How Eating Catfood Can End Bad Habits (including Video Footage)

by Josh

We want to be free.
Knowing that we are in control, masters of ourselves.
Quitting unwanted habits is an incredible feat.
That’s why it shows up on New Years resolutions so often.
There is a certain cynicism to new years resolutions, and that’s because people often abandon them pretty quickly.

My brother John and me ate 5 spoons of catfood yesterday – the soggy stuff.
Yes, it is disgusting. Yes it makes you heave. Yes it does taste like it smells.
So why the hell do we do this?
And what the truck does that have to do with your new years resolution?

We do it for a nice litte tweak in human behaviour called negative motivation.
Negative motivation works stronger than a positive one.
Now what does THAT mean?
Well, basically just that working towards a goal, like losing fat and becoming fit, is a weak motivator.
Our fear of losing stuff or avoiding negative feelings is way larger.
You can use this knowledge to your advantage, like we did in this particular case.
Here’s the deal we set up.
We were both never heavy smokers, smoking around 5 cigarettes a day, but on parties and festivals it could add up to a package a day.
I really don’t have to tell you any reasons for quitting smoking, we all know it is
So we said “enough of this bullshit!”

The problem with addictions is, they are smarter than you.
Let me say this again:
Not only that, but also more persevering.
It will wait in the shadows until you have a weak moment and then pop back out and present itself as an old friend.
Quitting an addiction is super easy. The challenge is not to relapse.
Linguistic nitpicking, but with a whole lot of truth in it.

So, here’s the deal we set up:

Smoking 1 cigarette = 1 spoonful of catfood
Getting drunk = 1 spoonful of catfood

Pretty simple aye!?
We added the drinking, because alcohol weakens your willpower quite a bit.
Another little psychological tweak is the fact, that we are still allowed to succumb to our cravings, but attached to them are large costs.

Obviously, you need someone you trust 100% to do it with. You need someone who can be both honest with you AND themselves.

In our case, for example, the judgement “being drunk” is completely subjective, so it would be easy to bend the rules on that one.
If you can’t trust the other person, you can’t do it.
And as we all know, it is much much much easier, to keep promises to others than to ourselves.

The outcomes
Since end of August
3 cigarettes, 2 times drunk
I spend heaps less money on alcohol and going out in general.
Both my physical and my cognitive capacities have increased A LOT (subjective of course).

So here’s your New Year’s Turbolution shopping list
1. Someone or several people to do it with, trust is crucial
2. Invent some kind of cost for unwanted behavior (I vow for catfood, works incredibly well, hugely disgusting)
3. Regular contact with these people in order to check up on each other

Let me know how it is (not) working for you, what tweaks you use to stick with your resolutions and what kind of negative motivation you use 🙂

Happy New Year my friends.
May the force be with you.

thanks to Felix for his camera and Jakob for the solid camera work