Health & Fitness: How to Succeed When Willpower Fails

August 2, 2012

Can you remember a time when you were eating out of control? When you weren’t actually hungry but you kept stuffing food into your face anyway?

I can… It was this past Saturday.

It was an “all you can eat” situation at an outdoor festival and I PIGGED out. I got so full and bloated that I started jokingly sticking out my stomach and asking my friends if they wanted to feel the baby kick.

Yes, I hide my shame behind humor, just like you.

Now what happened? Why was I so out of control? Was it a lack of willpower? That’s what most people think to themselves: “I just need more willpower.”

But willpower is a lie. Think about it. Do you really believe in some magical force inside of you that you can somehow conjure up to make you do the things you don’t want to do?

We do things for REASONS, not because of magical forces like “willpower.”

We have internal reasons and external reasons. External reasons are things like wanting a promotion or fearing someone’s negative opinion of you. Internal reasons are things like your values and beliefs about life.

BOTH the internal and external are important, but consider this…

Bucky Fuller (arguably one of the smartest thinkers in the world) said that “environment is stronger than willpower.” What he meant is that if the forces that surround you are pushing you in one direction, it’s extremely difficult to sustain the inner motivation to go in a different direction.

For example, if you’re trying to eat healthy and you’re surrounded by all-you-can-eat desserts and fried food, it’s going to be very difficult to stay on the healthy path.

So you want to align the external forces in your life to point you in the direction of your goals. When you do that, you almost don’t even need inner motivation. Life will move you forward naturally.

I like to call these external forces STRUCTURES.

So what happened to me on Saturday that I “lost control” of my eating choices?

I didn’t have strong structures to support me. There was no lack of structures, of course. But they were pushing me in the direction of overeating:

  • Peer structures: All around me people were eating and drinking to excess.
  • Financial structures: There was no extra cost for eating more, and no savings for eating less.
  • Linguistic structures: Phrases like “get your money’s worth” and “all you can eat” created a positive connotation for over-consumption.

Now before I make too big a deal about this, let me acknowledge that, yes, it was just one day. I don’t eat like that every day. But that’s the point.

Why don’t I eat like that every day? Partly because of my values and beliefs, yes.

But another big reason (maybe even BIGGER reason according to Bucky Fuller) is because of the structures I’ve consciously chosen to support a healthier way of life.

Here are some examples:

  • I only keep healthy foods in the house. This makes it harder to eat unhealthy because it means an extra trip out to go get the junk food.
  • I have several standard meals I love to eat that are also very healthy. I don’t have to struggle with the question “What am I going to eat?” at every meal. It’s easy to make a healthy choice.
  • I often use a “100 Days” structure where I commit to some habit or way of living for 100 days and I blog about it. It makes my goals public, so people will see me whenever I “cheat.” I can’t hide.
  • I often seek support from a coach or mentor. This is someone who can help me through the challenging times when my choices seem murky or confusing.
  • I follow proven programs and strategies (whether it’s an exercise program, dietary guidelines, or a deliberate stress-reducing practice like meditation). It’s a simple matter of following the steps, which takes a lot of the anxiety and doubt out of the experience.

Can you see how all of these structures support me in my goal to eat healthy? And how much more difficult it would be without them?

Here are some questions for you to consider:

  1. What are your favorite structures that support you in living the way you want to live?
  2. What structures tend to steer you off track and away from your goal?
  3. Where in your life are you stalled and not making the progress you want to be making?
  4. Where in your life do you feel out of control?

Email me your answers to these questions and I would be happy to suggest structures that will support you in pursuing your goals with greater ease and flow.

©2012 Curtis G. Schmitt


Control Your Eating During the Holidays

November 23, 2011

Many people struggle with weight issues around the holidays. Face it, there are all kinds of parties and big family dinners and stuff, and it can be really challenging to make healthy choices.

As a way of saying “Thank you!” to all of my loyal readers and clients I’ve posted two tracks from my popular “Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight” CD to help you prepare for those situations where you may be tempted to over-indulge. Listen to them for free:

Step 2 of 6:

Step 3 of 6:

And remember to apply what you learn ASAP. If only there were some event or holiday you could practice this stuff at where you typically eat too much and then feel bad about it the next day…

Oh well. And by the way, happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Peace & Passion,
Curtis


Should You Spend Money to Achieve Your Goals?

August 11, 2011

This is the first in a series of “Biggest Blunders” articles I’m posting about avoiding key mistakes when it comes to getting what you want and achieving your biggest goals. To begin the series, I’m going to make a shocking statement:

Don’t spend your money on coaching!

