06 Jan Adopting Your New Identity & Top Tips For Transforming In The 2020s
Following the popularity of Episode 109 of RNT Fitness Radio with the whole team here, we decided to break up some of the sections into mini articles covering the main topics.
The first one covers two key topics:
- Staying shape over Christmas / heavy periods of social events
- Top transformation tips for this decade
While Christmas is over, I want you to think about this in the context of any social occasion, or periods of the year where you’re busy with lots of events, such as weddings, birthdays, holidays.
If we take Christmas in particular, it’s often a difficult task for people to to repeatedly say no to some of the ‘nostalgic Christmas food’ that you’ve had in your previous years, fighting with the ‘it’s Christmas’ mindset, and integrating the new identity that you’re trying to action in your life. The same will advice will apply to any other event you can think of here.
As we shift into the top transformation tips for the 2020s, there will be a lot here that will question everything you’ve previously held onto.
Let’s dive in…
(This is transcribed directly from the podcast)
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Adopting Your New Identity In 2020s
Akash: Which segues nicely into the next part of the podcast, where we are going to be discussing Christmas tips, staying in shape during Christmas and why it shouldn’t even be a question. What are your thoughts guys?
Kunal: This is where you need a coach the most; it’s when you need accountability, especially with the amount of parties and socials you have. Do you want to think about it or do you want someone else to think about it now?
Ben: With all the potential distractions, one of the things as a coach we don’t want to see is when it gets to Monday and your check-in and you tell us all the things you did wrong. Ideally what you want to do is make this more proactive rather than reactive. I want clients to ask me in advance during the check-in, “I have this social coming up, how do I navigate it?” Just having a more proactive mindset to these types of things, and having a plan and strategy in place for going in against them is going to be a huge benefit.
Nathan: You have to find your sacrifice to freedom ratio. If you’ve got 15 events in December, more than likely, if you want to maintain your weight or even drop weight, you are going to have to say no to quite a few of them (in terms of in being engulfed in the culture of festivities). So that means probably 13 out of 15 of them you may not be able to eat the food there or drink what everyone else is drinking. But you have to find your sacrifice to freedom ratio first. If you are happy and you want to have a bit of festivity this Christmas then please do not expect to get the same amount of fat loss as if you are dieting the whole of December. That’s okay; you just have to be transparent with your coach about what you want to get from December. If you want to have some freedom over the festivities, then we can plan for that. But ultimately if you want fat loss during December then you’re going to have to sacrifice the thing that you’ve had for years previously. Everyone else is going to be tucking into the box of Celebrations and you’re just going to have to put the wrappers in the bin for them.
Akash: This comes back a lot to episode 99 where you have to find out what you actually want from this. If you want to maintain your bodyweight over December you have to be sensible. Which is why I asked, do we actually need a Christmas strategy? Or do you just need to be conscious and sensible during these events, and not use December as a complete write-off or think ‘I’ll just come back to it January’. If you want a lifestyle solution that works year-round for you, you can’t take certain months off. There is no on and off switch; you’ve got to be able to maintain your behaviours and mindset, and you have to come up to these events and social occasions with a ‘lean approach’.
Ben: What you are saying is that you are basically creating a new identity of who you are over these occasions and parties, and not accepting your old version of yourself. You are the new and upgraded version of whoever you are and you expect more from yourself.
Akash: Exactly. If you’ve gone from 90kg to 70kg, you can’t suddenly put that 90kg hat back on in December and expect to stay at 70kg. If so, you’re going to be disappointed when you wake up on January 1st. I think that is the difference between a short-term transformation and a long-term lifestyle solution. You’ve got to really lock in that new identity and live with it during that Christmas period.
Nathan: If you watch the Christmas festivities, watch the skinny woman about 50kg that has stayed 50kg for the last 20 years. She is having one main meal and she’s probably leaving half of it. She probably hasn’t eaten much in the day, she’s having a few drinks, and is probably having half of the dessert or no dessert. That’s the identity of a skinny 50kg woman, not the 100kg or 20 pints, four apple turnovers, six meat pies and a partridge in a pear tree guy!
Effectively, you need to identify as that person you want to be, not the person you were or the people that you are around. It’s a big thing, your environment. For example, my family, all of them are over 95kg, and none of them have ever had one main meal in their lives. At Christmas it’s always three or four plates, cheese board, three or four desserts, there’s a trifle on the table, chocolate cake, and they are going at it like the watering pond in the safari. But if you want to identify yourself as that person then that is cool, you can do that, just know that it’s not going to allow that skinny or lean person to be there for long.
