5 Diet Questions You MUST Ask to Lose Weight

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5 Diet Questions You MUST Ask to Lose Weight

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Don’t Set Goals: do this because it works

Let’s pretend for a moment: you completely ignored setting goals, while entirely committing to a system.

Would you still get results?

January 1st is known as New Year’s Day and the time to set resolutions. The word resolutions, after all, means to “settle or find a solution to” something – usually a problem. It is supposed to the time to decide on a course of action.

Traditionally, the plan starts with setting a specific goal that you can apply and measure.

  • If you are a business owner, your goal is to increase sales.
  • If you are a writer, your goal is to write a book.
  • If you are an athlete, your goal is to improve a skill.
  • If you are overweight, your goal is to lose weight.

Again, the old way is: set a goal, put in work.

While that is better than doing nothing, there is a better way to reach your goals.

Systems beat goals, even when goals are not set. Goals are met when systems are used for success.

Difference Between Goals and Systems

Above, I listed four goals. Now I will list the systems, that could accompany each goal, instead.

  • If you are a business owner, your system is a process for marketing and sales (your goal is to increase sales).
  • If you are a writer, your system is a daily schedule for writing (your goal is to write a book).
  • If you are an athlete, your system is regular practice (your goal is to improve a skill).
  • If you are overweight, your system is what you eat, how you move, and manage stress (your goal is to lose weight).

Now let me reframe the opening situation in another way:

You completely ignore having a system and only focus on your goal.

Would you still get results?

Hell no. This is not my opinion. Numbers don’t lie. Unfortunately, this is what happens every year, beginning in January and little by a lot all year.

Here’s the rate of resolution failure:

  • 27.4% after the first week
  • 31.6% after the 2nd week
  • 41.6% by February
  • 55..2% by summer

Here’s an example, if you were a coach and ignored a goal of winning the championship and instead put your focus on making sure your team had excelled in practice, every day, do you think you would get results.

Of course. That is how winning is done.

Take me for example. For years, I had the goal of being a blogger. I’d set a goal in the fall, plan all winter, launch in January and by the summer, I would have fallen off.

It has happened three times: Facebook Notes, mispibo.com, and fitcitymke.com.

As they say, third time’s the charm.

January 21st, 2015, before I launched www.ambrosewb.com, I focused on my system for blogging. The three main parts of my system were:

  1. Writing in my journal, daily.
  2. Saving health and fitness articles to Evernote.
  3. Scheduling 2 hours blocks of uninterrupted time, for writing

By December 21st, 2015, I had written almost 100 articles!

I focused on the process, or work, clearly laid out in my system. One year later, I am still blogging. With over 60 articles posted to my site in 2016, I still have another 50 or 60 of my saved articles that I can use for inspiration in 2017.

Regardless of your goal, here are three facts that should help you focus on systems for success:

Expectations kill your joy.

My meditation coach, Bill, told me, “Expectations kill your joy.” Goals work the same way. When you are expecting to reach a target, your happiness attached to the completion of that goal.

This mindset is problematic because it forces you to expect your happiness later while working hard now. The expectation of success and happiness in the future will kill both.

Instead of thinking, “Once I have [my goal], then I will be happy,” winners already see themselves as successful because they are doing the work that comes with success.

ANSWER: Progress over the prize.

Goals can put much unnecessary stress on your mind. You would not be reading this today if I had made it my goal to write 100 articles in less than one year. As I write that, I realize it would have been entirely unrealistic if I did.

So why do we burden ourselves with goals every year? Losing weight, succeeding in business or mastering a skill. This year, reduce your stress by keeping it simple. Focus on your process daily, and let the goal come to you.

When you focus on progress over perfection, you can enjoy that you are getting better every day.

Goals can be at war with your long-term development.

When you set your goal, you are motivated. You think you will stay motivated over time, but this rarely happens.

Think about someone training for a bodybuilding competition. They would have to work extremely hard, for months, even years to complete. As soon as they walk off stage, they stuff their face. Their goal was to get in the best shape as possible, and now they have completed it, what’s the motivation?

