It’s that time of year again. The new year is approaching and people are thinking about making resolutions to change.
Why do people want to change in the first place?
This is a difficult question and the details are different in every situation. Still, I've noticed an underlying theme. Most people realize that they aren't what they could be. They have not yet reached their potential.
The New Year is a time where we reflect on what parts of us are holding us back. This is great. I think that everyone, especially me, have many things that we could change that could make us a better person for ourselves and the people around us.
For good reason, the most common change is to start paying more attention to health and fitness. Obesity rates are out of control in our country and it seems like almost everyone is struggling with some kind of bodily pain that can be linked to a lack of or imbalanced movement.
If you follow my blog, there is a good chance that you are thinking about making a fitness related New Year’s Resolution.
That's great. I commend you for doing so. It takes courage and humility to accept that changing your lifestyle might be a good thing.
But I would also like to extend a warning: This is the time of year when fitness marketers are out in full force. They have studied their market (you), they understand the way the human brain works, and know what people want and how to sell it to them.
You will surely see many ads on Facebook promising that their supplement or cleanse is the key to getting ripped. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
You’ll see ads claiming that their 8 week program will transform your life. Spoiler alert: it won’t.
The truth is that making even the smallest of changes in your life is difficult.
I make a living helping people to change so I would know.
For people that have poor nutritional habits, it’s likely that you’ve been ingraining these habits into their brain for their entire life. A meal plan where you're told exactly what and when to eat is not going to change them.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” - Lao Tzu
Giving someone a meal plan is a lot like giving them a fish. You get short term results that don't last. Teaching and helping them to develop healthy nutritional habits is like teaching them to fish. I'll talk more about the idea of habit change in tomorrow's email.
I don't want this post to be any more destructive than it has to be. So I'm not going to rant to deeply about the typical approach to fitness. Suffice to say, it's a lot like giving a man a fish. It's not about helping them discover and implement what is healthy for them in the context of their own lives.
Here's the message for you to takeaway from this email:
You have infinite power to transform your life but it requires strategy. Making a bunch of changes at one time almost always leads to failure.
Many of you reading this have tried and failed to make a lot of changes at one time so you can attest to this. I can’t tell you how many people that I’ve talked to that have tried these short-sighted programs and failed. They typically blame themselves for their inability to follow the program.
I have a lot of empathy for people in this situation but a lack of willpower isn’t the reason that these people fail. It’s a lack of strategy.
Tomorrow, I'll release part 2 of this blog series about using strategy to be successful in your New Year's Resolution or any other time that you want to make a successful change.
***I'll be opening up 5 spots in the Mountain Fit Transformation Coaching Program later this week for people who want to make successful changes to their health and fitness that will last for the rest of their life. I'll have more details about that in the following days.