I was contacted by a busy CEO who told me: “I have been reading your blogs and the things you say resonate with me. I would really like your help but I’m incredibly busy and I can probably only commit to a one to two-hour block of time on the phone every month.”
Finding the right approach
We arranged a call on which we discovered his goals and his reason for acting now. It was clear his work was all-consuming, so we agreed he would just commit to creating a new habit concerning his phone and reconvene next month.
Around the same time I was contacted by a woman who had tried at least 12 diets with only brief periods of success. She was desperate and wanted a new diet and workout plan.
I explained that I wouldn’t do this, as it would likely end up the same as the others. She needed to explore why every diet ended in failure before beginning another. I offered to help her to do this, but she was keen to keep on trying to find the ‘right diet’.
Step by step
Month 2 came for the CEO. Already he felt less overwhelmed. He hadn’t realised how much his phone kept him in an alert state, which he medicated with food and alcohol.
I taught him some simple nutrition principles that he applied, and then for Month 3 we agreed he would eat three palm-sized portions of quality meat or fish every day, and we planned how this would work from sourcing to preparing to eating.
Months 4,5, and 6 followed with similarly small but practical and impactful new habits.
“I want it now!”
Meanwhile I got another email from the struggling woman. She stuck to her latest diet for 15 days but then ate some cheese and wine, which resulted in her giving up. I asked her why she thought this was a failure but she didn’t want to engage.
She wanted a workout she could do every day. I said she should find something that made her happy. She said she was going to try another plan the following week.
Three months passed and I heard from her again.She had signed up to a boot camp and had a full meal plan ready to go. ‘THIS TIME’ she was going to stick to it until she had the physique of her youth.
One succeeded, one failed
The CEO could only commit to small incremental changes BUT ended the year 47lbs lighter.
The woman who wanted results yesterday and punished her every setback was one more year jaded, weary, and down on herself.
The secret to change isn’t willpower, effort, determination or any other virtue. Instead, it comes most easily when you are happy where you are but desire change. It’s most difficult to create when you hate where you are and NEED a change.
That’s the secret: create a life of fulfillment and change will come more easily.