Finding the Your Deep Motivation to Make New Habits Stick

This episode was inspired by our community, best represented by this question:

“I know that I get in the way of my training more than any injury or external obstacle. Even tho it sounds silly to say it, sometimes it feels like the conditions have to be perfect to make any progress. For example, “Shit, I ate a donut for breakfast, so today is shot. Forget tomorrow because you can’t start a new habit on a Tuesday. I’ll do better starting next Monday.” Or “I didn’t do well in my workout today, so I should find a new program”. I know it isn’t rational, but it happens. The mental side of training is more difficult that the physical side. Do you have any mental Elements to share for those of us that don’t see the steps between perfection and complete failure?” ~ Trevor

We can answer this in just four steps:

Go deep and figure out why you’re working out in the first place.Assess what you need so you can be 100% confident that you’re doing the right thing.Identify the necessary actions and make them habitual.Put those actions on your calendar so that time is protected.

Of course, those steps ain’t simple. Listen to the show and learn how to make them work for you.

Click here to see all our podcast episodes.

Resources mentioned

How To Build a Good Workout HabitHow to Structure WorkoutsChange Your Habits For Peak Performance

Transcript of Habits And Deep Motivation

Andy: Welcome to the Get Motivated Bitches podcast powered the Greedy Misogynistic Bastards podcast. So today we’re going to be talking about motivation and habit building. This is something that comes up a ton. I hate this topic because I always say it’s not my job to motivate you. Why? That’s not Tony Robbins here, but motivation is important. We try to build good habits, but shit happens.

Ryan: Yes, exactly. That’s what this thing is about, is when shit happens.

Andy: Because it will.

Ryan: Yes, it’s going to do.

Andy: So yeah, we have a lot of questions always about how to deal with things like work, getting sick, family, shitty weather. There’s all kinds of things that can come up that can throw you off of your routine and how do you… Sometimes those things might be an actual thing that literally prevents you from doing the things that you have planned. Sometimes they can just be an excuse when you aren’t motivated enough that just enough to tip you over the balance of not doing the thing. I just don’t feel like it.

Ryan: You end up looking for that using that, not just as an excuse but looking for the excuse to not do your particular whatever it is that day.

Andy: If you know anything about GMB, you know that we are not in the no excuses camp. We’re not trying to shame anybody for that. Ryan and I, Jarlo, all of us we have definitely skipped our share of workouts. But as we all know, being consistent with things helps you make progress better. So you want to be able to tip the balance in your favor towards doing more good stuff more often and that means that you need to be able to have good habits that you can try to rely on most of the time. You need to be able to keep your motivation. So when your routine is tested and your motivation is tested, that you can more times than not make the choice to do the thing that you think is best, even if it’s not a 100 percent.

Ryan: I think that the be able or can not more times than not and looking at that, we’re going to talk a little bit about this later, but that’s a good way.

Andy: So we’ll start by reading. This is a question that Trevor asked in our podcast board of directors group on Facebook. I’m just going to read this. We’ll address parts of this here and there, but I think this really sums up a lot of what we’re talking about here. So Trevor says, I know that I get in the way of my training more than injury or external obstacle, even though it sounds silly to say, sometimes it feels like the conditions have to be perfect to make any progress. For example, “Shit, I ate a donut for breakfast. So today it’s shot. Forget tomorrow because you can’t start a new habit on Tuesday. I’ll do better starting next Monday” or “I didn’t do well on my workout today so I should find a new program.” I know it isn’t rational, but it happens. The mental side of training is more difficult than the physical side. Do you have any mental elements to share for those of us that don’t see the steps between perfection and complete failure?” So that was Trevor.

Andy: I think it really encapsulates what we’re going to try to address with this show. First off, just to specifically answer the specific question, it is never a bad idea to eat a donut. So with that foundation in place, let’s talk first about the habit side because motivation I think is a little harder but habit is something that we’ve worked with a lot and we’ve talked about before and there are some pretty specific things and we can talk about specific habits that we try to develop that have helped us.

