Remember those health and wellness goals you made at the start of the year? Maybe you wanted to lose some weight, eat better, get back into the gym, or even go back to school. All of those are fantastic goals!
Regardless of the time of year I truly hope that you have not fallen back into old habits and become part of this statistic; over 90 percent of people fail on their New Year’s day resolutions in the first 45 days, but why?
Lack of persistence is just part of the reason
The first mistake is relying purely on persistence to meet your goals. While persistence is great, only a scant few of us have the ability to change habits with pure mental fortitude. It’s estimated that only 8 percent of us will meet any goal based on this alone. So here is how you can succeed.
Apply Gleicher’s Formula for Change
Gleicher’s Formula for Change was created in the context of organizational change management and it works magic for personal behavior change, too.
The Gleicher Change Formula states:
D x V x F > R
D = Dissatisfaction with the current situation
V = Vision of the future state
F = First steps towards the future state
And those three variables when multiplied together must be greater than:
R = Resistance (or the cost of change)
In other words, the product of your current dissatisfaction, goal clarity and specific action plan must be greater than the resistance (i.e., pain) associated with making the change:
Win on either side of the equation
The power of this equation in meeting goals or enacting change is that there are two ways to win. You can increase the left side of the equation — the size of your motivation, goals and plan — or you can decrease the resistance on the right side of the equation.
As an avid and lifelong fitness professional I never realized that most of my time was spent managing just one side of the equation. The result was I have always been part of the 8 percent.
With this awesome equation in mind, you can add some more psychology to the mix and actually meet your goals.
1. Fuel your ego by making your goals and progress public
The power of social media is that everyone knows that you have determined your resistance point and identified the vision and first steps. How do they know this? You embrace the power of social media and tell the world!
2. Make your progress tangible
Write down your goals, take before and after pictures and track them every day.
Keep a food and exercise journal. Track what you eat and when; track how you feel after every meal and after every workout. It will take some time but when you realize how much better you feel after eating clean and getting some exercise, the resistance to progress drops even further.
3. Put your money where your mouth is!
Give a friend $200, and make a deal where if you stick with your goal for six months you get the money back. If you drop off your goal the $200 gets donated to a charity.
You can also subscribe to a service that sends you workouts or tracks your movement.My company Fitresponderfitness.com has a mobile app and is geared specifically to public safety fitness. FitBit, GarminConnect, and many other subscription services can help you get started.
One of the awesome things about technology, like these wearable devices http://www.ems1.com/fitness/articles/1962047-6-wearables-to-keep-your-fitness-on-track, is that it can help you stay focused and motivated if you use it properly.
4. Determine your resistance point
Arguably the biggest key to meeting your goals and establishing a new habit is to figure out your resistance point. Where will you be most likely fail? Once you know your failre point it’s easy to establish a routine and start meeting those goals. Keep in mind that your resistance point can and will change as you progress towards your goal, so keep going back to the equation and rework the figures.
Tips for meeting a weight loss goal Gleicher Formula for Change
First, I want you to write the equation down and post it in a very obvious place, like your bathroom mirror, across the top of your iPad, or next to the big screen, hi-def televtion.
Second, If diets worked we all would be thin and healthy already.
Ask yourself, are you an intuitive eater or a mindful eater?
Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight, rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods.
Controlled eating is exactly the opposite, you eat at specific times and only eat specific amounts; sound familiar?
Moving forward I want you to make good food choices all the time and eat only when you are hungry. Be an intuitive eater. After eating look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I feel good?”
Eating healthy and eating clean will make you feel good.[GF3] Instead of wanting to take a nap you will want to move and be proactive as clean foods promote healing and give you energy. That little voice in your head usually has all the answers, we need to simply listen to our bodies.
Success story through changing both sides of the equation
Steve was overweight, lazy, unmotivated and hurt all the time. Steve was always tired and not just from his crazy shift schedule. Steve had constantly failed at diets and fitness programs.
We examined Steve’s Gleicher Change Formula.
He was Dissatisfied with how he felt and how he looked.
He had a Vision of getting back to his body weight of when he was in the military 20 years ago.
We identified his First Steps as adopting intuitive eating and a couch-to-5K program.
His Resistance was time, money and pain.
We are happy to report that after six months Steve has met his goal of weight, he is happy with how he looks (although still a work in progress) and his pain is almost gone. Sure he had to learn about foods and fell off the wagon a few times, but Gleicher’s Formula for Change stared him in the face all day long and he did run that 5K with no trouble at all. His son even joined him in the race and has also gotten a lot healthier.
So post your Gleicher’s Formula for Change to Facebook to tell the world YOUR equation.
1. Best Fitness Trackers for 2015. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404445,00.asp