Your Health is your Wealth

With the COVID Delta variant completely taking over in the US, the people at the top seem to be ignoring one of the biggest variables in having a good or a poor outcome with this disease. 

That variable is our overall physical condition.  As a client of ours said recently, “My health is MY wealth!”

Why aren’t we being encouraged to pursue the improvement of our physical condition? ⁣ It’s been almost entirely ignored by all of the “experts” out there.  

Here are the facts on the rise of COVID cases and our risk factors associated with it: ⁣

  • The CDC reports obesity increases risk of hospitalization from covid-19 by OVER 700%⁣
  • Poor cardiovascular fitness is an increased risk factor⁣
  • A study from the University of Virginia found exercise reduces a person’s risk of even contracting covid-19⁣
  • Exercise is known to impact and improve the immune system⁣ in positive ways
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a top cause of death from covid-19. Research has shown that there is an exercise-induced antioxidant that can protect against this⁣
  • There’s now an abundance of evidence that Vitamin D reduces covid-19 infection, severity, ICU admission and mortality⁣
  • Collectively, studies show vitamin D is a far more effective basal covid-19 treatment than any additive pharmaceutical available to date⁣

Maybe this is our fault.  The fault of the fitness professional.  

There’s an overwhelming attitude that we are just about looks or aesthetics.  Fitness has become a synonym to these things.  That we are just about “pecs, guns, butt and leg day⁣.”  

But the fitness profession is about so much more than this.  

It’s about strength, muscular endurance, aerobic capacity, mobility, mental health and much, much more.  ⁣

There’s an ABUNDANCE of scientific evidence showing the benefits of exercise on⁣ the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke recovery
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia 

And the mental health benefits of regular exercise?  There is more research in this area now more than ever.  

I’m a cancer survivor who went through over 2 years of chemotherapy and treatment to go into “remission.”  If it wasn’t for fitness, I probably wouldn’t be here.⁣

Yes we can help athletes perform better and people to look better⁣.  

But I truly believe that we do so much more⁣.  We change lives.  We have the ability to reverse health conditions that otherwise destroy the body.   Nearly 40% of American adults aged 20 and over are obese. 71.6% of adults aged 20 and over are overweight, including those that are obese.  These numbers are really unacceptable.  We can do more.  

Exercise is medicine!⁣  But the problem is, it is not the doctor’s job to “prescribe” exercise.  We get it, this is not their “job.”  

This is our “job” – this is our “why.”  

We all have the ability to choose a better health outcome.  Once we realize that it starts with YOU, that is when change can occur.  

I will leave you with this powerful quote from F.M. Alexander:

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and it’s their habits that decide their futures.”  

We all have the power to choose what to do next.  As fitness professionals, we will choose to continue to be the place where our clients improve their health outcomes 1% better than yesterday.  

Ready to decide to make fitness and health a part of your daily habits?  Check out our VIP Experience below to learn how to make your next month your best month of the entire year! 

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Fitness to Finance

From Fitness to Finance

There are 4 simple concepts we are going to talk about today that will help not only your fitness, but also your finance.  Maybe you have heard of some of these concepts, maybe you haven’t.  In any case, when you put these 4 strategies into action some amazing things can happen not only to your fitness and health, but also to your fiscal finance and wealth!

I wrote this after listening to best selling author of “Profit First” Mike Michalowicz speak at a seminar and his turning point in his career was when he learned these 4 concepts!

One of the best things a client ever said to me when he signed on the dotted line to start a membership with us was “I realize now that my health is my wealth!”  Wow!  Now that is a powerful one liner, so powerful it bears repeating:

“I realize now that my health is my wealth”

What he realized was that no amount of money would give him a healthy body or give him the ability to perform at the level that he wanted to perform at.  He knew he would need to work on his physical fitness and improve his health, and that in turn would turn into his newfound “wealth.”

