Full disclosure: I totally copped this from my coach, Tony Young. It arrived in my inbox this morning and its arrival was painfully timely.
One thing I’ve consistently failed at is nutrition.
I KNOW good nutrition.
I realize I don’t LOOK like I know good nutrition, but I know good nutrition. I have the tools, and I’ve had them for a long time, but I’ve chosen not to use them time and time again.
And that’s the thing.
Nutrition plans assume that the client doesn’t know jack diddly about nutrition, and I’m willing to bet that more often than not, that just isn’t true. The problem is that we eventually get to a point where we stop. Or at least that’s been my M.O. Thus, the rollercoaster.
Read on, because this is GOOD:
It’s easy to look at changes we want to make in our lives and think the best way to go about making that change is an all-out assault. A battle, a conquest, a closed ended project that we can “crush“. Of course, we do. We’re busy and focus is hard but “this worked before” and it’s only for 30 days, 6 weeks, whatever. It might be a diet, a smoking cessation program, a beach-body workout, a 5K plan, get lean, get big, get small, get thin, get fast.
The connective tissue in all these is “get”. We following a plan to get something. Yet none of these things we’re after last. We stop running after the race, we put the weight back on after the challenge is over, workouts are forgotten when beach season closes. We stop after the getting has satisfied the itch.
Then the remorse sets in. “I’ve failed. Again.” is a typical lament. We muddle on feeling bad about ourselves until that wears off with time and distance. Until the next time.
Look, if you’ve done it before and you’re doing it again that’s the definition of Failure. If it had worked you wouldn’t need to do it again. This is the problem with Challenges of all kinds if there’s no follow on plan. If you haven’t made asustainable change in what you do and who you are you’ve wasted your time and fallen victim to the worst kind of self deception.
A better way? Well, yeah, glad you asked. When you’ve identified a change you want to make ask yourself What’s the smallest change I can make to accomplish this change?. I want to start flossing my teeth every night before I go to bed. I add floss on the shopping list. Done. Next day, I put the floss next to the sink. Done. Next night I floss one tooth. Just one. For a week I floss one tooth. “One tooth only, Vasily.” . A week later I do another. Then in a week another. I make the smallest, totally doable change I can make. I can’t fail, it’s one little thing!
Do this with any change you want. Workout every morning? For a week wake up 10 minutes early. The next week put your clothes out the night before. In another week do some warm up stretches. Something easy, doable, the smallest change you can make. Let these habits build up and pretty soon you’re doing the whole thing and it took (almost) no effort at all. The smallest change you can make.
This is how our Online Coaching program works. Simple habits that build solid skills that last your lifetime. No more Challenges, 6 week ordeals, no weirdness, best of all, no back sliding and no regrets. Progress slow and steady. Winning. Ask us.
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