27 Jan Why You Must Marry A Short-Term Transformation With A Long-Term Lifestyle Solution
The mission at RNT is simple: it’s to help regular, busy people use the physical as the vehicle to transform their lives.
In order to do so, we take you through a journey that consists of five predictable phases whereby the outcome is twofold:
1) You get into the shape of your life, for life.
2) You experience benefits that transcend only the physical.
You’ll notice that the first outcome creates an emphasis on for life, and with good reason. Arguably the greatest problem in the health and fitness industry is the quick-fix, short-term mindset geared towards only being in the shape of your life. This means the six packs, the photoshoots, the beach bodies, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great achievement, and we help all our clients in this too.
But it’s only one half of the equation. In fact, according to our RNT Transformation Journey, it’s only the end of phase two!
The truth is, getting into shape is easy; you eat less and move more over a consistent period of time. But staying in shape is a whole different ball game. That’s the hard bit. That’s where the real work begins. That’s when you start to learn the behavioural, mindset and identity shifts necessary to maintain all you’ve achieved, and continue to improve thereafter. It’s the lengthy period of time that goes into building your unique lifestyle solution, whereby you learn how to mould your 3 S’s (structure, strategy and systems) to effortlessly stay in shape year-round.
Unfortunately, there’s a common misperception that it has to be one or the other. That you can either only chase down a short-term transformation, or you can only take a long-term lifestyle solution approach.
Until a few years ago, I was guilty of this myself. I was so fixated on getting people into the shape of their lives that I was neglecting everything that came next.
When the penny dropped, it gave birth to the five phases, and the power of going through a journey whereby you achieve a short-term transformation to feed into a long-term lifestyle solution. And by doing so, you’re able to get into the shape of your life, for life, while experiencing the power this journey has to act as a vehicle for the greater good in all areas of your life.
You can listen to Akash and Nathan discuss this further on Episode 119 of RNT Fitness Radio here:
The Problem With Only The First Half
The common industry thinking is to throw all your eggs in one basket, and apply a singular focus to one goal, one date, and one timeframe. This singular focus is why it works so well. It’s also why it fails though.
My favourite way to explain why this approach of only focusing on the first half of the equation is failing is through our famous mountain analogy.
When you’re climbing a steep and tricky mountain, and your only goal is to get to the top, it’s rare that you think about what comes next. You don’t think about how you’re going to get down from the top, or even what coming down looks like. Your sole aim is to beat the odds and get to the top.
Unfortunately, what tends to happen next has the ability to destroy all your hard work in a very short period of time.
With a lack of education and awareness of what comes next, you’re left in a tricky position. If you’ve used a map or followed a guide to get to the top in the most efficient way possible, they’ve both now disappeared. So many people reach the top of the mountain, get into the shape of their lives, and then have no idea or guidance on how to get down.
The common industry thinking is to ‘come back down the same way you can came up’, or worse yet, ‘go back to what you did previously and live your life again’. Both terrible pieces of advice, and it sums up everything that’s wrong with only focusing on the first half of the equation.
When you’ve put yourself through a short-term transformation, specifically a calorie deficit (which is necessary for fat loss to occur), you are not in the same place mentally and physically by the time you achieve your goal. While you were stocked up on water, supplies and plenty of energy on the way up, you’re now strapped as you begin to attempt coming back down. You are a different person, and the paths and terrains you came up on don’t exist anymore. It’s a whole different road back, with plenty of thorns, ditches and gaps that makes it a new challenge altogether.
The risk of injury, falling off path and/or getting completely lost is almost certain if you lose your map, or you have no guide to offer you a safe passage home. If you’ve never considered what comes next, expect to come back to the base of the mountain with a host of injuries, and in worse shape than you started in – both physically and mentally.
The common industry thinking has meant millions of people have gone through ‘12 week plans’, ‘8 week shreds’ and ‘16 week blitzes’ to be led to the top of the mountain, and then left to fend for themselves.
Why else do you think almost 90% of people fail to maintain their results?
There’s so much that goes on mentally, physically, emotionally and behaviourally, that I can’t emphasise enough the importance of taking away that relentless, singular focus, and changing the industry paradigm.
The common industry thinking needs to change.
Why You Need To Reach The Transformation Checkpoint
You’ll notice that I’m being highly specific in my language throughout the article. The biggest shift for anyone looking to be in the shape of their life, for life, is to start thinking of the first half of equation as your Transformation Checkpoint.
This is an important differentiation that sends a subconscious shift to start thinking of the following:
‘What’s next in my journey after the checkpoint?’
‘How do I create a safe passage home once I reach the top?’
‘How do I come back to the bottom of this mountain in one piece, so I can climb a different and more difficult one?
These questions are why we place such a strong emphasis on our Consolidation phase. When you go through the RNT Journey and you’re at the top of the mountain, you won’t be deserted.