Akash: Yeah, I think if you are someone who’s feeling stressed about the whole month and you are saying I’ve got this social and that social, and you create so much anticipation around it, you are probably going to fail. All you are thinking of is how you are going to buffer around it, how are you going to fast around this event, how you going to navigate around this, etc. When really, you just have to attend each one and act in the way Nathan just mentioned. Be sensible about your portion control, enjoy the time together for what it is, and you’ll most likely come out of it in exactly the same place and/or probably even better; because you’re less stressed having probably gone through a quiet period of work and having more enjoyment with your loved ones.
Elliot: I think it’s important to remember what these festivities are about as well. If you take away the food from these festivities you still have a celebration, but if you take away the friends and the families, you just have the food and you. There’s nothing at all and I’ll leave it that!
Shaneeta: So true. It’s a big food fest; the family is still going to get together, you will still meet your friends. Nothing really changes and it’s the same with Christmas. You’d still meet up on Christmas day, even if you have a turkey and stuffing on the table!
Akash: Precisely and that’s what these festivities are all about right. The core ends up as food but I think at the end of the day, you’re actually meeting up to have a celebration with your family and friends, nothing more than that. But some people and the sad fact is, it becomes a form of escape, right? It becomes the clutch; the food and drinks become the clutch in these situations, and all these socials that end up in Christmas indulgences form a part of an escape to temporarily get away from everything going on.
I think if this is your first Christmas since your Transformation Checkpoint and this is your first time doing it, you have to mentally set yourself up and be psychologically prepared because this time you are going in with a different identity. You are going to be faced with all of those old triggers and you’re going to be in an environment where you would’ve displayed the old habits from before. You need to be mentally aware of that before you go in; it is going to be difficult and it is going to be a practice of different choices, and that’s going to require more willpower.
Nathan: If you are in your lifestyle solution phase, and this is the first time that you’ve had to deal with Christmas in this new identity, be prepared. Every single event in the year is completely different. If you handle your birthday well, congratulations, but Christmas is a whole another beast.
So if you are in the Consolidation phase and/or you are in your lifestyle solution phase, you have to practice your new identity this time for Christmas.
If you don’t do it this time, you have to wait another 365 days to practice Christmas next time, and we know from identity and behaviour research about the theory of coupling. Coupling is when you attach an environment to an identity, and you repeat it over and over again. Nailing your birthday or withstanding the donuts on Tuesday at work doesn’t mean that Christmas is going to be good for you.
So you need to practice what you want to identify as. It’s not even about this Christmas, it’s about the next 20-25 Christmases, and claiming your identity so that every time you come to January, you don’t have to face the same thing of putting on weight and thinking that you need to diet again.
Akash: And that’s why the investment phase is a minimum of 12 months, right? Because you need the annual cycle to learn the different lifestyle solutions that come along the way throughout the calendar.
Nathan: An absolute minimum of 12 months, because you have to pass through every single life event throughout the year once; periods of high stress, periods of high work, periods of shifting priorities, etc. They are all different, and they all require different strategies and systems. You can read as much as you want in books, and you can read as much as you want from our website, but at the end of the day, if you don’t put in play the identity that you want, then it’s not ever going to be formed. You have to action it, or it will not form.
A recap on the top tips for staying in shape over Christmas and creating your new identity:
- Get guidance from your coach about the specific nature of your social events dependent on the phase and long-term goal.
- Make sure your Investment phase is a minimum of 12 months to practice events like Christmas to form your new identity.
- Find your sacrifice to freedom ratio and what you’re willing to say no to.
- Remember what Christmas (and socialising) is really about – family and friends, not food and drink.
- Wear and act the way that you want your new identity to be – wear your 70kg hat, not the 90kg hat.
- Be sensible – Christmas /socialising is not an excuse for bad habits.
Transforming In The New Decade
To transform your body in 2020, you’re going to need a lot of coaching to go through the process of a short-term transformation and build it into a long-term lifestyle solution. In this next part of the podcast, the team goes through their top tips on what you need to be thinking about when it comes to truly transforming your body in this decade.
Kunal: First thing is you’re going to have to be reliable with your structure, strategy and systems. You are going to change the way that you do things on a week to week basis.
Ed Pilko: Anything is possible if you are open to change and willing to listen to your coach. You have to want to make changes to your life, while not expecting to live the same lifestyle and get a different result. I always refer to Einstein’s quote, ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result’.
Ben: And then tagging on from that, once you are open to change and ready, you actually have to go and take all the actions necessary to get a coach who is going to mentor you along your journey and take you to where you want to be.
Akash: Ultimately if you are thinking about transforming in 2020, it comes down to the Three Transformation Keys. You need to be coachable, you need to be ruthlessly consistent, and you need to be willing to have strong commitments to yourself.
