. We underutilize old solutions — even if they are best practices — because they seem like something we have already considered. Here’s the problem: ‘Everybody already knows that’ is very different from ‘Everybody already does that.’ Just because a solution is known doesn’t mean it is utilized.”

Two new articles from Georgie Fear:

Make Habits, Not Rules

“Make super rigid food rules myself to limit my intake, then see how much I could get away with eating without breaking the rules? That just doesn’t make sense. But we do it! Why? Because that’s a normal response to being controlled.”

How to Conquer Your Trigger Foods

“When a client refers to something as a ‘trigger food’, I always want to hear more. Further discussion usually reveals not just one unpleasant interaction, but a rocky ongoing relationship, where the food is like an on-again-off-again romance. They love the taste of the food, but repeatedly buy it, overeat it, and swear it off for a while.”

Coach Stevo has some helpful words for your clients, too:

Why You Don’t Go to the Gym as Much as You Should

“I asked potential and current personal training clients why they wished to hire a personal trainer. Far and away the top response was ‘lack of motivation.’ In fact, that and ‘no time’ are the top answers in most government surveys on physical activity as well. But in 2011, three researchers in motivation science decided to dig deeper into what motivational factors led people to work out. It turns out that motivation level was not a predicting factor.”

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Celebrity Before/After Photos

“Why the heck are we still falling for before-and-after photos of celebrities and other prominent figures? Before-and-after photos are the bane of my profession. They do more harm for the health of the United States than all the toys in Happy Meals ever could.”

Success can be as simple as paying more attention, says Samantha Attard:

Why “made with love” actually works

“Think on your day – what do you trudge through with gritted teeth with the glimmer of hope for a pretty end result? Is it sending out a book proposal, applying for a grant, training for your next race, or planning your meals for the week?”

And William Ferullo shares a personal story of mindfulness:

Are You Engaged in a Losing Battle?

“No matter what, one side wins. You either eat the cake or you don’t. But in the end either way you are the one that loses. You had to fight and claw against that urge for however long, and you either cave in, or you don’t. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. What if there was a better way. What if you didn’t have to fight that fight at all. Wouldn’t that be better?”

Coaches, do you have an article a client would love?

Every day you see the challenges and triumphs of people trying to change their health and fitness behaviors for the better. Habitry would love to help you share your insights with a larger audience.

Just start writing it down. As with a new habit, start small. Choose a headline and build on it. When you get to 500 words, stop, check your spelling and grammar, post, and then share your article with us. You could write about something you learned recently or tell a story inspired by someone you know. It’ll spark a great discussion.

When you post your article, let us know on the Motivate Forum or email me at