We are going to talk about not only physical wealth but also fiscal wealth and how closely tied together they are in these 4 concepts.  Here is what you can start to incorporate into your life right away that will not only make an impact on your health, but also on your wealth both physically and financially.

Concept #1 – Small Plates

About 200 years ago, our dinner plates were actually the size of a dessert plate (does anybody even have these anymore?!).  In all seriousness, our plate size has over DOUBLED in the last couple of centuries.   Back then, we were taught to “clean off our plate” and that mantra has continued as we grew up and now as we raise our children.

Want the solution?  Use a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate is the best way to subscribe to “forced portion control.”  Actually, only have smaller plates in the house.  Then, this really weird thing will start to happen – you will actually start to eat LESS!  This will help us force portion control in the right direction and give us the ability to eat less without even thinking about it, as it is an almost automatic habit you don’t need to put much more thought on once you replace your plates with smaller ones.

In finance, you can do the same thing by controlling the “serving” of cash you have available to use.  By separating the money into “smaller plates” or separate savings or investment accounts, and “carving” out that money before it even hits your primary cash or checking account, you have in essence “paid yourself first”.

Then you will end up with less in your “serving” dish of cash, and that is ok as you will learn how to deal with this very quickly, just like you did with the small plates.  This is also known as “Parkinson’s Law.”  The concept of Parkinson’s law leverages this behavior of being able to “make due with what you got.”  If there is less in your account, you will be forced to spend less and not make those silly purchases!

This is a lot like a tube of toothpaste.  We all have been there before – where we either have a full tube of toothpaste or an almost empty tube of toothpaste.  We will use that toothpaste differently depending on what end of the spectrum we are at!  I love a full tube of toothpaste because I can just lather up that toothbrush with a huge amount and care less (a lot like over-spending when you get a raise/bonus/etc).  I also love working with a smaller tube of toothpaste – it forces me to use muscles that I never knew I had to squeeze out that very last little bit of toothpaste!  Think of your primary account just like this tube of toothpaste – if you are almost out and can’t pay your bills then you can’t afford those things you have been buying!

Concept #2 – Eat your “Vegetables” first!

How do most of us eat dinner?  Maybe if we are out to eat, we may start with an appetizer then move on to the main course, then dessert.  What about at home?  I would always start with the “meat and potatoes!”  In all seriousness, the process is pretty much the same for all of us.  We will almost always start with the most savory, tastiest part of our meal first – then go on to eat the most of that!

What if we didn’t change us, but merely changed the process of how and what we ate first?

What if we ate the vegetables first off of our plate, then we proceeded to the rest of our meal?  This forces us in a good way to eat the most nutritious part of our meal first, and that way we may even be fuller a little sooner once we get to our main part of our meal, maybe even full enough to not even eat dessert!

In finance, the vegetables are the “profit” that we pay ourselves first with, and place in a retirement or savings account.  The saying “pay yourself first” is very true, and taking your profit first is just like eating your vegetables first!

Concept #3 – Remove the temptation!

This may be one of the most undervalued concepts of all.  I have a confession to make – I LOVE chocolate chip cookies!  I know, you may have never believed it with me being a fitness professional and all!  But in all seriousness, I love freshly baked gooey chocolate chip cookies.  I would actually eat them every day if I had them around.

But here’s the secret – I remove the temptation!  I don’t have fresh baked cookies inside my house every day (ok, maybe just on the weekends!)  Here is something that I learned after a very long time:

You can’t use willpower to avoid temptation

If you remove the pure accessibility of whatever item/s it is that you are tempted to eat (mine just happens to be chocolate chip cookies!) you will be 100% less likely to dive into whatever it is that tempts you.  Think “out of site, out of mind.”  Removing the temptation is a powerful thing, since you can’t just count on willpower alone!  