When you achieve a goal you have focused and worked hard for, there is nothing left to push you as you move forward.

This is what happens when people “yo-yo” diet. People go up and down as they work on a goal and then stop working towards a goal. This type of roller coaster makes progress a wild ride that eventually halts to a stop.

ANSWER: Give up the need for instant gratification

In the past, I have injured myself either in the gym or recreational activity. There has been a moment where I could stop, but I wanted “it” now. “It” for me, is to perfectly execute or plan or perform at a high level. Instead, I found myself not working out at all.

Now, I remind myself that I am going to be physically active for a long time and I need to be able to perform as I get older.

In the case above, when you are focused on a goal, you will push yourself hard at the moment thinking it will help you reach your aim. A goal-based mindset means you are a failure unless your reach your goal.

Now look at the systems-based mentality. Today, I have no problem easing off of my training intensity. Because my system does not put my focus on specific numbers or performances. Instead, my intention is moving every day for at least 20 minutes.

Is that all that I do? Of course not. It’s just one way that I can be self-aware that my lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint.

Goals give you a false sense of control

No matter how hard you grind, you will never be able to predict the future. Some things are outside of your control. This includes the result.

Goals suggest you are in control.

You plan this, and you plan that with the idea that it will lead you somewhere. If you are like most, you set benchmarks for success even though barriers and obstacles always arise.

ANSWER: Use a feedback loop to stay on track

At the end of each week, I spend 20 minutes punching numbers and color-coding a Google Sheet. There are essential metrics that I need to run my business.

For example, I am tracking the conversion rate (the percentage of website visitors who sign up for my free email newsletter). Early on, I had the number “100” stuck in my head. For whatever reason, I thought I should not launch my blog until I reached 100 subscribers.

Now, I rarely think about this number. On the other hand, I track this metric so that I can improve my opt-in forms and free resources. When someone signs up, I know I am doing something right, and I can continue to create good content.

Feedback loops allow you to keep track without the extra pressure of trying to predict the future. At the same time  – you know what’s happening. Use a system that will allow you to assess and make the adjustments.

Date, Engage and Marry The Progress

I am not saying you should not use goals any more than I’m saying you should not fall in love.

I am saying that love will help your marriage like systems with will help your progression.

People who create specific resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who do not. Plans do have power. However, you do not set goals just for planning. Use a system if you want to make progress.

In the short-term, goals are useful for providing direction, but behind every winner is a well-designed system.

Systems matter more.

Make the decision that process makes you stronger than planning.

Got Bad Habits? Good. Own Them. Then Succeed

Why do we have such a hard time accepting responsibility for our actions?

Do you have any friends, family or coworkers who complain every New Year that they are out of shape and unhealthy? Maybe that person is you.

At what point does a person, who complains yet takes does act, accept full responsibility for their own involvement in the situation they find themselves in?

  • They could have started with the wrong mindset
  • Maybe they picked the wrong place to train or gym partners to depend on
  • It’s also possible they miscalculated the time and effort it takes to reach their goals

I know – that’s a lot of speculation, but these are all scenarios that play out every time someone owns their health.

Wanting to feel secure, attractive, and vibrant is a part of the human experience.

Yes, there may be problems that come with an over-inflated view of yourself. I’d argue a low self-esteem and depression are far worse. Either way, at both extremes, we find the foundation for denial or the false view of one’s self and the ability to accept the truth.

When living in denial, the truth hurts. It’s too painful to accept your own mistakes or vanity, so you point the fingers at other whenever possible.

If you are doing curls for the girls, fine. Own it. If you are lazy and doing to change, okay. Own that too.

Seeing your life as it actually is,  and what you make believe, is nearly impossible when you refuse to think with an open mind.

All curls and no squats will lead to weak, little legs. Let me tell you, buddy, the girls aren’t fooled by your baggy sweats. Naturally, you can’t expect to be fit when you aren’t taking the consistent action, over time, to improve your health.

That’s just the truth. There is no need to continue feeling self-conscious about it.