You heard me right…

Mistake #1: Buying coaching

This may strike you as odd—with me being a coach and all. But that’s what qualifies me to make such a statement.

As someone who has coached very successful entrepreneurs, busy professionals, writers & filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, I can tell you that I wouldn’t spend a dime on coaching.

BUT… here’s a list of things I would personally (and very happily) spend my money on:

  • Doubling my business in 6 months
  • Attracting a wonderful woman into my life as my romantic partner
  • Getting “6-pack abs”
  • Simplifying my life to eliminate physical and mental clutter
  • Learning how to achieve deeper and deeper states of meditation and quiet my mind
  • Taking my favorite hobbies (like yoga) to the next level
  • Learning how to cook nutritious and delicious food that’s easy to prepare

You probably have a similar list of the kinds of results that you want in your life. And some of those goals are probably important enough for you to spend money on so you can achieve them, right?

Well, here’s my expert advice:

Never spend money on coaching—spend money on getting results.

Better yet, spend money getting the results that are most important to you so you can make your life richer and more rewarding.

Coaching is not bad. But the kind of coaching you get can be, especially when you haven’t first figured out what’s most important to you.

Done right and with a clear objective, coaching is still the most reliable and efficient way to help people achieve greater results.

Don’t believe me? Ask those who are the very best in their field how important coaching is to their success. Every super-successful athlete or business person or super-mom has key people in their lives—oftentimes, coaches—who help them break through obstacles and achieve incredible things. Sometimes it’s a parent or spouse…sometimes it’s a mentor…or sometimes it’s a “success partner” they hired (a tutor, a coach, a trainer, etc.).

But here’s the key distinction: These successful achievers aren’t paying money for coaching. They’re paying for results! And if they don’t get what they want, they move on very quickly and find someone else who can deliver results.

When we get clear on the results we want—and have a coach that understands his/her role in helping us achieve our goals—what can happen?

Here are some examples of results my one-on-one coaching clients wanted in their lives—and got:

  • A business coaching client of mine is an entrepreneur who wanted $10,000 in new sales in 90 days. Instead, he sold $14,000 in contracts in that time!
  • A life coaching client wanted to lose 30 lbs in one year. He lost 32 lbs in just 9 months—achieving his lowest weight in 10 years—and he’s kept it off!
  • Another business coaching client wanted more customers. Together, we more than doubled her clientele (from 80 to 195 clients)!
  • And another life coaching client wanted to eliminate her $15,000 debt. In just two years, she was not only debt-free but she’d saved an additional $20,000!

For these people, it was easy to make the decision to hire a coach…once they were clear on the results they wanted. Clarity made it easy to choose coaching as the best path to their goal—beyond their goal, in fact!

Coaching is the “how,” not the “what.”

People who aren’t clear on the “what” hire a coach too soon, and then get discouraged or disillusioned. Many even jump to the mistaken conclusion that “coaching is useless.” And then when they do get clear on what they want, they miss out on success because they don’t hire a coach who can guide them to their goal.

So knowing how important a coach can be to your success, are you ready to spend your money on coaching?

No! That was a trick question! Remember, you do not spend money on coaching. You spend money on getting results!

As long as you remember that one rule, you’re ready to move on and ask yourself two important questions:

  1. What results do I want?
  2. What are those results worth to me?

If the results you want are worth paying for, then start looking for a coach. I guarantee there’s a coach out there who has a track record of helping people just like you get the results you want!

Got it? Good.  🙂


What do you want, and how important is it to you?

If you’re not clear on the answer to that question, or if you are clear and want to find out how to get results faster and easier than you think is possible, then it’s time to get AMP’d!

Contact me for a free Action|Momentum|Power Strategy Session. By the end of this 30-minute session you’ll have:

  • A clear, written description of your top goal/results
  • A 3-stage plan for achieving them
  • A new awareness of the hidden challenges that slow you down or sabotage your progress
  • A deep understanding of why your goals are important to you, so you can always generate the energy and motivation needed for success

These sessions are first-come first-served, so don’t wait. Click here to schedule your Strategy Session right now, and make your most important goal a reality.



How to Control Your Eating Choices

November 25, 2009

Listen to a short podcast on how your brain works and why you lose control of your eating choices:

[ Or, download this podcast. ]

This podcast is an excerpt from the CD Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight. Click here to buy this CD and learn the simple and effective 6-step process for gaining control of your eating choices.

Or get this CD free by joining the Peaceful Productivity Group coaching program.