In finance, let’s go back to these “profit” accounts where you pay yourself first.  In order to remove the temptation, we recommend setting up these accounts in a very “inconvenient” place – like a completely separate bank.  This is where it is so hard to transfer any money back, and it removes that temptation to do so.  It is also “out of sight, out of mind.”  This can be a game-changer since you don’t see the account balance daily, and this account will continue to grow and grow without you making the mistake of putting your hand in that damn cookie jar and taking anything out!  I heard a story once of a businessman doing this for about 20 years, and he never checked the balance of this savings account.  After 20 years, he accumulated over 1 million dollars!  Wow, now that is avoiding a lot of temptation!

Concept #4 – Eat 5 meals a day (Or pick a number greater than 1!)

This concept of eating smaller, but more frequent meals during the day does several things.  The most important of which is it regulates your appetite throughout the day, so you don’t have those huge peaks and valleys.  You all know what I am talking about.  It is 3pm and you haven’t had lunch yet.  You are so hungry that you could eat anything in front of you, and what is usually in front of you is a fast food stop!

What if you were able to plan out your main 3 meals of the day, along with a small morning and mid-afternoon snack that was easy enough to take with you (non-perishable) that kept you in sync during the day?  Do you feel like you would be in more control?  The answer is yes.  When we start to split our large meals that we normally only have once or twice a day into smaller more manageable meals (think small plates here) we keep the peaks and valleys at bay.

In finance, there will be peaks and valleys in your income.  By making your savings automatic, and also automating the day these funds get transferred out of your account – like 2 times per month instead of one – you will start to be able to self-regulate your finances much, much easier.  For example, if you wanted to start saving $100/month and that just sounded like such a large amount, what if you were able to break that up into two $50 transfers that occurred on the 10th and 25th of the month?  Would that feel a little less hard and not break the bank?  This concept of splitting up your savings to twice a month can be a game-changer.

Give these 4 concepts a try in your fitness and finance to become more physically and financially free!

Ready to learn more about these 4 concepts and have a coach by your side to help keep you accountable towards your goals?  Check out our 30 Day VIP Experience below!  

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If you could live this day a second time…

By: Ben S. Fogel

If you were living today a second time, what would you do differently?

This was a question I was reminded about recently when working on some continuing education and reading Donald Miller’s “Business Made Simple” book.  He was referencing Viktor E. Frankl’s landmark book “Man’s Search For Meaning” and using this question above as a daily question to reflect on – which is part of the power of what Frankl coined as “Logotherapy.”  

Logotherapy is a school of psychology and a philosophy based on the idea that we are strongly motivated to live purposefully and meaningfully, and that we find meaning in life as a result of responding authentically and humanely (i.e. meaningfully) to life’s challenges.  Frankl used this reflective question in many ways, mainly to help people become fully aware of their own “responsibleness”  and here is a quote from the book:

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” 

He goes on to say, “It seems to me that there is nothing which would stimulate a man’s sense of responsibleness more than this maxim, which invites him to imagine first that the present is past and, second, that the past may yet be changed and amended.  Such a precept confronts him with life’s finiteness as well as the finality of what he makes out of both his life and himself.”  

If you can, read that quote above again.  Let it sink in.  This simple, yet effective exercise can allow you to literally jump from the present to the past (in your own mind) and have the power to change the past by the conscious thoughts and awareness you bring into your life to each day.  Donald Miller uses this question every morning as a journaling exercise, and I started to use it over the past 30 days with some pretty amazing success and that is why I wanted to share it with you! 

So, let’s think about this.  If you were able to start your day in a position of reflection – actual reflection of the past that has not occurred yet – and then had the opportunity to “course correct” anything that you could already foresee occurring in that day ahead, wouldn’t you find that a pretty powerful exercise to do?  To literally jump into your subconscious mind and give it powerful instructions for how you will live your life differently today based on being your “best self.”  

This one exercise could literally be a game-changer for all of us!  It has already been for me, and I want to share an example from my own life below.  

Question: If I were living today a second time, what would I do differently?  

