Your Standards Destroy Your Fitness (Here's How To Fix It)Jul 01, 2023
Here's my biggest realization after working with many different clients over the last 5 years:
Classic fitness advice around diets and workouts doesn't work - even if the advice itself is good.
It's best reflected by the fact that 95% of those who do diets regain their weight over time.
And maybe this happened to you before as well:
You changed your diet, started to work out, and saw some temporary results.
You dropped 20 lbs and thought you'd made it.
But at some point, things started to go downhill.
And sooner or later, you've found yourself at the point where you've started.
If you're sick of that, this newsletter is for you.
You'll learn the only way to build the life that you want - in a lasting way.
Why you don't get what you want
“You don’t rise to the levels of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems” – James Clear
This is a famous quote you've probably heard before and it's true:
Goals themselves aren't of much value unless you build the routines that allow you to reach them.
And we can even break this down further:
Your routines are a reflection of your standards.
You fall to the standards you hold for yourself.
Your standards are your "baseline":
Your average way of showing up.
And this will determine your trajectory of life in any given area.
Let's take the diet example:
If your baseline is eating a lot of junk food, this is where you'll fall down to.
You might be able to motivate yourself to stay away from it on some days.
Or you start a 6-week challenge to get rid of your belly fat and even see some results.
But sooner or later, you're back to your normal behavior (and look) because you're still operating from your old standards
Here's the problem:
As I've written in a previous newsletter, habits are primarily unconscious.
And the same goes for standards:
You might be completely oblivious to them.
You've learned most of them through the way you were raised - by family, the school system, and society.
And most of society's standards suck, especially when it comes to fitness:
- The average breakfast consists of bread, butter, jam, a bowl of cornflakes, and some coffee - which has zero nutrients and sets you up for a quick energy crash
- Work environments that contribute to a sedentary lifestyle (office workers get an average of 3000 steps per day) are the norm
- Alcohol is widely accepted as a means to celebrate (and people will even call you "weird" for staying sober)
- Sleep deprivation is normalized - with disastrous effects (click HERE to learn more sleep)
- Most people rely on coffee to function in the morning (you should be ready to conquer the day, without any stimulants)
Here's another great example:
On a recent coaching call, I helped my client integrate exercise into his day.
This has been hard for him because he's going through an exam period at a competitive university while working a job.
But lack of movement amplified his stress, wrecking his productivity - causing even more stress.
A vicious downward spiral.
After asking how he could adjust his day to integrate movement into his daily life, here’s what he said:
“I don't have much time. I have to study for 8 hours per day because it’s my job. And at a job, you work for 8 hours”
This is another destructive social norm:
Most see grinding out longer hours as the only way to get more done.
If you do, it’s not your fault – you’ve learned it since school.
However, it’s bullshit.
Take the book "How to Be a straight-A Student“ as an example:
Cal Newport interviewed some of the best students at the most competitive universities in the US.
They don’t study longer than their less successful peers – it's their routines that make the difference.
A different study shows that office workers get distracted every 4 minutes!
Emails, coworkers, noise, and pointless meetings are some of the main factors that destroy focus.
In fact, Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average office worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes.
Truth is, the 8-hour workday has nothing to do with optimized productivity in the digital age.
It’s a standard that was introduced by Henry Ford in 1914!
Imagine if we truly embraced this information:
Even if we didn't cut a workday down to three hours, what if we cut it to six?
People would be better rested, more focused, and likely more productive.
Here’s the reality:
If you want extraordinary results, you have to ditch ordinary standards and establish new ones.
Let’s dive into how to fix this once and for all
In this section, I will guide you through a process to let go of old destructive standards and establish new ones.
1 - Awareness
By now, you know that your standards determine your life and you are likely living them unconsciously.
The first step to change anything is to get aware of it.
Luckily, this is simple:
Look at the domain of your life you want to change.
You're lackluster in that domain - be it your health, your business, or your relationships - because of poor standards.
Ask yourself how you're showing up in these domains:
- What are your common behaviors?
- What are your common thoughts?
- What are your common ways of being?
These will tell you exactly what standards you've been holding yourself so far.
2 - Stop tolerating low standards
One of the most profound things a coach ever told me is this:
“You don’t get what you want, you get what you tolerate. “
It's the only thing that ever worked for me to make significant changes in my life:
Choosing to stop tolerating shit I’m not okay with.
Over the last couple of years, I stopped tolerating…
- Working jobs I hate doing
- Being weak and out of shape
- Binge drinking sabotaging my health and muscle growth
- Terrible social skills keeping me lonely, broke, and miserable
- Video games destroying my ambition through quick pleasure
- Social media, TV shows, and news destroying my attention span
This led me to the point today where I'm in peak shape, have a fulfilling relationship, and work I deeply enjoy.
And you can do it as well.
Stop tolerating anything less but standards that create your ideal life.
3 - Redefine your standards
The best way to do so is to define standards for all six neurological levels (read this article for a deep dive into the neurological levels)
When you do that, you will create what you want naturally.
Define new standards for your:
In 2019, I moved to Vienna to be able to train at DasGym.
The standards over there are different to your average gym:
- Women squatting 300 lbs
- Men deadlifting 500 lbs or more
- The owner is highly passionate about his gym
- The average person shows up 4 times per week
- People being supportive instead of rude to each other
Powerlifting was my biggest passion at that time, and these standards helped me progress much faster.
Look for possibilities to create higher standards in your environment.
A habit is nothing but a standardized behavior.
When your habits align with your goals, you’ll get it naturally over time.
Take a look at your destructive habits:
What habits can you no longer tolerate?
And what higher standard will you hold your actions and behaviors by in the future?
Skills and capabilities:
The internet boosted the standard of education that's available to you.
Learning is a new superpower.
Use it to get new skills that assist your goals.
Stop tolerating “I don’t know” as a lazy answer.
Set your standard to figure it out.
Values & beliefs:
Your values drive your behaviors.
Like other standards, they’re established through conditioning:
In Austria for example, I grew up with safety and conformity being high values.
When I decided to become an entrepreneur, one of the hardest things for me was to let go of those values.
But it was vital to get where I am today.
The same applies to beliefs:
Stop tolerating beliefs that don't match your goals.
Become aware that beliefs are never 100% true and look for examples that prove that (more on this in another newsletter).
The most powerful way to reach your goals naturally is to become the person with the traits that will create those goals.
My mentor Jim Fortin calls this the “Be-Do-Have” model:
Be the person who can do the actions that will create what you want.
Also, get clear about what ways of being you’re not going to tolerate anymore:
Set yourself high standards for how you show up in this world.
No one else will do it for you.
Mission & vision:
Finally, raise your standards for the goals your set for yourself:
Are they meaningful to you?
Do they match what you envision your life to be like?
Do you even have a vision for your life?
Or is it your standard to do the bare minimum and get by?
If the standard for your goals is too low, you won’t even start because you’ll lack the value to put in the work.
4 - Live your new standards
This work is only valuable if you make it choice to live your new standards.
You must commit:
Your old ones are conditioned into your personality and it takes time until your newly defined standards become natural.
Be patient and do the work - even if it’s uncomfortable.
It will be worth it.
Lasting change only happens if you change your standards.
Your standards have to match your goals.
Stop tolerating low standards you are not okay with.
Use the model of the Neurological Levels and define standards for each of them.
This is the most effective way to get rid of your bad habits sustainably and create a new life.
Do you want to drop 20 lbs and get your dream physique, without restrictive diets or counting calories?
Click HERE for a free 1:1 break-through call to learn the standards you need and how to install them in your individual life.
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