[4 minute read]
As a trainer, I work with people that often seek life-altering change. When someone finds his or her health or regains it, doors fly open; confidence, self-esteem, and energy reach all-time highs. It’s the most addicting and powerful feeling I could ever describe, which is why I love it so much and want it for so many of you.
I’ve always believed health is the foundation of a good life. If we don’t have it, we don’t have shit. Period. I don’t care about your fancy car or big job title if you can’t walk up a flight of stairs or top button your pants anymore. But yet so many of us stray or ignore and only decide to change when it's code red.
Health isn’t a problem until it's a problem.
And the real problem is that change is fucking hard. We’re not hardwired for it. We’re impatient and lazy. We want things now. And although we may know we “need to do it,” we underestimate the sheer effort it takes to move the needle, and get discouraged when it doesn’t happen fast enough. Our habits, patterns, and routines reach far deeper into our psyche than we imagined. It will always, always, always take longer and require more work than we thought. Promise.
I like metaphors. Let’s relate change to a seesaw.
Right now things are unbalanced. You’re lopsided. All the weight–the bricks–are on one side. The way things have always been.
To tip it, and move in the opposite direction, most people lay a single brick.
They do a few workouts. Maybe change breakfast a couple days.
Awesome. Start small. Build daily habits. I like it. (See 1 tooth method)
But the problem is you’re still unbalanced. You’ve made an effort but it doesn’t outweigh and account for a lifetime of doing it the other way, the environment that made you that way, the pressure from friends to stay that way, and the unconscious pull of old habits.
Not good enough. At least, not for very long.
To make change..real change.. you need lots of bricks and you need to lay them every day for life.
Sometimes dumping all your bricks on one end...going from zero to hero, cheetos to kale salads, snooze alarms to 6 am workouts, makes for a better, more effective solution. BUT keep in mind, you still have a bunch of shit to deal with on the other side of the seasaw so it won't be sustainable for very long. However, the idea is to at first, overcompensate to compensate, and eventually balance it out. I believe that some habits are best broken with a sudden and extreme yank.
Of course, the sweet spot will always be in the middle. Harmony of the two. Which will be a work in progress until the end of time.
You’re Too Slow
In my experience, people are like snails when it comes to fitness. They lay that single brick, perfectly and meticulously, and cry when the wall isn’t very high.
Get aggressive and build fast.
Have big picture patience in parallel with day-to-day to speed. Let me explain: change takes time. 1 year, 3 years, 5 years. These are the timelines you shoot for. Not that 30 day or 12-week garbage. Patience, people.
And in your day to day, you move quick. You lay a brick, but lay another one soon thereafter. You go fast, keeping up momentum.
Too many do the reverse. You’re too slow laying bricks and you don’t lie enough. It takes you a month to do a couple workouts and yet you want the results tomorrow.
When you make the decision to change something in your life that you have recognized as a problem, it may help to move toward the extreme, complete opposite end of the spectrum of whatever you are doing to balance out your behavior and then eventually recalibrate. Just make sure you have what it takes to balance back otherwise you would be stuck like most, continuously moving from one end to the other.
Try using overwhelming force the next time you want to change. Collect all your bricks and start building your wall without worrying how big it will be or how pretty it will look. Keep your head down and build, build, build.
Lay More Bricks.
[4 minute read]