Ryan: I think earlier when you brought up motivation and I know that this podcast today is Get Motivated Bitches, which we’re going to have tee shirts made and selling those…

Andy: I think we should also have Greedy Misogynistic Bastard, on a shirt because that’s going to be my new daily uniform.

Ryan: Motivation. If I had to rely simply on motivation, I wouldn’t get a whole lot done. I’m just going to be honest. I do understand, yes, motivation can be a huge factor. Today, I’m actually motivated to do my workout session, but there are so many days where I’m like, “I really don’t want to do it.” So basically also on those days where life is just basically kicking you in the balls and you’re just like, “So much shit going on.”

Ryan: Instead of really relying on that motivation, what I’m trying to do is focus on just showing up. So instead of looking at completing a particular session, I’m actually changing, making it easier for me to get that win and focus on that rather than the end goal. So for example, just stepping on the mat and really seeing what happens. This comes back to actually something that my judo coach told me many, many years ago and I’ve mentioned this numerous places and that is, I remember there were days when I would just every single day get my ass kicked, I would be working with the police on the police judo.

Ryan: There are days where I’m just like, “I don’t want to be here.” I remember going up to my coach one day and just being like, “I just don’t feel it today” and he’s like, “Hey man, that’s totally cool. Just step on the mat and let’s see what happens.” That has been my mantra for pretty much years now and it’s not me crushing a workout. It’s not me being super motivated to get hardcore and medieval on that workout, it was simply, you know what, I’m just going to show up. I’m just going to step on the mat and see what happens. Generally, I find that if I can do that, I not only end up finishing my session, but I actually have a pretty damn good session.

Ryan: So what I’m trying to say though is instead of focusing on completion, instead of thinking of these big large goals, change the way that you’re looking at things to create a positive habit that is easy enough for you to at least start. Sometimes it’s simply that is that habit of simply just starting, like I mentioned, just step on the mat and see what happens. I use this a lot with pretty much everybody I talk to when they’re having trouble continuing with the program or even just wanting to do something. Just show up.

Ryan: Make it a habit goal rather than an outcome goal. That’s really what we’re after is don’t think of wanting to nail the one arm chin up. That’s a great goal if that’s your goal. But in order to be able to actually get there, focus on the little tiny things that come before that. Well before even getting that one arm chin. Focus on simply, today I’m just going to step in to my workout and I’m going to focus on that remedial movement, if you will. That’s going to just help me to get towards that big, big goal, just showing up.

Ryan: You do that enough and that becomes a positive habit and it becomes something that’s so simple for you. You’ve made it easy and I’m just going to show up. Just step on the mat. Literally just step on the mat. Okay, cool. It might not even mean that you finish your session. You might only do your warm up and be like, I feel like crap today, so you know what, I’m not going to do my session. Good on you. Great.

Ryan: You still won if you will, because you showed up and you were true to yourself and really listening to your body using autoregulation and understanding that today is it day where you really shouldn’t be doing your session, but you didn’t just let your mind overtake yourself and say, well, I’m just really not feeling it so I’m going to skip it because there’s so many days that we can do that.

Andy: So I think it’s really an important thing is what you mentioned about outcome goals versus building habits around things. So just give an example of how you can actually do this. We’re not saying give up the outcome goals, but you take that outcome, say your outcome is a one arm handstand, let’s just say that, or that your outcome is a 500 pound squat or something like that. Jarlo says he still wants to get a 500 pound squat someday. That’d be awesome. But if you just try to do that every time, you’re not going to get very far. It’s going to be hard.

Andy: If you’re always just thinking 500 pound squat or one arm handstand every time, if you’re comparing yourself against that, it’s going to be really hard. So what you need to do is you have to break it down and look at what are the actions you have to take to get that outcome. For the one arm handstand, well, it depends on what stage of practice you’re at. When Ryan started with this, he had to really build up his endurance and he had to spend X minutes a day in the handstand against the wall even just building up his endurance to support his weight, and then lifting one hand off and whatever.

