Choose Your Hard

What was your New Year’s resolution this year? Halfway through 2023, this is the season where New Year’s resolutions go to die.

🎉 Lose 10 lbs

🎉 Meditate daily

🎉 Learn how to knit

In my niche of the world, I help people who are feeling rotten feel better.

But there’s a HUGE “but”.

Everyone wants a magic pill that makes all of our New Year’s resolutions and wildest dreams come true.

Most of us know it just doesn’t work that way.

I love the concept of “choose your hard”

I have a module in my Hormone Healing Program on temporal discounting (which I wrote about in my last newsletter) and a made up (but nonetheless equally compelling) concept nicknamed “choose your hard”.

“Choose your hard” in practice looks like this:

Would you rather eat potato chips, stay up late and skip your workout and tomorrow feel regretful, tired, constipated and afraid to step on the scale?


Would you rather eat a nutritious and crunchy snack, grab a workout, turn your favorite tv show off before it’s done and go to bed early so that tomorrow you feel well-rested, proud and happy to stand on the scale?

“Choose your hard”.

Both options are hard. The first option is comforting at the front end and painful at the back end. The second option is hard in the front end and achieves your goal in the back end.

But, wait – there’s more!

Motivation is a well-researched topic with numerous models and theories developed to explain why individuals behave and act in certain ways.

One such model that has gained empirical validation and can be helpful in understanding why individuals struggle to find motivation is the 3C model (stands for 3 components) of motivation.

This model was developed by Professor Hugo M. Kehr at the University of California, Berkely, and it is further simplified by considering motivation from the perspective of the head, the heart and the hand.


What Professor Hugo discovered is that we need three things to execute on our goals:

👉 Explicit motives / “head”: conscious choices. Example: I want to eat healthy.

👉 Implicit motives / “heart”: unconscious reasons that make or break our explicit motives. Example: I am afraid I will always fail at eating healthy.

👉 Perceived abilities / “hand”: the knowledge or experience we need to accomplish our goals. Example: A “how to” guide for healthy eating and/or a nutritionist who takes you through the process of healthy eating step-by-step.

Consider this:

What goal have you struggled to attain?

Which part of the 3 C model is impeding you?

If you’re anything like me, it’s actually the “heart” that is the hardest to understand, but once you do, it opens doors you didn’t know were closed.

Leave a Comment

About me

About Ishbel

For the last twenty years, I have helped people take charge of their health and feel better. I have been in your shoes - sick, tired, and overwhelmed by how to actionably care for myself. If you want to feel better, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place. Learn More >


Sign up for my monthly newsletter for health and wellness tips!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.