I try as little as possible to not write blog posts that are nothing else except rants. I believe ranting is counter productive because typically a rant centers around a person, idea, or place and talks exclusively about the issues or absurdities of the particular person, idea, or place. It's counter productive because all that rant does is direct time and energy to creating more problems on top of existing flaws. It is kind of like pouring water on a grease fire you really aren't improving the situation at all your just making the fire bigger and more noticeable. Now if you know me in real life then you know that I rant quite frequently so I am not trying to condemn those who do, but I am trying to say that after we rant we need to follow our ranting with practical solutions to the problem that has aggravated us. Focusing our energy on identifying a problem along with a solution for the problem is such a better use of effort then focusing on the problem alone.
Having said all that I would like to share with you one of the more recent aggravating problems I have been experiencing and by share I mean I am going to RANT! Remember though I find ranting productive when followed by a solution so stick with me (hint, hint. foreshadowing anyone?)
I love training and one of the things I love most about training is interacting with a variety of people with a plethora of different personalities. I've had clients who I had to come short of breaking their legs to get them to take a rest day and others who I had to pour gasoline on and light on fire to get to do anything (I know I exaggerate). But in working with all these different people I have observed and experienced a consistent behavior pattern among the majority. I don't mean to trash these people, but this particular behavior seriously gets me worked up and I am starting to believe that individuals have been playing through this pattern for so long that they do not even recognize it.
I know there probably exist an official name for this sort of behavior, but I am a biochemistry major not a psychology major so forgive me when I tell you that I have made up my own term for this behavior. I have termed this behavior the start-something-stop-something-blame-it-on-other-things-and-absolve-myself-of-responsiblity syndrome. Great name right (; D)?
Chances are everyone has experienced what I am about to describe at some point in their life, but what I am talking about is the chronically afflicted individuals.
Start-something-stop-something-blame-it-on-other-things-and-absolve-myself-of-responsiblity syndrome is a distinct behavior pattern that you can identify with ease. It involves agreeing or committing to do something, starting this something, stopping this something, and then when asked why you stopped you blame stopping this something on an external factor that allows you to remove any fault or guilt from your conscious.
I deal with this syndrome strictly in the context of diet and training and let me tell you it is pervasive in this context, but it is not isolated there. This syndrome can affect an individuals work life, home life, and social life. Often times if it is impacting one it is impacting others.
Many suffers of this syndrome are unaware that they are suffering yet are often the people I find to be most frustrated with the progress or current state of things both related to their diet and training as well as their physique. Yet these are the people who are constantly agreeing to start a new training program or start a new diet then after a week or a month of commitment they decide either subconsciously or consciously that they are done with it and coincidentally (catch my sarcasm?) they have a great excuse of why they must stop. And frankly most of the excuses are pathetic at best.
What works me up the most about this kind of behavior is that those exhibiting it are constantly complaining about the results they achieve or the progress made with training or healthier nutritional decisions. I mean really what do you expect when you are constantly stopping and starting. Results come from consistent and intense effort over the long-term.
I am done ranting about the problem it's time to talk about how to solve this problem. What are the things we can have people do to help decrease their frequency of reverting to this behavioral pattern? I have 3 mindset changes that I think can help abstain from this behavior.
1. BE ACCOUNTABLE!
This means you understand the expectations of all the roles you play and you understand the consequences of not meeting these expectations. You expect to be held to these consequences regardless of circumstance and make your decisions based on this understanding.
2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Regardless of whether you make mistake, complete a task on time, or sit idle while there are things to do you accept that any action you take whether good or bad and regardless of outcome is your full responsibility.
3. ELIMINATE EXCUSES
You don't give excuses for why you were or weren't successful. You believe that you are in full control of what you do and say. You don't care what someone else did or what the situation dictated you simply acknowledge that the outcome is on you as well as consequences for the outcome. You don't dwell on things you simply recognize what you could have done better, make the necessary adjustments, and continue on.
By making these three mindset changes it will help you become a more committed and disciplined person. When you start something you will feel accountable to someone to follow through on your new change, such as starting a training program. You will be less displeased with any poor results you get because you take responsibility for your actions and know that if you want to see an improvement all you need to do is improve your own actions and behaviors. And lastly you won't find excuses for why you have to quite because you don't accept any excuses at good enough.
I hope this post is relevant to you and that possibly your are able to recognize the behavior in yourself, as I know I have, and make the above mindset changes in an effort to hopefully prevent any occurrence of start-something-stop-something-blame-it-on-other-things-and-absolve-myself-of-responsiblity syndrome .
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training