Andy: But whatever stage you’re at, whatever that is, is what are the actions you have to take? How can you quantify that? I want to get X minutes a week and then break that down to average per day or whatever. But you said it and then that is your habit. Your habit is to get 10 minutes a day of whatever or if you’re trying to work on a squat, your habit is you want to get four squat sessions a week.

Andy: One of those approaching a three rep max, maybe that’s the way you want to do it. You want to do one, three rep max a week and you want to have three or two or however many supporting strength building sessions, you build it, you break it down to that. So that’s your habit then is those actions you need to take to the outcome and you break it down to as quantifiable and as simple and repeatable a thing as possible. So Joey asked this question also how you feel about scheduling things. I love scheduling things.

Ryan: Me too. If I cannot schedule it…

Andy: If something is not on my calendar, it does not exist in my life.

Ryan: You and I are both the same, right? Yes.

Andy: Every Sunday I have a two-hour appointment to set my calendar for the week. The thing is I’m not trying to set it precisely because I know things will change. So I leave Friday almost completely open, but I try to schedule the things I know I need to do that are important to me the first few days of the week, the first two or three days of the week ideally, and get those on my calendar.

Andy: I get any events for my daughter’s school on the calendar set reserved. Nothing can touch those times. I get my martial arts practice on the calendar. I get my two gym sessions on the calendar. Those are important to me. Those things go that I need to do for myself and for my family. Then after that, things that are a nonnegotiable for my work, those go on the calendar. Then everything else, then extra meetings or errands or stuff like that. That’s optional. But yeah, like Joey asks about like a daily playtime yeah, put it on the calendar, man. If you reserve that time, put it on the calendar.

Ryan: Absolutely. I do blocks of time where I actually add in a little extra time because I know that things aren’t going to go the way that I want them really to go and I take into account that, that’s going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, cool. I’ve got a little extra time. You know what I mean? So just over the years, just understanding that if you don’t pencil it in, it’s not going to happen. It’s just going with the flow and trying to randomly squeeze in a workout, for me doesn’t happen anymore at all, and yeah.

Andy: So the difference between being in reactive mode if you’re just responding to what comes up over the week versus really trying to plan and decide what’s important to you. So what we talk about all the time with autonomy, are you just trying to do a move that you saw on YouTube? Are you just trying to do a movement or an exercise that some guy told you was important or are you just trying to look away that somebody said you should look? Or are you deciding for yourself what’s important to you and planning those things in advance and setting your own goals and playing your own game and being your own grownup human.

Andy: That to us, the calendar is our tool. Not everybody at GMB does this. I know Jarlo has a much more fluid daily schedule because of the way his wife has a job that she has different shifts and a different schedule every day. So he has to keep things very fluid for Ryan and I-

Ryan: Die or live.

Andy: … we live and die by that calendar and that’s how we make sure that we get those important things done. Jamie mentions a good thing from the group too about with kids it’s a lot harder. So he’s asking about some habits. What are some examples of things you can do to try to create habits with like routines, exercises that you can sneak in while you’re doing. So when your kids or anything. We did just release a couple of weeks ago an article about with this one at current has 57 examples of things you can do to get some movement practice just wherever you are in your day.

Andy: We’re going to add more to that. So it’ll be 70, maybe a 100 some day examples of things you can do at home, at work, while you’re doing stuff, while you’re playing or any of that stuff. So check that out. What’s up Ryan, what do you have? Maybe a favorite of something that you can do and he specifically mentions with kids?

Ryan: With my kid, it’s always been different, of course during the years, depending on their age. So for example, I do remember when the kids were little or littler that if I was carrying them then that I would actually like for example, maybe adding some lunges or something like that. So now they’re at a point where they’re so big. If I do lunges, that can crush me because I’mAndy: You’ll would die if you tried to do a lunge with your children.

