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Change is good….Sometimes

The right change in the right direction and in the right amount, is good change. Too much change, and change can be damaging. Too small a change, and you are wasting your time. How do we find that sweet spot? How do we progress in our goals without doing damage (or burning out) or wasting time?

Great questions, thank you for asking!

I don’t think you need me to go over “wrong” change. I assume you are familiar with its effects. Want to sleep less and eat more? You get the idea.

So let’s assume your intentions are nobler and you actually have your grandkids in mind, even if you don’t have any yet. Let’s assume that longevity is part of your thinking and let’s also assume that matter has limitations, meaning at some point we will actually wear out.

What is the “right” type of change?

Simple, the one that takes you toward where you want to be (leaner, more energetic, less easily offended, etc…) and can be sustained for the next 10 years. That is right. Think 10 years out and then make changes accordingly.

I overheard a man at the local exercise facility a few day ago saying loud enough for everyone in the weight room to hear, “I have been here since 6:30am” (it was 8:00am) and he said it like it was a good thing. Do I think this man can sustain that level of commitment for 10 more years? Not a chance. He will either burn out or get injured. That’s not being mean, that is reality. What if he had gotten there at 7:55am and was leaving at 8:00am? Maybe the other end of the spectrum, maybe not enough in the right direction. Mostly wasting his time.

But when we attempt to change we get impatient with the process. We are more likely to shoot too high rather than too low. We are more likely to show up at 6:30 for a while, maybe even a few years, and finally either get injured or sick of the process. You know the drill, “No pain no gain” “Go big or go home” “If one is good, two is better”, etc. This typically creates a yo-yo effect.

How do we avoid this yo-yo pitfall and find that sustainable sweet spot?

And by sustainable, I do NOT mean stagnant.

What is the proper dose that allows growth and change to flourish, and injury, burn out, sickness and lack of progress to be minimized? That is the subject of the next blog. (The dose-response relationship.)

So if you are in change mode, usually brought on by dissatisfaction in some area of our life, ask yourself this all important question:

Can I sustain this change for the next 10 years?

Can I live without sugar for the next 10 years? Can I live on 6 hours sleep for the next 10 years? Can I go to the gym 5 days a week for the next 10 years? I must say NO to all three because I like candy, I like to sleep, and I don’t want to receive my mail at the gym. I want something I can sustain.

Start with something you can manage. Start small and if you like the change, keep it. If it is not what you want, tweak it up or down. But don’t go crazy. Go sane and stay well. Play the long game and reap the rewards of longevity. Yes the pun was intended.



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