Hack Your Habits: Part 2

“I just can’t stick to anything.”

“I’m too rebellious to follow a plan.”

“I constantly self-sabotage.”

If this resonates with you, you’ll want to start with the Hack Your Habits: Part 1 post.

Welcome to Part 2! Today, we’re moving on up the pyramid. 

As a refresher, this is the Hierarchy of Change we’re referring to (also known as Dilts’ Pyramid):

pyramid from top to bottom:
- spirit
- identity
- beliefs
- capabilities
- behaviors*
- environment*
*these are at the conscious level

If you missed the first post, make sure to go back and start there. This is where we talk about why we can’t just rely on our conscious minds to help us achieve our goals. This is the part of our brain where we actively have to think about things, not automatically like our subconscious. That’s where the magic happens.

Unfortunately, we can’t just change our behaviors and environment when we’re super motivated and assume it will all work out when we have a weight loss goal (or really any goal). 

You know how every January you claim “this is the year,” but every March you’re like, “hmm idk what happened with that…oops.” Yea, that’s because you’re only relying on your conscious mind, or the bottom of the pyramid.

In order to increase our likelihood of true behavior change that actually sticks, it’s time to start talking about our capabilities, beliefs, identities, and spirits. In this post, we’re just going to chat about “capabilities,” so make sure to check out the rest of this series to conquer the full pyramid!


Our “capabilities” are where we pop the bubble and start to get into the subconscious mind. This is where we learn the hard-core skills needed for change. 

I don’t care how motivated you are to lose weight – if you don’t know the actual WHY behind your body’s fat-burning and fat-storing methods or the HOW your metabolism operates, your brain will eventually not give a sh*t about all the things you set out to do 2 weeks ago. The motivation sizzles.

Having the knowledge behind things changes everything. Think of it like this – when the oil change light turns on in the car, we know that should be taken care of at some point, but like how serious is it, reallyyyy? If you don’t fully understand the mechanics of your car (same), the follow-through with getting the oil changed is just not a priority…..until the oil runs dry and it’s a much bigger deal. It then clicks that your engine absolutely needs enough oil to function. Who knew?

Or how about this – you’re a seasoned mom of 3 kids and you’ve got the routine down to a science. You have a friend in your life having her first baby and you give her a little piece of advice about a nap routine when asked. This friend isn’t too firm on a schedule yet and learns the hard way how important it is to prioritize naps after a disastrous weekend trip. The friend now absolutely understands why your advice was good advice. She understands the WHY. Being told to do something isn’t always enough.

One last example. Let’s say you set out to build a successful blog. You sign up for WordPress, and you do some Pinterest research on “how to build a blog.” You buy a cute journal to write down all your ideas. But when it comes to the meat and potatoes of actually building a website and using search engine optimization, you’re not quite up to speed. Investing in a trustworthy blog-building course falls into the capabilities level of the pyramid. You can change your behaviors and environment all you want to, but until you know how it all works behind the scenes, the blog will not become a reality.

The Why

Until you know the “why” behind something, your follow-through with actions is not the most reliable, and it’s going to be reeeeeally hard to make them habits in your life. It has to click. There has to be a reward for following through. Sometimes it means making the mistakes first. Like trying every new diet under the sun before you realize you truly have no idea what to eat. You simply don’t know the why.

You deserve to dig a little deeper and know exactly why protein, healthy fat, and fiber are helpful for meal building. You are fully capable of knowing how your metabolism functions. I don’t care how science-minded you are. 

As a coach for Metabolism Makeover, my favorite part of the program is watching members have their “AHA!” moments. The moment they finally get it. This is so exciting because once it all clicks, you start to change your environment and behaviors as a result of your capabilities. You do these things because you want to, not because you have to. 

Once you understand how your body burns fat in a day, creating blood-sugar-friendly meals becomes something you don’t have to force yourself to do. Going for more walks is not a chore because you now understand the benefits of stress management, cortisol levels, and gentle movement. It’s in your subconscious because it is now in your capabilities tool belt.

Too many people never get to this level of the hierarchy of change. They’re stuck at the bottom and think their willpower just sucks. Totally not true though!

And the crappy part of the weight loss world is the reality that most of these popular diet programs we see don’t want you to think deeper. They just want you to trust the process and not ask further questions. They want you to believe that THIS low-calorie diet is the answer and that the reason you continue to fail is your own fault.

If you haven’t caught on by now, the reason Metabolism Makeover has been so successful for over 4,000 women is that the approach falls within this capabilities level of the hierarchy of change pyramid. It’s why the weight loss that happens as a result of the program is not temporary. It’s the result of a new mindset and new permanent habits. It’s the tools no other program ever wanted to give you. 

Disclaimer: starting at this point in the pyramid does not guarantee success with changing your habits and reaching your goal. That’s why we have to keep climbing up the pyramid. We’ll talk about our beliefs and identity in Part 3!

-Elle, MM Coach

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