Your Two Competing Forces



Your Two Competing Forces by Jared MacDonald

I was listening to a Freakonomics podcast recently and they had an interview with a Nobel prize winning behavioral economist named Danny Kahneman. The topic of the podcast was behavior change and Kahneman shared what he believed is the most important way to approach behavior change.

The answer was eye opening and somewhat counter intuitive so I thought everyone might appreciate this perspective.

Behavior is motivated by two competing forces, there are forces that drive or motivate us in a certain direction and forces that resist or fight us. The typical approach most people and coaches take is to increase the driving forces (motivation) to overcome the resistance, Kahneman posits that the best approach is to lessen the resistance and make it easier for the existing driving forces to push us to change.


How can we implement this idea?

When focusing on behavioral change for improved fitness and lifestyle we can focus in on the things that prevent us from succeeding. It can be schedule management, environmental changes ie: limiting the amount of low quality, impulse food choices and increasing the amount of whole food, high quality choices in our kitchens, avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry and susceptible to junk food purchases, removing electronics from your bedroom to help fall asleep earlier, finding a group of people you enjoy being around and exercising with.

Most of us don’t struggle with the why when we are looking for behavioral change, we often struggle with the why not and I would encourage you to eliminate the why not!