  • I would be more present with my family

  • I would stay focused on every task at hand, and be free of distractions

  • I would listen more deeply and reflect back more to the people I have conversations with

By merely writing the very first thing that comes to my mind, my subconscious kicks in and says “don’t make that mistake again, Ben. Be more present when you are helping your son get dressed in the morning.  Smile and hug and kiss him.  Let him know you love him, and you are so happy for this time with him.”  And that is what happens.  

I feel more connected to my kids and wife than ever, because that first thing I wrote down is something I have written down every morning for this exercise over the last 30 days, and I have felt a difference in my relationships with them.  

By making a promise to myself that I will “stay focused and distraction free”, I disrupted the past I created in my mind and made myself a promise that my future will look differently than what is had in past months being overwhelmed with distractions that seemed to be everywhere.  Over the past 30 days, I have been more productive because I tricked my subconscious to go back into the past and not make those mistakes.  The mistakes of endlessly scrolling on social media, or habitually checking my email 8 times a day.  I have given myself a new “standard” to live by just by writing down how I will live differently every morning.  

You get the idea. I love this quote:

“We cannot live in the past; it is gone.  Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp.  We can only live in the present.  If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future.” 
– S.N Goenka

Living in the present is the only way we can live.  But also living in the present and being able to reflect on your day before it even starts, and how you could live it a second time even better will help you be even more fully “present.” That is what makes the difference.  

Give this exercise a try, and let me know how it goes!  

Come join us for our next round of the Epic 21 Day Challenge where we can help guide you with creating your “perfect day” and help you gain more confidence in yourself in the next 21 days than you ever have in the past!  You can get all sorts of BONUSES for signing up by Monday, April 5th!  Check it out here:

 



Harnessing the Habit of Awareness

Harnessing the “Habit of Awareness”

What’s up, Rockstars! Ben here sharing a question that we got from one of our members in the first week of our New Year New You Challenge. Here was the question:
 
“What percentage of my diet should be protein, carbs and fat to lose fat and to gain muscle?”
 
This was a great question, and one we wanted to break down a little bit.
 

 
Instead of being hyperfocused on the macronutrients – grams of protein, carbs and fat – or even the amount of calories coming from those foods – we challenge our members to becoming more “aware” of what they are eating by merely tracking it daily in a journal or on a tracking app.
 
We call this “The Habit of Awareness.” This habit is a simple one, but not always easy to start. What we recommend is to start with one meal a day. You could even start with the time of day where you feel like you don’t have the most consistency or structure, and then by using the habit of writing down what you are eating, it will gently nudge you into having a little more structure in your day. Then, it will push you into the direction of being more aware of what you are eating during that time of day.
 
Come join us for our next round of the Epic 21 Day Challenge where we will help you harness the habit of awareness, and gain more strength in the next 21 days than you ever have in the past!
 

3 Tips for a pain free Deadlift

3 Tips for a pain free Deadlift!

What’s up Epic Rockstars, Ben here. Today I wanted to go through 3 very simple and quick tips you can use right away to perfect your deadlift.
 

 
**TIP #1** Elevate your toes. By simply elevating your toes 1-2″, it forces you to automatically shift your weight back more, and allows you to maximally bend your hips and minimally bend your knees (the exact pattern of a hinge or a deadlift!).
 
**TIP #2** Use a dowel to ensure your back is not flexing (lower back or upper back) – Placing a dowel on your back will give you some great feedback as to whether you are keeping a nice, neutral spine during your deadlift pattern, or if you are indeed flexing your back. It will give you instant feedback, and is a great drill to use.
 
**TIP #3** Front Loaded Deadlifts. By grabbing a backpack, sandbag, or anything you can hug and squeeze, it teaches you to keep great posture during your deadlifts and to get your core muscles to actively stabilize your back and the rest of your body.
 
Give these 3 tips a try, and let us know how it goes!
 
Also, come join us for our next round of the Epic 21 Day Challenge where we will help you deadlift pain free, and get stronger in the next 21 days than you ever have been in the past!
 

Making Front Planks Harder!

How to make your Front Plank “Harder!” 

