“Sometimes success is less about making good habits easy and more about making bad habits hard.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits
On Bedros Keuilian’s podcast espisode #196 entitled “Few Will Hunt”, Bedros interviews founders Joey Bowen and Drew Beech of the brand Few Will Hunt, asking them about their brand messaging.
What’s interesting is that they started their brand, or movement, based off the ideas of earning over entitlement. Hard work over easy living.
Everyone wants to eat, but few want to hunt for it.
It’s a message that I resonate deeply with and align myself to – or try, anyways.
It’s a message I want for MacroLab Nutrition, and a message I want for my life daily.
Everyone wants to lose the weight, look good, feel good, and perform better, but very few people want to put in the effort to make it happen.
By effort, I mean hard work, toil, sweat, and risk. That doesn’t sell well in our consumer society, though.
When I was a fitness manager of a gym, I sold more 6 Week Challenges than long-term fitness programs, because our society is convinced that if they can’t get something fast, than it isn’t worth doing.
Unfortunately, the ones that thought they could get the steroid-lean body of their favorite Instagram influencer in 6 weeks were also the ones that fell off the wagon shortly after (or even during) their challenge.
Many would rather pay inordinate amounts for a supplement pill than for a cheap gym membership. Many would rather suffer through a “juice cleanse” or 500 calorie fad “diet” than track their daily food intake.
We need to ask ourselves if we own our food (or food choices) or if they own us.
What makes individuals track their finances and budget their money, but feel that it’s not worth the effort to track their daily eating budget?
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear describes how inverting the 3rd Law of Behavior Change from making a habit easy into making it more difficult can help you follow through on your personal commitments (via a commitment device).
In short, James Clear describes a commitment device as a “choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future”.
AKA, you increase the percentage that you’ll do what needs to be done by making it difficult not to do it.
For example, a commitment device for making good on your goal to get into the gym would be hiring a personal trainer.
If your trainer expects you to be there at a certain time to train, you’ll be simultaneously wasting his time, your money, and his potential money from another client by not showing up. Furthermore, to cancel without disrespectfully blowing him off, you’d have to actively call the gym or communicate with him, adding to the difficulty of the situation.
You’re more likely to just go easy on yourself and show up, even if you don’t feel like it – commitment.
A nutrition tracker would be another example of a commitment device. If you want to make good on your commitment to burn fat by staying in a caloric deficit, you need to track your food intake, which holds you accountable to what you eat and helps determine if you are in fact holding a calorie deficit.
We all have an inclination to slide into apathy, laziness, and chaos. Even the best of us and most disciplined.
Those that succeed do so by implementing habits that lift up our good intentions and push back against the temptation to let it all fall apart.
What habits do you have in place to help move the needle in your fitness journey? It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress.
If you need a coach to keep you accountable, there’s plenty of us out there to help.
If you need to track your progress and build your habit, download my Ultimate Macro Tracker or get an app (MyFitnessPal or Cronometer) to keep you on task.
Don’t overthink it, just take the first step!