Why you tend to “fall off the wagon” with your good habits

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 23 August 2016

health.journeyHow many times have you made a resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, or exercise regularly, but never seem to really get started? There is always an excuse, even if it is a really good one, it is still an excuse.

Unfortunately we are creatures of inertia.

Remember this from physics class? This means that an object in motion tends to remain in motion in the same direction and velocity unless subjected to an external force. So your butt sitting on the couch is going to stay there until you can subject yourself to enough force to change your direction. Your always grabbing fast food for lunch is going to remain the same until there is enough force to change that habit.

So what is this elusive force I am talking about? This force needs to come from a variety of factors that includes: your vision, a plan, support, and the amount of dissatisfaction you feel by keeping things the same. If all of these factors added up together is greater than your resistance to change, then the force is with you.

Let’s look at each of these factors individually.

  1. Your vision. You need to have a vision of where you want to be. If you have no vision of seeing yourself as someone who eats healthy food then it doesn’t matter how good the plan is you will never be able to follow it. To overcome resistance you have to be clear about what it is you really want.
  2. The plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. It is that simple. If you want to eat healthy food but you have no plan to buy that food, or prepare that food you are not going to reach your goal. A plan needs to be able to bridge the gap between what you really want (vision) and where you are right now.
  3. Dissatisfaction. So imagine someone who goes into their doctor for a yearly checkup and they have gain 10 pounds over the last year and then imagine someone who has gained 30 pounds in 1 month. Who is likely to be more dissatisfied and therefore more likely to make a change? The more truly unacceptable your situation is, the less resistance to change. Don’t be the person who accepts the unacceptable.
  4. Support. Surrounding yourself with inspiring, supportive, and challenging people will exponentially increase your chances of success.

Now I would love to hear from you! Which of these factors have you used with success in the past? Which factor can you address today to get you closer to your health goals? Leave your comments below and I will be back next week with another Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.

4 Replies to “Why you tend to “fall off the wagon” with your good habits”

Dianne Dudas

I tried for years to ‘get into shape’… to no avail. However, as long as I was committed to increasing my metabolism rather than looking better in a swim suit, I found I was able to mentally accept that I couldn’t have that extra ‘olive’….
I got into the best shape of my life. I had to focus on what was happening inside my body biologically rather than ‘how I looked’. It worked. However, time to go back at it again….. Ugh….. Each passing decade is a struggle.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’ve brought up an important point Dianne. Many studies show that if you focus on the process and not the end result you end up being much more successful.


thank you for these articles…. you are my support

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Jane! I am so glad you find them helpful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Do you like these posts? Sign up for Dr. Durkin's Apple a Day ....

Apple A Day is where you can find small, digestible, practical action steps to help you feel your best, one apple at a time.

Apple a Day

Quinte Naturopathic Centre

173 Church Street

Belleville, ON K8N 3C1



Hours of Operation:

Monday 10am - 7pm

Tuesday 9am - 6pm

Wednesday 9am - 6pm

Thursday 9am - 6pm

Friday 9am - 2pm


NOTE: Our building is not wheelchair accessible