Ryan: … because I’m weak. But yeah, like now though, the thing is especially with my son, it’s fun because he likes to wrestle quite a bit. So for me, that becomes a stretching deal where he’s still little enough that he’s not going to put me in a particular compromising position, I hope. So I can use that as a way to get it stretching and it’s really good because you do it before bed and that’s just one example. But there’s other certain things like I do know my daughter, she still likes to walk on, not walk on railings but balance, walk on balancing when we’re walking. So we do that a lot and so when we’re walking somewhere we’ll just happen to pop up on something and balance on one leg or something like that.

Ryan: So there’s always opportunities to do that thing. I don’t really like to schedule particular things with my kids. It’s with my kids. It’s just a matter of if something comes up then we’ll play around with it. So it’s not that I’m trying to sneak in particular things when I’m doing that. Again, that’s why I have blocks of time set aside during my day for me to be able to focus on the things that I need to do regarding what I want to do and what do I want to accomplish someday.

Andy: Definitely. Stacy asks about changing habits. I think that’s an important thing too because a lot of times when we’re talking about trying to build new habits, we have to break old ones at the same time because we are creatures of habit and we tend to go on autopilot whenever possible. Our brains are incredibly clever and lazy and don’t like to repeat effort unless it’s absolutely necessary. So we rely on habits a lot.

Andy: So I need to change them. One thing is go back through our older podcast. We did one with Josh Hillis-

Ryan: That’s right here.

Andy: … like a little over a year ago. He and Jarlo talking about habit change and that’s based on a lot of research and a lot of experience that Josh has helping people change their behaviors in ways that are not psychologically damaging or onerous. But I know for me in terms of trying to change a habit, again, lately I’ve found the most effective thing, there’s two of them. One is putting on the damn calendar, but sometimes even that’s not enough if it’s something that I am having a hard time with.

Andy: What works for me best is linking it with another habitual action. My daughter is learning to read right now and she’s coming along really well, but I need to spend time with her helping her get better at that and reinforcing that. So I’m not saying that it’s difficult for me to sit and read with my daughter, but then you have to do like thing, you have to do worksheets. We do flash cards, we do things like that because it helps. It helps. It works.

Andy: So how do we build this habit of spending just a few minutes a day doing this stuff? Well, the time that I get home from working in the time that she gets home from school, the easiest thing is I make sure every day when I leave for work that her study materials that we’re going to do for that day are sitting on my chair that when I come home, when I put some of my notebook down next to the chair and when she comes home and gets ready and stuff, then it’s right there and I see it and then I move it over to the table and we do it together before anything else happens.

Andy: So if I’m trying to build a new habit to do that, I’m going to link it with that habit of coming home and organizing my stuff right before dinner. Anything you can do like that is something that I find helpful. What do you have Ryan?

Ryan: Just what you said, just reminded me of Muhammad Ali, when he would put his running shoes on the chair next to his bed that’s next to his alarm clock, so when he woke up in the morning he would like next to see that so as a reminder, I think the reminders is something that I think is very important because when you’re starting off in a new habit, you can actually forget because you’re not used to doing it yet with that.

Andy: Forgetting is a real thing.

Ryan: So that’s what I was going to say. So for me it’s whether it be setting out a reminder not necessarily on my phone and I don’t actually do a lot of reminders on my phone, but something I will do is similar to what you’re saying is link it to something else so then it becomes an automatic reminder of sorts. So anytime I now look at the particular habit that I’ve always done, then it brings up that reminder. So in the beginning of course, so I don’t forget, I will write it down somewhere, but then it gets to the point where I’m doing this, therefore this and it just becomes congruent with the other thing.

Ryan: That’s the big thing for me is just remembering to do it. That’s it. Whether or not I want to do it as a different thing, but if there is a reminder and for me I will typically do it. But that’s always been something with me. I just forget, I’ll be like, “Oh shit, I forgot to do that the other day” or whatever and then I end up not completing it and continue with it because I forgot it for two days or something which is silly but.

Andy: Orderly. I’ll also just say on habits too, A quick shout out to BJ Fogg, who’s a Stanford researcher on habits and also a GMB client who has a book coming out, I believe in January on habits and changing them and building good ones. So thank you BJ-

Ryan: Yes, thank you.

