Why Success is Not About the How-To’s

How many how-to books have you seen on the shelves or on Amazon?

I would guess that there are millions out there in any subject imaginable.

So how come not everyone in the world is rich, thin, happy and totally stable and functioning in their personal relationships?

We should be able to read a how-to book in each of those subjects, take the skills that the author talks about and get the same kick ass results. Right?

We know that the person writing that book has had the success and they are simply sharing their systems, skills and tactics with us. So why can’t we do the same?

It seems so simple to just follow the script and have an amazing life in every area- business, fitness, finances, family, relationships, etc.

Let’s take fitness as the example. You KNOW that you are supposed to:

  • Strength train 2-3 days each week
  • Do 2-3 days of conditioning with workouts like sprints each week
  • Eat 90% healthy and avoid sugars and starches

Do you comply with those things every single week? Do you have intensity and focus during every training session?

Some weeks are better than others.

What’s up with that?

The reason that people in general can’t just follow a set of steps and bang, get results, is because there is no learned behavior.

Studies show that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. Yet I see people come into the gym all the time and they train 2,3,4 times and wonder why they are still struggling, why they don’t have the results they want and why when they are a little bit tired or stressed they decide, I’ll just skip that workout today and go home and have a drink.

In observing my clients over the years it’s an interesting pattern because after a few weeks or months, that though process goes away. Instead of “I had a shitty day, I’m going to go home and eat some ice cream” it now becomes “I need to get to the gym and burn off some stress and clear my mind.”

Those people have created a habit and a lifestyle and they KNOW that when they get to the gym, see their training buddies and move some weights around and break a sweat, they will feel better. Plus they won’t beat themselves up for doing something that’s going to slow their progress.

I’m not by any means saying that we should never have bad days, but I’m saying more often than not if you have a learned behavior and a set of habits, you will comply much more often than if you are just left to your own devices and trying to follow the how-to manual of fitness and health.

How do you get to that point of compliance?

You have to give yourself the tools to succeed. The first 21 to 30 days you just have to straight up suck it up. You have to create those habits and here’s how you do it:

  • Set the days that you will get to the gym and make that an appointment. When our clients start training they select their training days (2-3 each week) and stick to those. We know they are coming and most importantly, they have the appointment
  • Pick 2 days that you will do you off-day conditioning. Simply commit to doing those for 21 days, no excuses. Take one day at a time and before you know it, you have formed that habit of on Wednesdays and Saturdays, you’ll do your sprint workouts
  • Write it down. Put it in your calendar. It’s an appointment that’s just as important as any meeting or doctors visit
  • Think about this 21 day period as simply learning the skills. Once you have the skills, it’s all downhill from there. Each day brings you one step closer to this becoming second nature.

There is no easy answer to creating habits and lifestyles but the important thing to remember is that you can’t rely on willpower if you don’t have the skills in place first. Once you’ve finished this 21 habit formation process, willpower can be helpful for those days when you just are not feeling it, you can push through.

If you don’t have the habits, the accountability and the skills put in place beforehand, using willpower will straight up suck. You can’t push through because you have nothing guiding you.

My challenge to you is to create that first 21 day habit. If you already have your strength training dialed in, then use this tactic for getting your conditioning days in. If those are good, use this tactic with your healthy eating plan. Pick one habit that you need to change and put these principles into place. Then work on the next one. Don’t try to fix more than one at a time because you’ll need laser focus for this.

If you’re ready to kick start your fitness this summer and come into a program that gives you 100% accountability and all the skills to get these results without all the “how-to’s” then just click here for a free training consultation with me

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