How to Control Your Eating

Tell me if you’ve had this experience: You stuff yourself at some meal or event, and afterward when you’re thinking about what a glutton you were, you promise yourself that you’ll never do that again. Starting now, you’re turning over a new leaf. Things are going to be different! And they are…for a few days, maybe. But before you know it, your old eating habits have returned. Why?

A few years ago, I restricted myself to a special diet — vegetables and fruits only — for 6 weeks as part of a cleanse program I was doing. I was shocked by how difficult it was. I craved things like pizza and cookies, not out of hunger, but out of an emotional need for them. I had no idea just how much my emotions had been controlling my eating choices until I tried to stop eating my “comfort foods.”

Maybe you’re aware of your emotional attachment to certain foods, maybe you’re not. But food choice is just one of the ways we are controlled by our emotions.

To understand why, let’s look at how the brain works.

Whenever you experience something with any of your five senses, that signal travels through your nervous system to your brain. It enters you brain at the back and travels across the brain to the front, where rational thinking takes place. But before it reaches the front of your brain it travels through the limbic system. This is the emotional center of the brain.

If these details don’t interest you, then pay attention to this:

Every experience you have goes through the emotional center of your brain before it gets to the rational center!

This has two stunning implications:

  1. Every experience has an emotional component whether you’re conscious of it or not.
  2. If your emotional reaction is strong enough, it will determine your response before you even have a single rational thought about the experience.

As logical as you think you are (I know some of you think you’re Spock, but you’re not) you are first and foremost an emotional creature. To be successful in life — whether it’s food or business or relationships — you must learn how to manage your emotions. The extent to which you can manage your emotions is referred to as Emotional Intelligence (EQ for short).

In order to make a lifestyle change like changing your eating habits, you must have a high level of personal EQ. Without it, your actions and reactions become emotional compulsions instead of rational choices.

Personal EQ consists of two parts:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management

Self-awareness of your emotions is increased simply by asking yourself throughout the day, “What am I feeling right now? Why am I feeling this way?”

Self-management of your emotions is increased by asking yourself the additional question, “What am I going to do with this emotion right now?”

If you ask yourself these questions, you might still choose to eat a piece of chocolate to cheer yourself up. But the key difference is that you’ll do it consciously.

At the very least, by being conscious of your choice you’ll end up eating less chocolate. With each bite you can repeat the questions: “Okay, now what am I feeling? And what do I choose to do with this emotion?” You won’t get lost in unconscious binging.

And over time, you’ll find yourself making different choices in similar situations.

Increasing your self-awareness has a snowball effect (it gets easier the more you do it), and it leads very naturally to increased self-management. Make it a daily practice to ask those questions and you’ll soon feel like an expert.

For training in a simple and effective 6-step process for gaining control of your eating choices, buy the CD Control Your Eating & Achieve Your Ideal Weight.

©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt


Time Management – How to Make Time for Anything

March 7, 2007

If you’re like me, your day fills up fast, doesn’t it? Work, errands, chores around the house. Maybe some leisure time with family and friends, if you’re lucky.

And that leaves you with a nagging list of things you never get to:

“I know I should exercise, but I just don’t have the time.”

“I’d love to learn to paint, but I’m too busy to take classes.”

“I can’t plan my day because I have too many emergencies to deal with.”

Now for the reality check. You’re not totally, completely, monumentally busy, are you?

As a friend of mine once said, if people were really as busy as they say they are, television ratings would suck.

So why is it that you have time for your favorite TV shows each week, for example, but not for exercise or planning or learning to paint?

Read the rest of this entry »


How to Avoid Gaining Weight during the Holidays

November 1, 2006

The holidays are coming up fast, and as we all know, overeating is common. Who besides me ate more candy than they would have liked this Halloween?

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, then Hanukkah and Christmas, and to top it all off, New Year’s Eve. Lots of desserts, drinks, big family get-togethers, corporate parties, etc.

Many people are dreading the so-called “Holiday 7” (the 7 lbs. the average person gains between Thanksgiving and New Year’s).

But is the Holiday 7 just something created by the fitness industry to sell more magazines and diet books? There must be some data to support or refute it, right? As a matter of fact there is…

Read the rest of this entry »


Controlling Emotions

November 15, 2005

Are you in control of your emotions, or do your emotions control you?

Tell me if you’ve had this experience: You stuff yourself at dinner, and later that night or the next day while you’re thinking back on what a glutton you were, you promise yourself that you’ll never do that again. Starting now, you’re turning over a new leaf. Things are going to be different! And they are…for a few days, maybe. But before you know it, your old eating habits have returned. Why?

Read the rest of this entry »