Andy: … and everybody go buy his book. So and also just in terms of habit, I just have say like what Ryan was saying earlier about just getting on the mat. If nothing else, all of these things, big habits, small habits, you don’t have to do the biggest best version of them every time for them to count. Just get on the mat. If I’m Mohammad Ali and I see my running shoes in the morning and I just put them on and I’m just like, “nah” it’s still better than if I had not put them on at all.

Andy: But that’s how you get to be the greatest. But who among us listening to this, of all the slackers listening to GMB show, which of us is going to be the greatest at anything? Let’s be honest, maybe five people who have ever listened to the show might be the greatest at what they do ever, just typically speaking. So most of us are not the greatest. That’s fine. Just get on the mat and see what happens. You might not have your best session ever, but you’ll have a better session than if you hadn’t gotten on the mat.

Ryan: Exactly, and that’s what it’s about.

Andy: So now let’s talk a little bit about motivation because even habit sometimes can fail you, especially when you’re starting a new habit and when man, when you’re trying to build a running habit and it’s raining-

Ryan: It’s not. It’s pretty tough with that.

Andy: … what are you going to do? You do still need motivation to stick with this. So Jacob in a podcast group ask this, how do you never ever miss a training session no matter what, how do I force myself to go to the gym even when my entire family needs me for something way more important. Jacob is of course, being sarcastic here. He clearly gets us. Jacob, thank you. But truly, how do you specify what you really want from your training? He says you and Ryan speak a lot about this, but how do you begin to understand what you truly want? I think that’s the crux of it. That’s the issue. That’s hard. That’s the tough part.

Ryan: Actually, yesterday recorded a podcast with Mercedes. She’s one of our GMB trainers. She’s climbing guru. This is a topic that we talked about and once that comes out down the line, whenever it comes out, be sure to listen to that but one thing that I really like that you, and I say that we always come back to, but she looked at it a different way is that why, but not just that why, but actually the five whys in which you’re looking at actually peeling back the layers of the layers of the onion to get to the real heart of it, what’s going on.

Ryan: It all comes down to your values. You mentioned this earlier, and paraphrasing of course, but if there’s someone out there telling you that you need to do this and you have to be doing this, we’ll take a step back and be like, “Okay, is that really good for me?” It could be a simple yes or no, but it’s probably going to be a lot deeper. So something that we use sometimes is, okay, I want six pack abs. Okay, great. Why do you want six pack abs?

Ryan: Once you get those six pack abs, what does that really going to mean to you? There’s nothing wrong with having six pack abs, but then going deeper and really asking the next question. Okay, why? Why do you want six pack abs? Okay, great. Once you get that, then what is that going to do for you, why? The deeper you can go with that why, the answer is going to come out.

Ryan: My why right now that I’m doing certain things is so different than the why even from last year and that’s because we change as we grow. As we accomplish certain things, we realize that for one, wow, we accomplished that great pat on the back, then look at, okay, not necessarily what’s the next step, but how can I go deeper with whatever it’s important to me and my life now? So I know you were joking about this, but how do I force myself into the gym even when my entire family needs me for something way more important.

Ryan: I know that you’re joking on that again, but I think sometimes we can let the things that we feel that we should be pursuing get in the way of the things that are actually truly important in our lives and that’s why taking a step back and really peeling back those layers of the onion, going through the Russian nesting doll to get to the final doll and really saying, okay, what is it? This is tough because this means taking an honest look at yourself and maybe dealing with some very difficult questions.

Andy: Your real motivation for a lot of things is going to be the deepest motivation you have and that’s what the five whys is a good example of this. This is, I believe that was another one from the Toyota engineering.

Ryan: Yes, that’s what I was going to say. It’s from Toyota, yeah.

Andy: You ask why something didn’t work, why, whatever and then you have the surface answer and you ask why again. You ask why. By the time you ask, and it’s not necessarily five as a magic.

Ryan: It doesn’t need to be five.