The result of feeling insecure is the inability to accept responsibility. Some people feel weak and inadequate when taking personal responsibility. The idea that they may fail and others will judge them is tied to their sense of worth and significance.

What these people don’t understand is respect is earned from taking responsibility. You will not get it right all of the time. Mistakes are what is required to become successful. While we all know this, it’s harder to practice it.

If you take responsibility, you get the blame that comes with your actions as well as the fame. Both are used in the development of the person you want to be (and the body you want to have).

Personal responsibility measures your self-worth, level of security, and courage.

No scale can measure your self-worth. Competitions for confidence don’t exist There is no one-rep max for courage.

When you nurture your ability to respond, you empower yourself to develop in a way that will reap the rewards and praise for yourself. You can curl and take responsibility for a balanced body.

Will it be easy? No.

Will it be worth it? Yes!

Who deserves their dream body, a person who owns their actions, accepts fault, and knows they will do better in the future, or someone who denies the truth that they are where they are because of themselves?

Accepting personal responsibility is a sign of strength. It calls for a growth-mindset in a mature person.

Work on this mental skill and next year this time, you will have met your New Year’s resolutions.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail 92% of the Time

New Year’s resolutions don’t work. Goals don’t get results most of the time. And there’s only one way to make sure you don’t make the same mistake in 2017 as you did last year.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to increase your chances of success from 10% to 90% in this new year.

New year’s resolutions don’t work. Goals don’t get results most of the time. And there’s only one way to make sure you don’t make the same mistake in 2017 as you did last year.

In this post, I’m going to teach you how to increase your chances of success from 10% to 90% in this new year.

If hard work was all, it took to reach your health and fitness goals, the path to the body you want would be simple. Work hard, and you would get lean and strong.

For some, maybe the lucky and young, this is somewhat true. Kids lace up their running shoes or spend a couple of hours in the gym, and the rewarded is a tight body.

But if you are in your late 20s or older, hard work (alone) does not give you the body you desire.

Your body is more than energy in (nutrition), energy out (exercise). The older you get, the more critical it is that you develop the mental skills necessary for guaranteeing a great physique.

Most times, even we all people know we should, people are not willing to eat differently. They believe the can put in more work at the gym, canceling out bad eating habits, to achieve success.

What does this mean? Here’s the typical person after the New Year:

First thing: they want to move their body. So they get new gym clothes, gym membership, and even a workout partner or a personal trainer if they are really serious.
It’s free, easy, and makes you feel better, and does yield the fastest results.

The next step, the work you do in the kitchen, is often the most important thing on the one hand and overlooked on the other. Most people completely bomb when it comes to eating for health and fitness. People either go to an extreme: a) working out extra hard or b) going on a crash diet. Ultimately, if you don’t change your lifestyle, you end up yo-yo dieting forever.

As you age you become more successful in business, the cost of a member or personal trainer, information overload, and not feeling sexy and confident in your body makes exercising difficult.

At this point, you can’t get by any longer with poor nutrition. Ask yourself, “What’s the difference between two people with the same goal when one person quits and the other reaches success?”

While genes and specific movements are important, the edge mindset – what you believe and how you think sets winners apart from losers.

Work can be broken down into a few areas, if we’re talking about health and fitness:

  1. Exercisethe bodily effort you exert to increase or maintain physical fitness
  2. Nutritionthe process of consuming the food necessary for health and growth
  3. Mindsetthe accepted set of attitudes held by someone

Most of the requests I get from people revolve around the exercise part of the work because this is where people are putting in the most time yet see no results for their effort.

Goals Don’t Get Results

As a new professional in the fitness industry, I got my theory about setting goals from business ideology. Have you ever heard of “S.M.A.R.T.” goals? If you haven’t, you either are still in grade school or haven’t done a lick of business. The idea is that specific, measurable goals with a timeline are more likely to get achieved.

I use to believe ideas like “smart goals.” Now I do my research. For example, have you ever heard of the study on the Yale Business School class of 1953? It was said that:

…only 3% of the graduates had clear goals that were written down. 20 year later, the 97% of students who did not write goals did not make as much as the 3% who did, combined.

