Creating Vital Behaviors

Like Crucial Moments, the term Vital Behaviors can sound scary.  Really, vital behaviors come down to ensuring that you’re prepared (in advance) for those crucial moments before they happen to you again (because you know they will).



How do I create a vital behavior?

It’s as simple as making a decision in advance.  Vital behaviors are simply:

Specific rules (not vague guidelines) that guide you to act in ways that eventually lead to what you want.

When I feel ____ crucial moment ____ , I will ____ vital behavior ____.

And then you have to evaluate whether you actually acted on our vital behavior.

My personal vital behaviors

After identifying my crucial moments, I created a number of different vital behaviors to combat my key issues.

General:  When I feel tempted to eat something I know I shouldn’t, I will pull out my phone & review my goal image before I make my decision.


Restaurant:  When I am going out to lunch or dinner at a restaurant, I will find the menu before I get there & choose what I’m going to eat.  I will also log that food in my food diary.

Planning Meetings:  Because I know what will be served for lunch in advance, I will log the food I plan to eat before Planning day.  I will then plan the rest of my food for the day around that meal.

Weekends:   I will create a list of “quick” or “takeout” dinners that I can either make or pick up on weekends (such as the McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad).

Exhausted (physical / mood):  I will use my “quick meals” or “takeout” list to ensure that I’m still eating healthy even if it isn’t exactly “on plan.”  I will remember that close is still better than giving up and perfection isn’t always possible.

Family:  When I know I will be around family members, I will make sure that I take time to mentally & emotionally prepare for the experience (I’ll cover this topic in a later post).

Coworkers:  I will either avoid the food completely (generally easy to do in a large company) or I will create and practice a response that both honors the person offering the food and keeps me from feeling guilty or coming across as judgmental.

Planning ahead made so many of these situations so much easer.

Creating a stop-gap

In Identifying Crucial Moments, we admitted we had a problem and even started identifying what (and sometimes who) those problems were.  Now, we’ve put in several stop-gaps so that we’ve stopped walking in “blind” to situations that just keep repeating themselves.  In my upcoming posts, we’ll examine the various sources of power that affect our ability to make positive change.  In the meantime, these vital behaviors (and others you build) will give you a leg up toward your goal.



What vital behaviors will you put in place?   Share below as I’d love to hear your personal success with these concepts.


Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,

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