Skills, Habits and Behaviors

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Basically in fitness, unfortunately most exercise and diet programs only ever give you a list of things to do, then never focus on behaviors.

They never show you how to go through the process of skill development, habit formation and ultimately changes to your behaviors that lead to your desired outcomes.

That’s where I come in with coaching.

The conventional advice?

“Eat this, not that.”

“Do this exercise program 6 times a week and get into the best shape of your life!”

They also demand huge and massive changes of behavior, to which your psyche can only respond in panic and an, ‘all or nothing mentality.’  

You mind freaks out when you suddenly tell it that it can’t eat dozens of your favourite foods, or when you suddenly slam it with six days a week of intense physical exercise.

What happens next?

Well most people give up within the first thirty days of starting a program and the ones who stick it out, more than two thirds of them will regain the weight because the program never truly addressed the real problem.

As human beings we need to adapt to change in our environment, but massive change done at once is so ineffective, it isn’t even funny.

Yes, it’s unfair even.

The reason they often fall short is because nobody is actually there taking you through a process of change.

Enter a coach.

I’m pleased to announce that I intend to change this in 2015 and beyond, the project that I’ve been talking about working on for the last 5 years is finally coming into fruition.

I introduce Fitnack, an online coaching system that will let me (and hopefully many future talented coaches) take a larger group of individuals through the process of fat loss at a fraction of the cost to what working with me in person would be.

For instance one time a week of training with me in person presently costs about $350 a month, with this software I’ll be able to coach people anywhere in the world for about half the cost.

By automating some of the redundancies of in-person coaching over the next few years I’ll be able to make fitness coaching accessible to nearly everyone at a reasonable price.

UPDATE: I’ve recently started taking a select few clients via this system as of 2015. The current cost of online training is $169 a month (you get a deal if you commit to 6 months at a time though – $150 a month instead).

Unsure about dropping $900 or $169 a month to sign up right now, email me your questions. Current enrollment may be limited but a group option is planned soon.

The forefront of my fitness system can only be delivered through communication and the system will focus on developing skill-sets to counteract existing habits, thus changing habits that have led to poor behaviors and life-altering change as a result.

We’re talking long-term sustainable change, through deliberate, repetitive practice of the skills I’ve found to be most useful in the process of fat-loss (or another objective if you’d like).

I’m so friggin’ excited, it isn’t even funny.

So without further adieu, here’s what skills, habits and behaviors actually are:

Skills

A particular ability to do something well and develop greater expertise in a larger area of specialization. 

i.e. Someone good at managing people, may have learned to empathize well with the feelings of those working under them. Empathy is the skill in this case.

Skills can be learned to combat bad habits and poor behavior mechanisms. For instance, you can learn the skill of delaying instant gratification (as shown in this famous study), which has been shown to lead to better self-management in all your future endeavours.

Eating protein with every meal, or vegetables with every meal are two common skills we teach that you can start applying yourself right now.

Habits

Learned sequences of acts that have become automatic responses to specific cues. They are learned through ‘context-dependent’ repetition, are cue-dependent and automatic.

i.e. The habit of purchasing pre-made foods when shopping at grocery stores, because you’re hungry, you smell food, and want immediate satisfaction of that hunger.

Habits are essentially self-reinforcing cycles of belief and perception.

Habits can be changed through skill development or by substitution with, “Good Habits.” In the above example, this habit can be offset by the adoption of a better habit such as always building a grocery list before going to the store, or by learning to cook and appreciate cooking, or by learning how to check and understand nutritional labelling.

We can build skills like making grocery lists you won’t stray from, cooking skills that make cooking what’s in your fridge a new habit and so on and so forth.

Behaviors

Is the observable pattern of activity, human beings elicit, and the manner in which they behave, act, function or operate on a regular basis.

i.e. Smoking, negative self-talk, drinking too much, not exercising enough, stressing too much at work, and eating too much as global generalizations are often considered to be poor behaviors.

Behavior is more or less an accumulation of habits, either positive or negative that result in a more global context or birds-eye view of an overall situation. For instance, being overweight is often the result of, or outcome of a lack of good skills and habits that have led to poor overall behavior in regards to exercise and eating.

Meaning we can practice new skills, change your habits and ultimately change the overall behaviors that are the problem.

Quite often we need to learn a few new skills, in order to change 2 or more habits, that result in the desired overall behavioral change.

It is for instance very difficult to quit the behavior of smoking without making several habitual changes including developing the skill of avoiding certain social and environmental situations that create temptation, physically addressing the nicotine addiction, and substituting the oral fixation many smokers have with a new habit such as chewing gum or sucking on sugar free candies.

**Addressing these three things as a multi-centric form of problem solving leads to far better long-term outcomes than any singular fitness program or diet program I’ve ever seen, played with or utilized.**