How to maintain energy strength for self-control success
The Emotionally Focussed Eating program uses a SUD scale of 0-10. The measurement of 5 in the middle is your standard. In order to navigate your thoughts feelings and behaviours there are three fazes, the first faze is your operating faze; you think that you want to do something. Then you test that out by doing it in order to attain feed-back. Then you exit because it either went well and you keep doing it or it did not go well so you go back to the operation faze in order to rethink it.
The next faze is promotion. Now there are two different types of people in regards to promotion, there are those that are promotion based and those that are prevention based. Promotion based people are eager to achieve success, they set goals, create strategies, and just do it. Those that have a prevention focus are vigilant and always trying to avoid making mistakes.
So in order to be able to improve your self control, no matter which category you fall in, you have to have an implementation intention. The implementation intention needs to be put in place when you have a desire to do something. As soon as a person starts to think about their desire to do then what happens is they start to battle against themselves of whether it is appropriate or not, based upon whatever the persons standard is.
So lets look at that 0-10 scale. Number 5 represents ambivalence. Between 6-10 represents your promotion focus and anything under the 5 represents your prevention focus. Ambivalence means that you are neither here nor there, you can either do it or not do it. It opens the door with you to fight and/or debate with yourself, meaning that you have set a goal but you are not all in. You are somewhere at the 5 or lower, and you know this as soon as it is that you do not follow through on whatever it is you set out to do. You therefore can not override your impulse to give up and therefore you do not have self-control.
So in order to be able to improve your self-control you need to be able to set up an implementation intention that gets your mind out of the middle and moves you up the scale towards the 10. Meaning that you have to have not only the inspiration and motivation to attain your goal, you need to have a clear and specific plan. You have to be able to identify what your standard actually really is, that is appropriate to your new intention, in order to be able to attain your desired behaviour.
If your standard is to eat 6 doughnuts then that is what it is that you are going to do because you are somewhere on the SUD scale between 0-5. In order to change that standard to eating 0 doughnuts it means that you are going to have to navigate through changing your thoughts and feelings and therefore resulting behaviour, meaning that you are now on the SUD scale somewhere between 6-10.
So in order to be able to set up an implementation intention that takes you above ambivalent you have to be able to set up an agreement with yourself that starts with ‘if’ and then goes to ‘then’. So for example, ‘If I go to work tomorrow and there is a box of doughnuts, then I will identify how many carbohydrates there is in the doughnut and compare it to what I would like to weigh and then I will make a decision to not eat the doughnuts because they are not keto.’ Therefore not an option and I am now at 10.