Andy: Asking why until you get to something really fundamental. So when you’re talking about like fitness goals or health goals and why you want these things and trying to motivate yourself, why do I want this? Why do I need to work out or whatever, you’re going to find that your first why’s, your first answers to those they might seem like they’re pretty deep, but there’s usually something much, much deeper.

Andy: You might have an answer that feels really mature, that’s like, I just want to live a long time to be here for my family and think that’s perfect. I don’t need anything more than that. I guarantee there’s more than that. Why do you want to be here a long time to be here for your family? Ask why. Is it because your dad left you when you were 12 and you wasn’t there for your family and you’re going to get to something that makes you fucking hurt.

Ryan: It is tough. It’s fucking tough.

Andy: But this is where you can find who you really want to be. This is not what you’re going to see or hear in too many fitness podcasts because this shit is tough, when you get down to the point where you’re able to link who you want to be, what do you live for? I’m not saying you have to know the answer to that definitively or that it’s never going to change. It’s going to be some like immutable essence that’s not true either. But when you know, in the moment at least like about this, what kind of person do I want to be about this, then you can build some motivation and it’s not, I’m motivated to work out so I can be strong. It’s, I am the kind of person who takes care of his body so that he can be responsible for the people who count on him or whatever that is for you.

Andy: You will probably find that it touches your self identity on a deep level. It may be painful for you, but when you get there, you’ll be able to build on the kind of identity you want to have and who you want to be when it comes to your health and your fitness and these things. In awareness of the trade offs, that means you have to make another things too because you can’t say, well, I want to be this if it means that you have to sacrifice other things that are important.

Ryan: This is a great lead in, by the way, to what Kate slate thing. Sorry, Kate Worsley’s question and she says she’s really good at habit, but motivation gets sluggish when life is stressful, she wish she could be doing other things. So her big question was, how to keep focused and motivated on that longterm goal. It’s exactly what Andy is just talking about in that when you truly have gone through these questions and you have that deep why, that deep, deep why that’s what you come back to.

Ryan: That’s how you stayed motivated in that terms. That’s why I’m able to do the stuff that I do. That’s all it is, is because I’ve really taking a deep look at why do I really want to be doing this and then that allows me for when I have those days where I’m just not motivated. I just step on the mat. That why propels me and actually I’m just like, “well, you know what? If I want to be able to do this, then I got it.

Ryan: I got to do this.” It actually becomes a bit easier because you can see it. It’s not that you’re trying to hit that the end goal. It’s a deeper rooted, true to yourself of why that no one else has. That’s what keeps people, those truly motivated people. They talk about the motivation knowledge because they truly, they know what they want out of this and they’ve really gone deep with it and they’re focusing on their why.

Andy: They know who they are.

Ryan: They know who they are.

Andy: Ryan sometimes shows me his Instagram DMs where people will be like, “Hey bro, I challenge you to do this” and it’s hilarious. Imagine being the kind of person who your reason for working out is to measure up to some spray tan to jackass on Instagram.

Ryan: It’s crazy. I know. I’m like and Andy knows this too. It’s always funny because these guys, and they’re always young guys and they’re just like, Jack and they’re just, “Hey bro, can you do this?” My answer is always the same. Even sometimes if I can do it, I’m just like, “Nope.” They’re just like, why do you want to try it? I’m like, “no” because I got other shit that I want to focus on. I’m like, “I’m happy for you for doing that but I just don’t care.” I just don’t care.

Ryan: So that’s that understanding the why yourself and so that’s also why we’re getting back to when you’re going through different fitness videos and looking at particular skills and things where people are telling you this and that and that always bring it back to you. How is this helping you in getting to where you want to be as a person? It’s tough figuring out exactly why.

Andy: I’ll tell you like a lot of the stuff that I do, my biggest motivation right now is I remember about, what? Eight years ago to six years ago, a little before and a little after my daughter was born, I had terrible back pain.

