Pretty bold title, right?
The reality is that too many of us are overweight, eat lousy foods, and don’t exercise.
We know (intellectually) that we have to eat less, eat better, and exercise more. Yet we don’t do it.
Oh sure, we manage to get to the gym in January, and maybe we go for a few sessions. But, we’re suddenly “busy.” And so, that
membership (or the piece of expensive exercise equipment that we bought) is collecting dust in the basement.
So what’s the Ultimate Secret to staying on our exercise plan? The Ultimate Secret to dieting and losing weight?
Well, it’s simple to describe, but difficult to actually do.
Why do we fail?
The reason why we fail at any of these endeavors is because each of them (diet, exercise, etc.) require us to make a change.
Change is difficult! It’s uncomfortable. It’s messy. It’s much easier to keep doing whatever we feel comfortable doing.
Habits are comfortable. Changes are not.
Yet, when we buy that piece of exercise equipment, we’re convincing ourselves that we’re suddenly going to change and start exercising. After all, all the slim, fit people on TV do it. “Just 30 minutes a day for three days a week,” they say.
Just start your diet on Monday and you’ll lose a pound a week! Yes, that new diet might lead to weight loss, but can you suddenly and completely change your eating habits?
It sounds so easy. Yet we try, and we don’t stick with it.
Why? Because it’s change. And change is uncomfortable. Our subconscious does not like change. Instead, it prefers to back to the status quo; to what is comfortable and routine, even if it’s unhealthy.
So what’s the Ultimate Secret?
The Ultimate Secret is simple.
You have to build positive, forward momentum each and every day until your goal is achieved.
But, and this is important, that daily momentum has to be very gradual, almost unnoticeable.
In other words, by making that change as small as possible, it won’t actually feel like a change.
But over time, the results can be life changing.
What The Biggest Loser teaches us about sudden change
One of the surprising results from The Biggest Loser is that nearly anyone can run a marathon, provided they prepare for it. Now on The Biggest Loser, the contestants do nothing but diet and train, which is not practical for the rest of us.
Yet, many of those contestants fail to keep the weight off after they leave the show. Why?
Because they return to what feels comfortable! They’ve shocked their systems into losing weight, but they subconsciously return to what feels normal.
In other words, sudden change, like buying a piece of exercise equipment, or joining a gym for the first time, is unlikely to have a long-term benefit unless you also include the Ultimate Secret.
That Ultimate Secret, again, is to make the change slow, subtle, and regular.
How to use the Ultimate Secret
Here is a process and an example of how the Ultimate Secret works.
First, you need to identify a Big Audacious Goal (B.A.G.). That goal must be:
> Very specific
> Very doable
> Something that makes sense
> Something that can be planned for
For example, “Running a marathon in 6 months” may not work because
> It’s not specific enough. It should be targeting a specific marathon on a specific date and time
> It may not be doable for someone who has never run before
> It may not make sense because there are no scheduled marathons in your area in 6 months
> You may not be able to train fast enough to achieve your goal
However, let’s suppose you establish a B.A.G. that fulfills our criteria, such as “I will run in and complete the Runners Club 5 kilometer race on Saturday, September 23rd, at 8:30 am.”
Again, note how specific it is.
Now, you need to do a few things:
> Put the event on your calendar, and design a plan to achieve that goal (more later)
> Tell people about your goal, but stick with those who will actually support and help you achieve your goal.
As an aside, it’s rather sad to think that your immediate family members may not always be the most understanding or supportive people in your Inner Circle. You may actually find more support from friends, distant relatives, even eFriends that you have on Facebook and Twitter.
> Calendar in hand, work you way backwards and plan your training.
For example, if you’re not in running shape, then trying to run a mile today will only cause pain and disappointment. Remember, sudden change is what we’re trying to avoid!
Instead, try walking 100-200 yards today.
That’s it? Only 100 yards?
Yes, only 100 yards.
Again, the Ultimate Secret is to make slow, imperceptible change so that you develop forward momentum towards your goal.
So, walk 100 yards today. Tomorrow, walk 125 yards. The next day, try walking 200 yards. Get to the point where you can comfortably walk 1 mile before you start jogging.
Even when you start jogging, again you don’t want to make too drastic of a change. Try dividing your mile into a quarter-mile walk, then quarter-mile jog, then walk, then jog.
Continue building in this slow, steady way, What you’ll find is that your momentum will cause you to accelerate your training until you achieve you goal.
“This won’t work for weight loss.”
Yes it will.
First, pay close attention to what you eat every day. Writing it down helps. Be sure to count everything, including that spoonful of stew you ate while tasting it during cooking. Or that third cookie you ate because there were only three left in the box.
Then, start cutting back slowly. Use less sugar and cream in your coffee. Eat one cookie instead of two, then a half, then half a cookie and a piece of fruit, then fruit only.
Slow, gradual, but daily change builds momentum that cannot be disrupted until your goals are met!
But again, you must have a very specific goal, such as “I will lose 10 pounds by September 1.”
Remember, the Ultimate Secret is nothing more than a plan for slow, imperceptible, daily change. Working your way towards an achievable goal that is doable and makes sense is undoubtably the best way to achieve your health and fitness goals because you are addressing the one major stumbling block that we all have, namely, dealing with change.
What’s your goal?
What is your gradual plan to achieve that goal?
Does the goal make sense?
Who is in your supportive Inner Circle?