What’s up! Ben here with 3 easy cues you can use today to make your planks turn into what we call “Hardstyle” front planks!

1. Squeeze your heels together – Narrowing your base of suppurt and actually focusing on “squeezing” inwards with your heels will promote more muscle activation, and make your planks a little more active

2. Squeeze your knees together – By squeezing your knees together, you are doing a lot of similar things as squeezing your heels together. You are also putting your pelvis and lower back in a great “tucked” position. We don’t want your back excessively arched or extented, and this one cue will help promote more of a neutral spine.

3. Pull your elbows towards your ribcage – This ONE cue is a gamechanger! It invites your upper body to the plank, and also invites more muscles to activate and “join the party!” Your whole body should actually move forward – if your head was 2-3″ away from a wall, then your head would bump into that wall when you performed this cue and when you pull yourself forward.

** A quick disclaimer – since we are now making your plank more challenging, the goal here is to hold these “hardstyle front planks” for a shorter period of time. Start with a goal of 3 holds for up to 10 seconds. That is one set. Try for 2-3 sets like that!

Would you like to have a coach and a team of experts write you a customized training plan, so you don’t have to do all of the guesswork anymore?  Good news!  We are only accepting 3 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

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Don’t Set Goals. Raise Your Standards

Don’t set goals.  Raise your standards

I was listening to a podcast recently with Ed Mylett where he talked about not always focusing on merely setting goals, but to raise the level of your standards.  Put in other words, the point he was making was if you want to raise your success levels in your life you need to raise your standards.  He went on to argue that the only thing that separates a successful person from a non-successful person is their standards.  

Think about that for a moment.  I had to hit pause on the podcast right there and realize a few things:

  1. In order to become the person I wanted to become, my standards needed to change.  
  2. My ultimate goal then is to have my identity (who I want to become) match up with my standards.  
  3. Ultimately, this might be something I chase for the rest of my life. As I catch up to a standard I will set a new one to chase. Then rinse and repeat…

Matthew McConoughey said it best in his 2014 Oscar winning speech:

“My hero, that is who I want to chase.  My hero is me in 10 years, and my hero is always 10 years away.  I am never going to be able to attain that, and that’s fine with me because he keeps me with something to keep on chasing.”  

You see, standards are meant to be chased, attained, and chased again.  I believe what McConoughey said that we are never going to reach or attain the “ultimate goal” of (fill in the blank) because in life, there is really never a finish line – there is no ceiling in our lives.  We should all look to raise our standards first, then set goals based on the new standards we are living in our lives.  

So, don’t merely set goals – set and raise your standards first

Answering the question “Who do I want to become in 10 years?” will help you start the process of setting some new standards in your life.  

I will start with an often used example in the gym with a client:

  • Clients goal:  “I want to lose 20 pounds to feel better and be able to play with my grandkids for the next 10 years.”
  • Clients standard:  “I will become a person who works out and moves intentionally every day.” 

Based on this new standard that is brought into their life of the “person they want to become” they are then able to define a new goal that will raise them up to that standard of living.  

  • New Goal: “I will workout and/or move intentionally 300 times this year.”

Now what happens to this person in a year?  Will they lose the 20 pounds?  If they raised their standard to move intentionally and workout almost every day over the course of a year, and track those 300 days, I would place a bet that the person they want to become (their identity) has shifted because of a new standard they set on themselves.

The ultimate goal is to have your identity of who you want to become match up as close as you can with your standard.  In using the same example from above, this person also wants to have the identity of a person who does not reach for the chocolate or sugary snack.  So, their standard now may be to drink a lot more water and eat foods that will be nutritious and help them reach their goal of 300 days of moving.  

I will give one more example in my own personal life.  About a month ago, my youngest son was asking me a question at the kitchen table, and I was so preoccupied with my phone that I completely missed his question.  He then asked me (as a curious 7 year old should), “Papa, what is so important on your phone that you are always on it?”  

