The Disconnect Between Intentions and Actions

The Disconnect Between Intentions and Actions
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

It’s hard to stay committed to healthy eating when the party season is upon us. That’s what my clients are telling me.

There might be a part of you that is tired of being overweight and out of control around food and all the negatives that go with it. The other part of you is excited about all the delicious fare that will be laid out at parties and celebrations everywhere.

Guess what. That’s normal! That’s what it’s like to be human. We are full of contradictions. Whenever we have any goal or desire, be it weight loss, romance or making more money, we often have another part of us that has a contradictory position – or we would be succeeding. The latter part might be hidden deep in our subconscious.

“I want to eat better. Just look at all this chocolate. If I lose weight my friends will hate me.”
“I want to drum up some more business. I don’t want too many clients. That would be hard work.”

There are two important questions to succeeding with this dynamic of contradictory parts. We need to increase the desire for change and decrease the benefit to staying the same.

Here’s an example regarding weight loss, however the questions apply to any goal.

  1. What’s the benefit of changing? Maybe it’s about improved health, career, dating or wardrobe potential, more confidence, less health risk, or less judgment, etc. Make sure it is really clear. Find the reason underneath the reason.
  2. What’s the benefit of staying the same? Your first instinct is probably to say an emphatic “NOTHING!” I encourage you to dig a little deeper. You might realize, “I have an excuse for my life. I don’t attract attention this way. I get attention. I get to complain or stay stuck, eat whatever I want, etc.” I didn’t say this benefit was a good thing, it’s a benefit just the same.

Yes, there are benefits to not changing. Recognizing it can be liberating.

It’s key to accept both parts of you, the part with the good intentions, and the part that hasn’t got the actions figured out yet. In so doing, you will feel less stressed and more empowered and likely to change.

As Carl Jung said, “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”