Mind & Body

Have a Health Epiphany

Whether you want to swear off sugar or shake up your social life, here’s your guide to making positive changes stick.
Have a Health Epiphany
Pin it Courtesy of Shutterstock

Step 2: Overcome Your Doubt
Listen carefully: Do you hear your inner life coach—or a snarky naysayer? A negative internal monologue reinforces inertia, keeping you trapped in behaviors that no longer serve you. “These thoughts are so automatic and familiar that we assume they’re true and just roll with it,” Penberthy says. For each intrinsic motivation you listed earlier, jot down the self-talk that’s holding you back (“I’m too old to lose weight”; “I’ve never been able to resist a good bear claw”). Then ask if it’s true and, if it is, if it could change, Penberthy says. Now disarm that arsenal of doubt: For each negative comment, think about how you’d answer a friend who uttered the same denouncements, suggests Timothy Wilson, Ph.D., author of Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change. Next to “Baby weight is too hard to lose,” you might write, “I gave birth—so I’m strong enough to do anything.” Truth!