Wow, now if that wasn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.  This was my wake up call to change my standard for when I am home with my kids and setting standards with my phone around them.  Here is the new standard I have implemented since then:

My kids will not see me on my phone, ever.    

I know, a pretty high standard.  But here’s the deal.  My identity of who I want to become, the father I want to become is much too important – even more important than that phone.  I never want either of my boys to take second place to a phone, or my preoccupations with it.  A couple things I have already implemented for this to happen is:

  • I lock my phone in my vehicle when I get home – out of sight, out of mind. 
  • I turn my phone off in the morning when I am at home.

These two action steps have made the past few weeks so much better for me, and I know that some of the quality time I have had I would not have had with my kids if I didn’t set a new standard.  

Takeaway

Ready to set standards in your life?  Here are 3 steps to start:

  1. See an area in your life you recognize that you want to make better and want to improve
  2. What is the standard that you will need to improve/set in your life that will align with that person you want to become?
  3. Answer the question “What would stop me from (insert new standard)?“

Step number three is probably the most crucial step.  Take the time to write out all the things that will get in your way from achieving your new standard.  For the person that is going to ultimately lose 20 pounds by becoming a person that works out more, willpower will be the hardest.  They may say, “this morning’s drive to the gym will be 10 minutes there, 10 minutes back, then I have to shower, I might hit a red light…”  So, having an action plan ahead of time could help this person overcome this willpower issue.  

Having their workout clothes set out next to the bed, setting the coffee the night before, their gym bag ready – all of these things could help overcome the time objection that they place in their minds.  

Things that would get in the way of me reaching my new standard of my kids never seeing me on my phone would actually be having my phone on me!  That is why I hold it hostage when I get home and lock it in my car until they are in bed.  That is why I shut it off in the morning (this has also allowed me to get so much more deep work done than any other time in the past, and maybe will be a great topic for another article!).  

Remember, if you want to raise your levels of success, raise your standards.  Also, remember that as you set standards and reach them daily, you can also reflect on what you have been able to accomplish and then set new standards.  The cool thing about this exercise is that your standards will constantly change as you move forward in life.  

Remember that the question to ask yourself is, “Who do I want to become in 10 years?”  Then make sure your standards are set up in a way that you can chase that person 10 years from now. 

You will soon realize that person is your true hero…that person is you. 

Join us for our next round of the Epic 21 Day Challenge where we will help you step by step raise your standards in your life to become the best possible version of yourself.  Act quickly, we have only 4 spots left! 
 
 



Should You Overhead Press?

 

Should I Overhead Press?

What’s up, Ben here with a couple quick assessments you can do from the comfort of your home to see if you should be overhead pressing, or if you should maybe start with a different pressing variation first – especially if you have any previous shoulder injuries or issues.

Assessment #1 – Overhead Reach – Keeping a straight, solid line with your body (including a neutral position with your back), reach over your head and draw a “Y” with your arms and thumbs driving back to the wall behind you.

Ideally you can do this with a mirror to your side, or with a person watching you. What you want to watch for is that your low back isn’t extending as you reach overhead. This is a big complensation pattern that can end up hurting your lower back over time. The second thing you want to be able to do here is to hide you ear with your arm and bicep. Doing this shows you have requisite shoulder mobility in flexion of the shoulder.

Assessment #2 – Grab Your Tag!  This second assessment is looking at shoulder flexion AND external rotation of the shoulder, and it is an even easier assessment than the first one.  Find your tag on your shirt, and then grab onto your tag! Yes, that is it! Literally hold onto your tag on the back of your shirt, and ask yourself if you are comfortable reaching into that position.

If you are, you have the requisite shoulder flexion and external rotation to press overhead. If it is really difficult for you to grab that tag (or you wish you had a longer tag!) you may not be ready to overhead press! 

Would you like to have a coach and a team of experts write you a customized training plan, so you don’t have to do all of the guesswork anymore?  Good news!  We are only accepting 3 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

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Stronger Together – Chris G.