Ryan:Andy: It was horrible. One of my main motivations for a lot of the things I do are that I am never going to live like that again. It was awful. It’s awful. Partly because I want to be able to do stuff for my family and stuff like that, but also because it fucking hurt. I don’t want that anymore like just on a purely selfish level, it’s nothing about like health or longevity or my family. It’s like that hurt and I don’t want that.

Andy: My motivation for stretching and moving around as much as possible and trying to have keep good posture and I go to the gym and do completely suboptimal sets and reps of exercises that aren’t “functional” because they help me have a certain baseline that keeps my posture good. So I’m not worried about that because I don’t want to have pain like that ever again as long as I live. So your motivation is have to be anything noble, I’ll tell you guys that.

Ryan: That’s right. The thing is, this is what I love about really having a good and deep understanding of what you want, is it allows you to kind of just like forget about all that other crap and you just focus on what’s good for you. So this is means pretty much across the board 100 percent that you’re going to be doing less of all the other crap out there. For me, I know exactly what I wanted to be doing right now. So the two intense workout sessions that I do, they’re not a lot of movements in there.

Ryan: They’re really tough and it’s really intense when I do it. But I know I can just focus on that and I put my heart into it and I do it and I walk away and I’m good. I think that having that clarity really allows you to just not necessarily put blinders on, but not worry about all that other crap that people are doing and thinking that you should be doing or challenging you to do, or any other kind of stuff.

Ryan: So that also allows you to simplify because you know that life is going to happen and if you can focus on just doing the things that you know that you need to be doing for yourself, it frees up the rest of your life so that you’re not doing a whole bunch of extra crap that you think you need to be doing, and it gives you more time for your family, for maybe the other things in your life that you want to be doing maybe a new hobby or whatever it is.

Ryan: As well if you happen to miss a workout, then you realize, you know what, I’m good. Life is not going to end. It’s cool if I’m sick, if I need to take a day off, you’re still groovy. It’s not the end of the world, and I think that’s also really good and something I want to touch on next… Do you have anything to say to that? Is that cool?

Andy: Keep going.

Ryan: Is moving on and really instead of looking at each individual session and thinking that you have to nail or complete a particular session, look at cycles and look at 80 percent rule, if you can get 80 percent of your sessions during a particular cycle, then that’s really good. I think that’s really good. You’re still going to be making improvements. So I think that also can be taken into account for individual sessions.

Ryan: We’re you able to put at least at 80 percent into that daily session. A lot of people talk about 100 percent and 120 percent. I don’t even know fucking thing is 120 but anyway, I just cracked me up when people are like, I hit it so hard in every single session. I’m like, “really?” I’m like, if you can do that 80 percent I think that’s really going to allow you to keep going.

Ryan: This is where we’re after if we’re looking at good as good enough, it’s you can always have a good session if you can look at it and what did I learn that day and then warm one of things am I moving towards my goal? If that answer is yes, then yes, you’re always going to have a great session. So that’s why the 80 percent rule to me, and I don’t even like to say rule, but just looking at okay, did I get 80 percent done at least and if so then yeah, it is a good section. You can choose a number, of course a percentage is going to be good for you. I’m just saying 80 percent is it just a general way of looking at things down the line.

Andy: When it comes down to it, it’s not the number that matters.

Ryan: It’s not.

Andy: Is more often than not whatever works for you and you just want to trend towards most of the time doing as well as you feasibly can do. I know that sounds like it’s giving a lot of ways out and it is but the thing is, is that’s life. That’s what this episode is about. All of these comments from people are saying this is life. This is life as it happens, as it comes up for me. That’s reality for most of us. So yeah, you do need to give yourself some out, but then you also need to develop the deep motivation and build the habits that let you in the face of that still continue at whatever degree possible do the best you can with what you have, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Andy: So get on the mat.

Ryan: Get on the mat, just step on the mat and I use the mat simply because that was from my judo days, but then it’s also what we’re doing here in GMB as far as motion and things like that. A lot of people are right on that so it’s kind of a double incentive to look at it that way and help keep you move forward but.

