As a trainer, I have always had an unsaid rule that I don’t offer unsolicited advice, especially to friends and family. I won’t give you my opinion unless you ask and I won’t judge you if you eat fast food or dessert, ever. So sometimes, I bite holes in my tongue. Or I write. Ha!
I have this friend. I love her, I support her and I want success for her more than she wants it for herself sometimes. She’s done the Weight Watchers program at least 5 times and has paid for it each time. The cost used to be something like $40/month or $10/meeting. She is drawn to go back to it because it’s easy for her now because she knows the rules. It has a points system and she knows how to keep track of points and over the years, has figured out lower point options for some of her favorite things. She has lost significant amount of weight with it in the past so why not do it again? She’d say, “I know what to do. I just don’t do it.” And if Dr. Phil inhabited my body, I/he’d say, “And how’s that working for ya?” (Yes, I use to watch Dr. Phil and that slightly sarcastic line is something I would say in my head as I bit holes in my tongue.)
Trying and failing is a part of life. But, if we don’t use the failure as an opportunity to learn, we’ve wasted the experience and we’ll likely face another opportunity (or failure) to learn it all over again (oh I hate that). There’s something fascinating about human motivation. We are often willing to try and fail at the easier, cheaper, and quicker ways at doing things leaving us defeated and discouraged time and time again than to have the courage or the willingness to try something different and do the hard things, the hard changes, the right thing the right way for long term, lifelong success.
“This short term response to long-term desires is alive and well in the corporate world also. A management consultant friend of mine was hired by a billion-dollar company to help it fulfill its goals and aspirations. The problem was, she explained, no matter what the issue, the company’s managers were always drawn to the quicker, cheaper option over the better long-term solution. Just like the habitual dieter, “they never have the time or money to do it right the first time,” she said of her client, “but they always have the time and money to do it again.”‘
excerpt from Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Working in the health and wellness industry for over 16 years has allowed me to come across thousands of people who have long-term desires, but are addressing it with the quicker, cheaper option over and over and over again. People are drawn to things like appetite suppressors, HIIT workouts and diets because they think it will give them faster results with less pain, less time, less effort and/or less cost. On the other hand, I watch people pay for gym memberships and not use them, but it’s too expensive to buy organic food. I watch people eat out 2-5x/week spending $20-250 or more a week on their “fix”, but hiring a trainer is too expensive. I know. I’ve been there. I work right in the thick of it and have said those things myself!!! Why in the world would I say that? Money is not the issue. Beliefs are the issue.
Beliefs come from knowledge which turn into understanding which turn into action which give us experience. If our knowledge never turns into understanding then our action won’t be fueled. If actions are not taken, we’ll never have the experience that solidifies our beliefs.
1. What’s your long-term health desire?
2. Why do you really want it? How much do you value it? How high of a priority is it for you?
3. What have you done to get it?
4. What doesn’t work for you?
5. What’s keeping you from learning and understanding more about a different way to address it?
6. Is money the issue or are your beliefs the issue?
Back to my friend…I hate that she gets discouraged and down about gaining weight back. I hate that there are other looming health issues that she faces and is likely to face if she doesn’t find long-term lifestyle health for her and her family. She’s said that money is an issue, but it’s not. They eat out, they buy new fun toys, she gets her hair done… It’s her beliefs…about herself, about nutrition, about what’s the best way to become her healthiest.
Fast, cheap and easy turn into long, expensive, hard and DISCOURAGING when you have to do them over and over and over again never getting your desire or aspiration. Maybe it’s worth choosing the harder things now that lead to long-term results forever.