We are so excited to share Epic Fitness Rockstar member, Chris G’s story!  Chris has been a member for almost 5 years, and she is the wonderful example of someone who shows up every day for herself, and knows that her lifestyle and controlling her exercise is the best thing she can do as a cancer survivor.  

Check out her entire story below! 

Are you ready to take your health into your own hands?  We are only accepting 5 more people for our 21 Day Challenge!  Click the link below to learn more, sign up and save over 40% for a limited time!  

Learn More about the 30 Day VIP Experience!  

The Magic Pill is not Magic at all

The “Magic Pill” is not magic at all

  

As we have all dived into a new year, with it has come a ton of marketers that are promising quick results in “half the time” this year. There are so many businesses and companies out there that are spending millions and millions of dollars to buy your eyes and attention so you will purchase that next “quick fix” – the next “magic pill” that promises to get you to your health or wellness goals.
 
 
It almost sounds too good to be true… because it is.

The more money they spend on advertising the next pill, potion, supplement, or shot, the more money they make – AND the more people they lead down a path that is not sustainable.  After spending over 15 years in the health and fitness industry, and working with thousands of clients, I can confidently say there is NO magic pill.  There is no quick fix that will target that “stubborn belly fat” or that will magically improve your strength, endurance, sleep, or “fill-in-the-blank”.  What all of these amazing marketers are not telling you is that the real magic pill is having consistency over time and the discipline to stay the course.  

Actually, I have an equation for creating sustainable healthy change over the long term:

CONSISTENCY + DISCIPLINE + DESIRE = SUSTAINABLE RESULTS

My advice is this: stop throwing money away at the “next big thing” or some crazy supplement that your co-worker started to take and is telling you about.  Start investing in your daily healthy habits that will build consistency over time.  Have the discipline to do those few things every single day. 

Now, I will admit this equation above is simple, but not easy.  How do you start to build consistency?  By building small habits (Check out my article here all about how to make an “implementation intention” and to start to build consistency).  Small habits then start to lead to “routine” and this is really the secret sauce. 

The more unconscious we can make our habits then lead into a daily routine, the more success we will have.  The more habits we can “stack” upon each other, the more likely we will start to “run downhill” as I like to say (Check out the easiest way to “habit stack” here!).

Next in the equation is discipline.  Can you remember a time in your life when you had a specific goal that you were working towards, and you had to get a little uncomfortable to achieve that goal?  Maybe you had a goal to run a marathon and getting up every other morning to run a new distance got you a little uncomfortable, but you built the “discipline muscle” and did it every day because it was going to get you closer to your goal of running a marathon.  

Or maybe you were studying for an important final exam in school, and you knew you had to hit a certain grade to make the grade you wanted in that class.  So, what did you do?  You probably scheduled out time in your day (time you thought previously you didn’t even have) to study and work on the problems you knew were going to be on the test.  And then you succeeded.  

Discipline is a valuable character trait, and when combined with consistency, it can help you become unstoppable in accomplishing any goal you set in front of you.  

Lastly, but definitely not least is desire.  Desire is probably the strongest part of this equation.  If you don’t have a strong “Why” as we call it in the gym – a strong reason for WHY you are actually doing what you are doing, then it will be difficult to follow through with the consistency and discipline to get you there.  

Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help lead you to your “Why”:  

  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me?

  • Why now?

  • What would happen in my life if I made this change, and achieved my goal?

  • What would be the consequence in my life if I did nothing, and made no change?

These questions will help you dig deeper, peel the onion and understand just why it is so important for you to make a change in your life.  It is usually because the consequence of staying the same and doing nothing at all is more harmful to you than making the change.  

Build up your “desire” muscle strong enough that even when you do fall off the wagon, you can quickly jump back on. 

So next time you pull out your phone and see some fancy ad for a new fat loss strategy, or a new pill that is guaranteed to melt fat off your body, think back to all of the things that you have control over.  You have control over your consistency (your daily habits), your discipline, and your desire.  Nobody can take those character traits away from you! 

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