Nathan: With that commitment to yourself, we’ve got three levels of accountability. You’ve got peer accountability which is about the people around you; whether it’s your family members and letting them know what you are about to go through, and what your goals are for 2020. Then you have self-accountability; which looks at your reasons why, your why behind your why, and taking it further than just losing 20 kilos. Finally, you have coach accountability, which is when you have someone else effectively take you on this journey because they are the experts in that field.
Puja: If you are going to have coach accountability, you need to be coachable and being coachable comes down to a number of different things. From my perspective, it is the willingness to learn, it is the willingness to take action on what your coach tells you and most importantly, if you have a coach, it is your ability to check-in consistently with the right information on time and with everything your coach needs in order to be able to facilitate your transformation that’s coming your way.
Shaneeta: I think to build on that, from what I personally love to see from a client quality, is again, someone who is ready to be coached and someone who is ready to put hard work in – because we can’t do that one for you! You also need to be someone who is transparent as well. There may be some slip-ups along the way and we need to know about that; you need to tell us that within your check-in so we can map this journey out for you. I also want you to be consistent as well, so if you are hard-working, transparent and consistent, you are going to be an ideal client and we are going to give you the transformation you’re after.
Akash: Speaking of that consistency, one thing that really needs to be engrained is the following: you’ve got to stop thinking about change, and start thinking about transformation. You’ve got to start thinking in 12 months journey cycles, and if you can make that mindset shift and start thinking long term, you’ll be able to experience the changes in your identity, behaviour, mindset and all that we have discussed to facilitate a lifestyle solution. That’s how you allow yourself to get into the shape your life, for life.
Nathan: The problem with the 12 week only transformation companies is that when they are finished, there’s nothing after. No one wants a transformation without the lifestyle solution, but equally you can’t get the lifestyle solution without the initial change and the initial non-negotiables that come with the transformation. So don’t look for those 12 weeks programs because all you do is put yourself in a position where you’re simply lean or you’re going to be in the shape of your life, but you aren’t going to know what to do next. That’s where the Consolidation phase comes in. You see it all the time; people lose 10kg and then put it all back on. It isn’t the losing of the weight that’s the issue. Congratulations, you’ve done a transformation, and accomplished a really good feat, but actually, that was just the prep for the real game of life, and building your unique lifestyle solution to stay there.
Akash: There are so many 12-week apps, and so many diet and fitness books, but none of them talking about what’s coming next. The easy bit like you said is getting into shape. Anyone could do that. Anyone can lose 10kg. But can you keep it off? Are the strategies in place to keep it off? That’s where the real skill is and that’s where you should be focusing your energy on.
Quick Fire Tips
Ivan: If it’s taken you 20 to 30 years from where you are, you cannot expect a lifestyle change within 12 weeks. Keep that in mind before you take on another 12 week plan. You need to look at your whole transformation as a huge lifestyle solution.
Elliot: It comes down to identifying who you are before you get going. It’s knowing that not just going to be about getting abs. If it comes to something like that, then ask yourself why. Keep asking until you get to the real reasons why you want to transform your life and once you get that, have a think and write it down. You are going to need that when the going gets tough.
Ed Pim: Focus on the small daily tasks that you have to do to lead you on a road to success, for your transformation and beyond.
Kunal: Being clear with the sacrifice level that you are willing to make from day one and then working with your coach to actually map that out over your journey is going to be huge.
Nathan: Be prepared for the physical journey to be the vehicle for the mental and all aspects of your life. You are going to see a lot of things change when you get your 3 S’s in order, when you get some accountability, and when you change your identity. A lot of the aspects in your life like your relationships and overall perspective on life will change. The physical is the vehicle.
Akash: And for those of you who want to transform in 2020, Puja, drops the mic on the final point here.
Puja: Leave your ego at the door. Be a blank canvas, and have no scepticism. You are amongst people who are educated, trained and have experience to look after you regardless of your ethnicity, background and lifestyle. They will only understand your lifestyle when you explain it to them. For example, as a British-Asian vegetarian, devoted woman of faith, my coach hasn’t lived my life, yet can still coach me to 20+ kilos down in a year.
(Stay tuned for Puja’s case study coming soon!)
A recap on the top tips to transforming this decade:
- The 12-week only transformation programmes are dead. Start with a transformation and then move into a lifestyle solution – take short- and long-term view.
- Be a blank canvas and coachable.
- Focus on the daily small tasks to lead to success.
- Get your 3 S’s in order– structure, systems and strategy.
- Gain 3 levels of accountability – self, peer and coach.
- Be consistent – turn up every day.
Start the 2020s Right
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