I specialise in helping my clients make sustainable changes to their food intake and lifestyle. And one of the big barriers to sustainable change is failure to understand the root cause of our less-than-ideal choices.
One technique that I have found to be really helpful is The 5 Why's. The 5 Why's is a technique used in business and manufacturing to help get to the root cause of problems in manufacturing, design and performance. It isn't really used in nutrition or health coaching but it should be!
The theory is that we often deal with the surface symptoms of a problem, when we really should be digging a little deeper to get to the root cause. Once we identify the root cause we can address - and ideally eliminate - it.
So here's what you do:
For any issue/habit/behaviour you are not happy with, ask yourself why.
And then when you give an answer to that question, ask why again.
Do this five (or more) times until you get to the root cause.
Here's an example:
Let's say you are unhappy with the amount of exercise you are doing each week. You schedule your exercise sessions, and yet you flake....
So you would ask: Why do I always skip my exercise sessions?
Answer: Because I'm tired.
Next question: why am I tired?
Answer: I'm not getting enough sleep.
Next question: why am I not getting enough sleep.
Answer: Because I stay up late watching TV, sometimes past midnight.
Question: why am I staying up so late?
Answer: because I haven't set a bedtime routine, with a set bedtime.
Can you see how powerful this can be?
Try it for yourself!