You’re given the map and the guide to give you a safe passage home, with all the knowledge on how to navigate around the predictable obstacles and challenges that will present themselves.
You’re brought home safely so that you can start working on the next half of the equation, the long-term lifestyle solution.
At this point, you might be scratching your head and thinking, ‘If a short-term transformation brings with it so much risk and potential failure, isn’t it better to just take the long-term, slow and steady approach from the beginning?’
Good question, and the answer is simple.
You can’t have an effective long-term lifestyle solution without an initial short-term transformation.
You need to put yourself through the process of a hard climb to begin this journey because of everything it teaches you that becomes necessary later on.
- You learn how to formulate your unique 3 S’s (structure, strategy and systems) in your day and week.
- You learn how to set non-negotiables with your time, energy and focus in the day.
- You understand the power of limiting decision fatigue.
- You put yourself first, understand the importance of making yourself a priority, and making time for you.
- You learn how to be more organised with your diary, and how to say no.
- You’ll connect to your why, and continue questioning it.
- You’re forced to think and introspect, while asking yourself hard questions you may not have asked before.
- When energy gets low, and you go through the Grind, you become an essentialist in your behaviour, and become ruthless about how you spend your time.
- You develop self-confidence.
- You become more self-aware of what you like and dislike (food, drink, taste, people, work, tasks, etc.)
- You hit reset on your habits and routines.
- You get into the shape of your life.
- You start learning the power of the physical as the vehicle for the greater good in your life.
I could go on forever with the benefits of why a short-term hard transformation is beneficial. I’ve even written an article called the 50 Reasons Why You Should Grind, which I’d highly recommend reading to learn more.
The key point to hammer home here is that the first half of the equation builds the foundation for what’s to come. It gives you the tools to have the lifestyle later on. You only learn all of the above if you go all in and commit to a drastic change. If you ‘take it slow’, you’ll never be forced to set non-negotiables, be ruthless with your time, become deeply introspective, increase your self awareness, or develop the self-confidence that comes with this process. You’ll end up frustrated with slow progress and in a cycle of spinning your wheels. If you approach it correctly though, it becomes the catalyst for everything that you truly want, which is to be in the shape of your life, for life.
So What Does A Long-Term Lifestyle Solution Mean?
When you’ve accomplished your first Transformation Checkpoint and navigated through Consolidation, you’re in unique position to take your body in any direction you like. The opportunities are endless, with the most pertinent to this article being to fulfil the second half of the equation.
After arming yourself with the tools to transform, your job is now begin the difficult work of making this a permanent change. It started with taking the safe passage home, but that’s not enough.
To build your unique lifestyle solution you need to create long-term shifts in your behaviour, identity and mindset. This requires a different type of approach. It’s no longer only about ticking the boxes of your Transformation Checklist (training, nutrition, steps, sleep, water) during the Process phase. It’s investing in your version 2.0. It’s learning the structure, strategy and systems that you can craft to facilitate sustainable, long-term development without any setbacks.
Embarking on the second half of equation will mean the following:
- An opportunity to pursue self-mastery and control all aspects of your life to create the lifestyle you want to lead.
- You’re able to practice the habits that you want to instil and maintain in the long term.
- You remove the yo-yo dieting mindset, or any potential rebounds.
- You’re able to manage social events, high periods of stress, low sleep and festive/holiday periods without damaging your body and/or reverting back to square one.
- You remove self-doubt and body confidence issues.
- You create a new identity for yourself (I’d highly recommend reading this article here to learn more about this)
- You build your self-confidence to even greater heights as you reap the rewards of your investment.
- You get to be in shape of your life, for life.
- You continue to harness the power of the physical as the vehicle for the greater good in your life.
It’s one thing to get lean. It’s another to stay lean for six months after. It’s a whole different animal to stay lean for another three years after. And so on. The more you want to crystallise the second half of the equation, the more you need to value this as a journey that marries the short term as a platform to develop the long term. You need both. A transformation without a lifestyle solution is common industry thinking. A lifestyle solution without a transformation first will leave you spinning your wheels in frustration. Marrying the two together is a complete paradigm shift, and is the ultimate game changer if you want to be in the shape of your life, for life.
Can You See The Journey?
It’s time for a culture change towards seeing the benefits of a harmonious marriage between a short-term transformation and a long-term lifestyle solution. This culture change and shift in common industry thinking means embracing the five phases of the RNT Transformation Journey.
These five phases bring with them predictable outcomes, strategies and challenges that everyone will go through, with the overarching goal of enabling you to get into the shape of your life, for life. At the same time, you’ll experience benefits that are more than just the physical. Through this journey, you’ll:
- Improve your self-confidence.
- Feel, look and perform at your best.
- Push yourself to do more in all areas of your life.
By creating this culture change, and embarking on this journey of fulfilling both sides of the equation, you’ll learn the power of the physical transformation to act as a vehicle to completely transform your life. This is our mission at RNT, and we won’t stop until it becomes a reality.
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