A persuasive reason to set goals if it was true. It’s not. There is no such study. Check Yale’s University Library for yourself.

What does one study that wasn’t true matter? Don’t successful people set goals? Nope.

Numbers Don’t Lie

It’s been a trend since the 1990s when the 1953 Yale study was falsely cited in the September 1991 issue of Success magazine. The author Ken Thuerbach said he got it from Zig Ziglar who said he heard it from somewhere else.

Enough is enough. One study by on Statistic Brain by the University of Scranton analyzed New Year’s resolutions. The finds are similar to the Yale Business study that never happened:

Who Sets Goals:

  • 45% of Americans usually make goals
  • 17% of Americans infrequently make goals
  • 38% of Americans never make goals

The Rate of Success:

  • 8% of people who are successful in achieving their resolution
  • 49% of people have frequent success
  • 24% of people never succeed and fail on their resolution each year

The Length of Resolutions:

  • 75% of people made it through their first week
  • 71% of people made it past two weeks
  • 64% of people made it past one month
  • 46% of people made it past six months

Decisions Make It Happen, Resolutions and Goals Don’t

New year’s resolutions are fun because they don’t involve hard work.

They allow for you to wish for better health, more money, or deeper relationships. In reality, the back-end to the no upfront cost of resolutions is overwhelming. The amount of willpower needed to achieve your goals is huge.

When you look at the data, it’s apparent: less than 10% of us have enough willpower to reach our goals.

What works if resolutions and goals don’t? Decisions are tough to make, but they work. To make a decision is to eliminate choice. It means to “cut off” other options by “making up one’s mind.”

Remember the three basic areas of health and fitness? They are exercise, nutrition, and mindset.

Decision-driven habits are the secret mindset for success.

The best thing about this mindset: decisions need very little upfront effort and take incredible willpower to break them once established.

5 Step-System to Decision-Driven Success

On the one hand, applying business theories like goal setting didn’t work for me. On the other hand, I’ve learned top performers in business and sport follow a consistent decision-making checklist.

Here is your decision-driven checklist for successful 2017 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Write down 3 to 5 big challenges that will cause you to fail. Get a jump on potential pitfalls. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, one challenge may be you like to watch Netflix and chill after work and end up skipping dinner.
  2. Change your challenges to decisions. This is easy to do. Reframe each challenge by asking yourself, “What should I do about [challenge]?” For example, “What should I do about the fact that I like to snack in front of the dinner and don’t make dinner?”
  3. Get a coach and a team. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Neither do decisions. Decisions can change your current situation. So it’s important you understand decision-driven work is about teamwork. Find someone who shares your perspectives and get them to buy into your goal. The right team will give you two things: support and accountability. For example, Netflix and chill probably includes a partner, or someone close who you like to spend time with, and dinner can include your kids or friends.
  4. Pause. What was your reaction to getting on a team? Do you laugh? Or did you cringe? If you don’t, you are going to fail at your resolution like 92% of people most likely. Set yourself up for success. Maybe you need to pick another goal because you couldn’t change your challenges to decisions. It’s call strategy called a “pivot.” Or maybe you are going to be happy when you look back at 2017 and all your accomplished chilling watching Netflix.
  5. Cool, you’re still with me. Let’s review:
    1. You know what challenges could cause you to fail.
    2. You have your challenges.
    3. You got a team who is on the same page and bought into your success.

Awesome. You just put in the hard work that most people don’t. You have just increased your chances of success from 10% towards 90%.

Was that tough? As you’ve heard: if it were easy, everyone would do it. That’s why champions win. They are willing to do what others won’t.

If you are going to make 2017 your best year yet, you are going to need to do what champions do: win the battle in your mind.

I would say good luck, but now that you have changed your resolutions and goals to decisions, I know you are going to have success in New Year.

I decided a long time ago not to put my success in the hands of “luck.” It’s all about hard work and living well. When the opportunity comes, it will serve you well.

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