Andy: This is the thing that since the three of us have done so much martial art, it really does, it resonates with us a lot is get on the mat and spending time on the mat. How do you get better, time on the mat?

Ryan: The time on the mat.

Andy: It’s not going to be intense crushing it on the mat every time. This is the thing about martial art and also like a lot of sports is you win sometimes, but you also lose sometimes. You’re not going to perform at your best every time and you can’t expect that. That’s a lot different from maybe sport and fitnessing. In fitnessing people want to posture like you’re going to crush it every session and that’s just not the way it works in any kind of practical applied fitness and in a sport or a martial art kind of environment or something, you’re going to get your ass beat.

Andy: Some days you’re going to lose. But just being on the mat, whether you win or lose, being on the mat and being fully on the mat, present in it, that’s what gives you your benefit. That time on the mat is irreplaceable. So just get on the mat. Even if you’re not in martial arts or whatever, if that metaphor doesn’t work for you, pick something else. I feel like get in the kitchen, chop some broccoli.

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. That’s my wife. She loves that really, that’s her place. Sounds horrible.

Ryan: That’s the place that she likes to be in terms of, she feels wonderful when she’s there cooking food and so yeah, I could see that for her it’s just getting the kitchen and life is going to be good for her because that’s where she takes her stress out on, which is good for me because I get to eat great food.

Andy: You do.

Ryan: I do. So yeah, kind of sum this up again. It’s, you got to figure out your big why. It’s a big thing to be able to lean on when things happen. The deeper you can go with that and have a personal why specifically for you, it should be specifically for you well thought out. So that when you step on the mat, it allows you to continue to move forward.

Ryan: Even when you have those days and those things in life that are get in the way figure out what you need. That’s also the big part of it as well. Really what do you need? Once you figured out what you want, then figure out what you need, and this is a tough one, this is really tough. If you need a coach, get a coach. I’ll find someone who understands what you’re going through.

Andy: We’ve talked about this before in other episodes too about how to know what to focus on, how to know what’s appropriate for you. This is why we have like our AAA protocol to of assess, address and apply. Really that assessment portion is important and really figure out what’s the thing that’s holding you back from where you want to be and what can you do to get rid of that block. That can tell you a lot what you need to be focusing on.

Andy: So use these like fairly simple mental frameworks to help you make these choices and then you know what you need to be focused on. So then you can focus on that instead of just trying to figure out and maybe I should do this or that or whatever, you know and then there’s a lot easier to say, well… Zoe asked this question, I have trouble sticking with the program if I don’t see improvement and if I think it’s not working and so I started to get demotivated and look for something else and I ended up collecting a lot of programs.

Andy: Well, the thing is, is you’re not you’re not going to see visible improvement always in some things. In strengths, you can sometimes see visible improvement because you can feel stronger, and flexibility sometimes you can get like an extra centimeter, extra inch of range. You can see that in terms of physical control and skill building, it’s really hard to see, really hard to see.

Andy: So sometimes it’s a matter of comparing yourself to like a month ago, two months ago. So where you’re trying to be, sometimes it’s just a matter of the things you’re looking at are really hard to see but if you’ve taken the time to assess what you need, and if you’re working on that, even if the program isn’t giving you the feeling of immediate progress, you can still know that you’re working on the right thing.

Andy: That can help you to stick with something beyond when you might have quickly given up on it if you know it’s the right thing. Sometimes just knowing that you’re in the right place can make a huge, huge difference. If you know why you’re doing it and you know it’s the right thing and you build a habit around that and it’s on your damn calendar every week, it can be you’re making it hard on yourself to fail.

Ryan: That’s right. Make it hard to fail.

Andy: Now we should just stop right there.

Ryan: We’re done. Good man. I like it. I like it. I was thinking of a bonus tip, but I really, there’s just so much stuff in there. If you haven’t already that I really suggest you think about those five whys that we discussed and going deep, going real deep and just thinking about why you’re doing this and then think about why again, and to think about why again. So that can be our bonus tip for this podcast. All right.

Ryan: All right. Thank you for listening.

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