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The 5 Phases of Success

Whilst I love the fact that most of the people we work with get results I'm also fascinated by those who don't.

Those who start and get good results but then quit before they get to their end goal.

Or those who jump through the hoops to start working with us but don't show up for their first session.

Whilst we have systems in place to prevent too much of that happening (there is a reason you have to go through a couple of stages to work with us, it's not just for a laugh) some invariably slip through the net.

It would be easy to trot out the standard industry guff about them "not wanting it enough" or "not having enough skin in the game" or any of the other phrases thrown around when someone quits.

But as a serial quitter myself that doesn't satisfy me.

It wasn't until I found out about the 5 Phases of Success that things really clicked.

Here they are:

5 Phases of Success

The vertical line = how you feel about the process

The horizontal line = how you feel about the process

Uninformed Optimism

This is the "bring it on", the "this time it will be different", the "this IS the answer to my problems" phase.

It's when we decide we want a change and get all excited about a new approach/tool/method/system and our view is full of sugar-coated unicorns and rivers of chocolate.

We literally see nothing but the benefits of our new super approach right here.

That's the optimism bit.

The uninformed bit means that we don't have a whole bunch of information about what the future on this approach holds. What it's going to take to follow this approach through to the end.

You're signed up, you're committed and you're ready to rock and roll.

No one has a problem getting to this stage which is why so many people jump from one weight loss approach to the next. Done Weight Watchers, didn't work. So did the Cambridge Diet, didn't work. So did Paleo, didn't work. So did some crappy juice diet, didn't work. Etc.

For the magic bullet hunters, this phase lasts about as long as it takes to open the first packet, fill in an enquiry form or order your juices.

Then reality kicks in...

Informed Pessimism

This is when you realise that it isn't actually easy. You may have lost 6lbs but you have another 50 to go...

The information you have gathered makes it apparent that this change is going to be way more difficult than you first thought.

You didn't think you would have to do this much stuff. Or learn this much info. Or change this much because your "general approach was ok and just needed tweaking". Or drink this much water.

This is when the negative emotions kick in and the benefits of going through the process suddenly don't seem so great.

The PMA slips a little.

Were things really that bad before?

I'm not THAT overweight...

That photo wasn't THAT bad actually was it...

It could be worse, I mean Jill is 3 stone overweight. I'm only 2 stone overweight...

You encounter a lot of internal resistance. You question whether it's actually worth going forward with this approach.

You can just buy some bigger clothes after all, right?

Frustration is a common emotion at this time. You often go back to looking for other approaches on t'interweb.

Quitting is a thought but first, there is some complaining to do.

"My body is different!"

"This is too hard"

"I'm eating too much fat"

"I can't do the exercise"

It's you rationalising your wavering commitment in your brain. Giving yourself reasons to quit.

It gets worse though...

Valley of Despair

As if finding out it was going to be harder than you thought it was going to be wasn't bad enough there is a deeper pit to slide into.

This is where you quit.

The benefits aren't important anymore. The payoff seems too big.

How the hell are you supposed to have a social life and not drink?

How can you be expected to not have cereal for breakfast when you have the kids to get ready for school?

And just how the hell are you supposed to fit a few hours of exercise into your already crammed life?


You can just buy bigger clothes after all.

There is a quick way out here:

By going back to the way you used to do things.

Quit and repeat, quit and repeat, quit and repeat.

So many people just repeat these first 3 phases and get nowhere.

And it is because they are out of their comfort zone. And that is a bloody scary place to be!

So how do you get out of the Valley of Despair without quitting?

It's quite simple really. It's about commitment.

Will you do what you said you would do?

Yes Or No?

Those are your only 2 options no matter what stories you tell yourself.

No? Then quit and repeat, quit and repeat, quit and repeat.

Yes? Then now my friend, NOW you will start to experience true success.

The harsh truth of this industry is that only when the pain of staying the same becomes more painful than the pain of change will the change happen.

When you reach that place it is damned painful but it is truly GLORIOUS!

Informed Optimism

You want it.

You know you want it because you haven't quit.

Now it comes down to one thing:

Keep showing up.

Don't strive for perfection, you won't achieve it (and you are already perfect... awwww shucks!!).

Truly, forget about perfection.

Strive for consistency. Stick to the plan as best you can.

And learn from the process.

Fell off the wagon?

Ask yourself why? No, really why. Look beyond the fact the wine bottle was there. What made you reach for the wine in the first place. Why did you eat that chocolate bar? I guarantee it wasn't because you wanted it. There will have been an underlying reason. Work it out and then adapt so that situation doesn't present a problem again in the future.

Can't resist wine in a social situation? Go out a little less. Or change the venue. Go to the cinema instead of the bar. Whatever, just work out why you went off the wagon and what you need to do to stop that happening again.

Your daily habits determine your results and your actions will start to bear fruit.

Success and Fulfilment

The holy grail.

I don't think I need to say much about this phase.

Once you get here you are home and dry. The weight will keep coming off. The clothes keep getting smaller. You keep feeling fandabidozi (real word, honest).