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Three Rules for Long Term Success

Aug 21, 2015

Three Rules to help reach long term success.

Today I am going to discuss 3 rules, that if applied to anything can greatly increase your chances of success. I am keeping it health and fitness related, but these rules can and have been applied to a variety of goals.

The rules work very well together hint hint. As you are reading, try and think how you could apply each rule to your own goals!

Rule #1 – Commit, but don’t over commit!

This is a huge one! Often I see people over commit, even if they do not realize they are doing it. Take a seemingly simple task like eating breakfast. It sounds like one small change to your day, but if you break down what it takes to add eating breakfast to your normal routine it becomes a lot more involved. You have to go to the store and get something for breakfast. You have to adjust your morning routine to allow time for breakfast. You have to prepare the food you will be eating. Then you finally eat it. Missing any one of those steps could lead you to not eating breakfast that day, and thus not being able to make it a habit.

I think a great way to make sure you are not over committing yourself is follow the 90% compliance protocol. Next time you decide to implement a new behavior ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how likely am I to actually follow through with this change. If you are not a 9 or a 10 simplify the behavior until you are. When you are able to say, “yeah that’s easy I can do that every day no problem” that’s where you start. When you reach this point it is critical that you fully commit to this new change, which shouldn’t be hard because you simplified it to the point that it almost seems too easy. Then you can make that simple behavior a habit and build on it as you go! Below is a quick example.

On a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to…

Drink a gallon of water every day – 4- I can’t drink that much water are you crazy…

Drink 8 glasses of water every day – 6 - I probably could do that, but sometimes I forget my water bottle at home

Drink 1 glass of water in the morning and one at night – 8 – I usually drink beer at night…

Drink 1 glass of water in the morning- 10- That’s easy Ill just get up and chug a glass before I do anything else. Great! Start here and do it every day, no exceptions until it is a habit. Then, add another small change that you can commit to just as easily.

Rule #2 – Break long term goals into short term steps

This seems obvious, but rarely do people actually sit down and write out the steps needed to reach their goal. It can be an eye opener on how realistic your goal is, or it can provide relief making large daunting tasks seem more manageable.

Let’s say you wanted to lose 20 lbs. You give yourself 10 weeks to do this. What do you need to do weekly, daily, hourly to reach that goal? Twenty pounds in 10 weeks means you need to lose an average of 2 lbs per week. 3500 calories = 1 lb, so you need to be at a 7000 calorie deficit (using 7000 calories more than you consume) per week. 7000 / 7 (days per week) = 1000 calories per day. 1000/ 3 (meals per day) = 333 calories per meal. This is a basic example; another way to get a deficit of calories is add activity. So you have broken down your goal (-20lbs in 10 weeks) to daily, and even more, meal specific steps to reach that goal.

Look at these specific steps and remember rule # 1. On a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to be able to accomplish those steps? If it is a 9 or 10 go for it! For most people, myself included this would be unrealistic, let alone may not lead to long term success. Let’s say you are one of those people, you answered 8 or less. What now? I would recommend adjusting your time frame, say 20 lbs in 20 weeks. After all the math that would be reducing each meal by 166 calories. Still not a 9 or 10? How about 20 lbs lost in 40 weeks. Get the point?

Rule # 3 – KISS

Kissing releases endorphins which create happiness and positivity. Read my Change Your Mind series to see how positivity is a key factor in success!

That had nothing to do with the KISS rule just a random way for me to put a link to my other posts haha.

KISS is something I remember from one of my elementary teachers. It stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. It has always stuck with me and I try to remind myself of this rule when I feel I am over thinking things. Ever heard of paralysis by analysis? Don’t let yourself over complicate things to the point you are overwhelmed and don’t end up taking any steps to work toward your goals.

You want to get stronger and have more energy? Start lifting things that are heavier than you were lifting before. You don’t need to have the latest and greatest squat variation.

Want to lose weight? Move more, and make better food choices. You don’t need to have the perfect diet plan that needs to be followed to the micro nutrient.

Want to get better at doing handstands. Do hands stand until you get better at them!

Starting with something is always going to be better than trying to find the perfect approach right away.

So remember, commit to realistic and simple changes, figure out the daily steps you need to take to reach your goals, and KISS your way to success!

Mike Gilmore

Fitness Together Newtonville


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