From the loftiest erudite scholar to the lowliest dropout panhandler, people struggle not to destroy themselves. People carry vices. People lose self-control. Regardless of consensus or logic, people mistreat themselves.
I heard a segment on NPR a while back that a study conducted by the Weight Watchers organization (they were trying to find why their company is dying, going from over 6 billion net at peak to under 1 billion projected gross) found people are burnt out hearing about dieting.
No surprise. People are burnt out hearing about weight loss. And they should be. Because a temporary diet and a centerpiece goal of weight loss never worked for anyone ever anyway. Weight loss for weight loss’ sake is easy. I’ve posted about personal 10lb drops in a 24 hour period. I’ve had clients lose over 100lbs in 8 months. One of my distance coaching clients just logged a 14lb loss in 5 days.
But then what? Even the preeminent cash cow Weight Watchers doesn’t have a long term leg to stand on.
So what are we really after? CHANGE. Deep, visceral, irrevocable shifts in how we live, our state of interfacing with our landscape and surrounding environment.
For fear of having my wisdom scorned, hear me out: don’t diet; don’t try to lose weight; don’t get pumped up about idealized monumental shifts in your life. BE EXACTLY THE SAME. Because, let’s be honest, that’s all anyone ever does once we get past 6-12 weeks...
EXCEPT... this time, alter one tiny, little, infinitesimally almost-undetectable behavior. When you do, never go back. It has to be a shift that is easy, simple - you could almost trip over it. It must take up less than 5 minutes of your day, so compliance will be 100% forever. When you nail it down, pick the next one. Don’t change anything else. Don’t sacrifice. Don’t alter your grocery store. Don’t diet. Don’t lose weight. Just keep it ALMOST undetectable. Your mind is prepared to go full-on fool, and shoot you in both feet if you make a big change. So don’t. Just step.
That’s it. That’s literally it. Steps. Simple steps. Don’t make a big change. Don’t set a goal. Don’t resolve. Just step.