If you are like most people, then the holidays led to a few extra pounds or kilograms as you enjoyed feasting and snacking with family and friends. The message is everywhere in the media: it’s time to lose weight. They must know that the start of a New Year is a good time to strike.
Whether you gained weight last year or not, maintaining a healthy weight is everyone’s concern. And to do that, we need more than behavioral modification. We need environmental modification, to support our efforts with the things we do and don’t want to eat. Two examples:
- I love salsa (the hotter the better), but chips and salsa can be a high-calorie snack thanks to the oil and grain in the chips. An alternative is celery and salsa, providing all the crunch and virtually no calories. Unfortunately, celery takes time to clean and prepare, whereas chips are always ready and waiting. The answer? Clean an entire bunch of celery at one time, keeping it fresh in the refrigerator in water. When it’s time to snack, celery and salsa are conveniently ready and waiting. The environment supports our best intentions.
- We love Pad Thai, which includes ground peanuts as a topping. We used to buy roasted, organic, unsalted peanuts and grind them whenever we made Pad Thai. The problem? The peanuts in the cupboard were a high-calorie, snacking temptation. The answer? Grind all the peanuts at once, storing them in an airtight jar. Without having to rely on will power, snacking on peanuts is eliminated because the ground bits are too small to be enjoyable. Once again, environment modifications support our best intentions.
As coaches, we often work with clients who want to modify their behavior. But to be successful over the long term, and to turn behavioral modifications into effortless habits, we often have to coach to the environment as well
Coaching Inquiries: Do you want to change your behavior in the New Year? How could you modify your environment to support those changes? Consider home, office, and car (in addition to your web of relationships) as you ponder your different environments?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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