The business researcher extraordinaire Jim Collins writes about the Doom Loop in his famous book Good to Great.
It’s when you:
1. Find a new direction
2. Enter a new program
3. Start a new event
4. React to a new fad
5. Get a new leader
Without having any plan of action, no accumulated momentum, no build up, no direction.
You then get disappointing results and react poorly.
And so the loop continues.
When in reality, at least when it comes to fitness, we need to pick something that is realistic and sustainable. Something that you can see yourself doing in 5 years from now.
Or else, it’s just a short term solution. A band-aid if you will.
And when your fitness depends on short term solutions, you’ll wind up yo-yoing.
One of the ways I waste the most time is by constantly looking at the Amazon bestseller list. I’m truly amazed each and every time I look at how many diet books are in the top 100. A few days ago 10 of the top 25 books were diet books. (I’ve read them all.)
(I guess shame on me for not writing a book. But I’m not really interested in writing a book. I’m interested in helping people. And I don’t think a book is the answer.)
Why are so many of the bestsellers diet books? Because 99% of the people who want to lose weight or want to improve their fitness are in constant search for more tactics. They want the next fad. They want the secret.
Because changing is pretty damn hard. And most people don’t want to actually change. They want to ‘feel’ like they’re changing.
We all know the secret.
Pick something you feel comfortable with and decide that you’re going to once and for all – stick with it.
Of course, the sticking with it part is where all the magic happens. It also happens to be the hardest part and that’s why most people are always in search for that new book.
But if you actually stuck with something through thick and thin, you’d never be a part of the doom loop.
Instead, let’s fight like heck to get through the good and the bad, so we can actually create some momentum and some real change.
Let the others keep reading more and more books. While we keep making small incremental changes meal by meal.
Awesome. I am a huge advocate of healthy habits as opposed to quick-fix diets. People have to realize that there is no magic diet out there that’s going to let you eat whatever you want and lose weight. Becoming a fit person demands commitment, consistency, and focus. These three ingredients help people create healthy life-long habits, which are the key to lasting fitness.
Cameron Plommer says
I really like your what you’re saying here. Especially in term of fitness and health. If your workout or eating habits are not sustainable it’s just a band aid. For me I stay sustainable by indulging every once and a while. That might mean a greasy burger, a spoon of ice cream or a chocolate bar. In terms of fitness I try to make working out as easy as possible. This means doing a 15 minute work out in my room: pushups, squats, situps, burpees and jump rope.
Edward - Entry Level Dilemma says
Of course, few solutions are permanent, even long-term ones. Once upon a time, I had free access to a track and a gym. I walked 5 miles each day and worked out 4 times per week. I had dedicated partners to help me stay on track.
Now, however, I don’t have access to either. I’m currently trying to identify routes around the neighborhood that will keep me off of busy roads without sidewalks.
Adam Gilbert says
@ Robert – Momentum can be our worst or best friend. I help my clients by providing maniacal 24/7 support and daily and personal accountability along with a proven program that’s very sustainable. It’s highly effective!
ive gone through the doom loop a few times… scary stuff. sometimes just need to give yourself a proverbial (or real if your talented enough) kick in the ass
Nice, Adam! I’m glad you put it out there.
I think it’s the same scenario with medicine.The doctors know that the pills and treatments are just going to treat the symptoms but not necessarily going to make the condition go away. Most people want the quick fix. Lifestyle changes-even something as small as a diet change- seems like too much for most people. Maybe diets are a larger part of people’s lives than mine, but making my diet change last year was not as hard as I thought it would be. I did a complete 180 with temptation all around me.
But those first 30 days are hard and the most necessary to build momentum.
How do you help your clients through the transition period?