Mr. Hill was my 10th grade advanced placement economics teacher many years ago in a small farming community in California where I grew up. The laws of economics in his world were simple: The Handy Dandy Guide (HDG). Mr. Hill would pace the front of the class shouting his mantra, “It’s simple people,” his passion for the subject evident, “two and six of the Handy Dandy Guide!”
One might begin to wonder if this seemingly bristly man was up to something. Nearly twenty years later, I’m posing the same ideals to a different audience. “Two and six!” According to the National Council on Economic Education, the second and sixth principles of economics are:
2. All choices involve cost.
6. The consequences of choices lie in the future.
If my first blog about weight loss motivation was intrinsic in nature, it would only be natural that the next bit of information should touch on extrinsic motivation. Namely, why and possibly for whom would you change your purview about fitness? What would motivate you to dust off your home gym equipment or grace the doors of the gym past April when the New wore off the Years Resolution?
Yesterday after being scraped and polished, the conversation turned from cavities (which fortunately, I didn’t have) to health. My dentist’s motivation? Future grandchildren. He didn’t want to be chair-bound when they came for a visit.
Needing to change your habits? How are you to get from where you are now to where you want to be? It’s about goal setting, what’s yours?
I was calling clients in the back office of the gym where I train and I noticed a black and white photo of a famous person with a thin, muscular frame. The photo had a note. The message was the front of house manager reminding herself that her goal was to look like her best version of that famous person. Why is this important?
1. She set a goal.
2. She looked at the goal each day.
3. She was following a plan to reach that goal.
HDG principle #2 suggests, your goal of a healthier you will come at a cost. The cost might be immediate or in the future according to principle #6. Immediate costs might be less social time, less sleep, spending money on a gym membership, boot camp or a personal trainer. #6 and ceteris paribus or caeteris paribus a Latin phrase, literally translated as ” with other things the same,” or “all other things being equal or held constant,” suggests your lack of goal setting and weighing the upfront costs could have a definitive and permanent effect on your future. For my dentist, that might mean not having the physical ability to play with his grandchildren. For others, the long-term cost might mean type two diabetes.
Bottom line? Only you can change you. If you aren’t in the kind of physical condition that you desire for yourself, only you can make the difference. For a positive change, I suggest the following:
1. Why or for whom would you change unhealthy habits? Write it down. Such as, I’d like to see my great grandchildren.
2. If that is important to you, what would your goal be to change your future? Write that next to why or who. Example: I need to lose 25 pounds to be in a healthy range of the body mass index chart.
3. Continuously remind yourself about the aforementioned.
4. Plan to make a difference. In order to accomplish your goal, find the nearest gym or program of interest.
5. Live it out. Set your alarm, pencil it in, and go!
It’s easy to say, but changing your habits is one hard nut to crack. You are the only one that can do it. Your future and potentially someone else’s is depending on it.
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Photo credit: Evan Baines