Make Change Easy…Easier!

By Kyle Arsenault CSCS

 

 

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend the day with a bunch of really smart dudes (and dudettes) at the 3rd annual Cressey Sports Performance Fall Seminar.

While I am always excited about the talks that go over the nuts and bolts of training such as movement assessment, cueing/coaching and programming, I was the most excited to see Greg Robins present on helping athletes get and stay motivated to reach their goals, and make a positive change.

Greg’s ability to put the information into context, as well as emotionally connect with the audience made his presentation 2nd to none. It was also a great demonstration of how we as coaches, spouses, friends and family can help others make a positive change and live a happier and healthier life…and get jacked diesel and more athletic of course!

The big three components to making a change (one that actually lasts) are the mind (knowledge), the heart (emotion) and the path (situation/environment), as Greg discussed.

 

 

This was something that I had previously read about in Switch by Dan and Chip Heath, but the way Greg was able to reiterate their message was superb and a great reminder to how we can be successful with our training, nutrition and lifestyle.

So just how can we make sure that a positive change will occur, last and make it easier to obtain?

It is not by accruing more information. Many of us already know what to do and in many cases have too many options. Rather it is by making an emotional connection to the change we are seeking and then paving a path that will be the most conducive in allowing us to get there.

Here are a few tips to help you in making the change in which you seek whether it is to lose body fat/weight, gain muscle and/or strength or simply to live a healthier life that will allow you to have fun and enjoy everything to the fullest.

 

1)      Identify your goal

 This is pretty self explanatory as most of us know what our goal is, but again, it is how we get there that we need help with.

 

2)      Ask yourself why you want this at least three times

For example, if you want to lose body fat as yourself why.

Let’s say your first answer is so you can fit into your old clothes, ask yourself why again.

 

 

Your second answer may be that you want to be able to do so as you have a 10 year high school reunion in a few months.

Ask yourself why one last time and you are likely to discover that you want to lose body fat so you feel confident around others, and maybe so you can impress that someone you used have a thing for.

That is the deeper why, and the why you need to make an emotional connection.

 

3)      Make the emotional connection

From the last point you may have been able to make the emotional connection. Maybe you want a passionate relationship that you can be confident in. There is your emotional connection…the want to love, and to be happy with yourself the entire time.

Other emotions can be the driver such as fear, but discovering a positive emotion is best.

 

4)      Pave a better path

Now it is time to make the journey easier.

Develop a support team (your friends/family/colleagues) who will be there for you along the way. Make sure they know about your goals and ask them to help you. If they think it is silly and tell you to forget it, well, forget them. Remove them from the situation.

 

 

Next, make your living environment fit your goals. Again relating to health and performance, try to get replace the temptations that may hold you back from your goals such as highly processed, high sugar foods. Try replacing them with something else that is still sweet but healthy.

And if your daily routine consists of you working, getting home and sitting on the couch, make it a point to replace sitting on the couch with something else such as a walk, foam rolling session or quick training session.

The idea is to replace the non-constructive stuff with more conducive items/activities.

 

5)      Make the change EASY

If the change you are seeking seems like a daunting task, make it much simpler. Instead of losing 20lbs, think of losing 1-2 pounds per week as the goal.

And even better, make the goal a process goal. Forget about losing weight/fat and focus on building routines/habits such as eating protein with each meal, going for a 10 minute walk every morning or taking 15 minutes to chill out in the middle of your day.

Whatever you think you can do 99% of the time.

As Greg mentioned, it is the little successes that will grow into big accomplishments and allow us to continue to make progress. So try and recognize your little successes and keep them piling up!

 

Conclusion

While this article is an extremely, let me repeat, EXTREMELY watered down version of what we discussed (in fact this may be only about 5% of what Greg covered), it is a good start to understanding a conducive behavior change process.

As Greg and I talked about afterwards, it doesn’t matter if you (or the person who is trying to make the change) knows 100% of the what they need to do if they are not emotionally invested and have a path to follow.

Greg and I both agreed that we would rather have an athlete who only understands 10% of what to do and does that nearly 100% of the time than an athlete who knows 100% of the information, but only does 5% of what they know, and only 50% of the time…that works out to 10% vs 2.5% for those you who really want the math!

So identify your goal, ask yourself why 3 times, find the emotion attached and start to plan the path that will allow you to get closer to your goals every day. And when your goals change (which they will) repeat the process and live a happy and healthy life defined by the body and confidence you want and deserve.

If you liked this article share it with EVERYONE so they have a better chance of reaching their goals and making positive changes…and give Greg a shout out because he is a smart dude!

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