In today’s day and age, there is no shortage of information and anything that you need to know, can be found at the touch of a button or swipe of a smartphone. In fact, famous futurist author Brett King, said, “A child in Mumbai has access to more information on his smartphone than the President of the United States had 20 years ago.”
It’s a truly exciting time to be alive, with infinite health, performance and training information, which can be a huge proponent in results and progression if APPLIED. If you have the right question, Google will certainly have the answer for you. Whether it’s weight loss, improving strength, rehabbing a shoulder, or what total calories are recommended for a 75kg sedentary male. Depending how you learn best, information can be consumed in video format (YouTube, Audio (podcasts), written (blogs and articles) or if you’re prepared to pay, you can attend online courses and consultations for specific answers. The world is literally your oyster!
More information doesn’t always translate into better results. To quote Derek Sivers, “If more info were the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” There is a huge difference in knowing what to do and actually doing it! If we examine ourselves, there are countless things that we do because of habit and comfort that could be altered or optimised for better results. We all know to take the stairs instead of the escalator or to choose the salad instead of the creamy carbonara, to provide better longer-term health and move you closer to your ideal body. But application isn’t always perfect when dealing with human emotions.
Application is essentially what I do as a strength coach for a living. I educate and MAKE people do things, hold them accountable and alter their perception of what is possible for them all through different methods of communication. If people have the time and interest to go out and study, make mistakes and find the answers, then they can apply these learnings to get results. However, in this “time-poor” world, people often want results fast and are happy to pay for an experienced professional to find these answers and to help them apply them.
Using motivational interviewing, can establish driving reasons why and how to get someone to apply methods successfully. 1 Often just knowing the right words to say to a person can be the biggest factor in them following through. Research has shown that motivational interviewing can be effective at changing certain health behaviours, so don’t underestimate the power of the right words. 2 Body language and language are powerful influencing factors that often get forgotten by trainers and coaches. Just because they are saying the generic right words, doesn’t mean that it will inspire action. That’s why leading by example and being authentic trumps all when it comes to inspiring change. PhDs, certifications and qualifications are great, but just like the internet, it means next to nothing without experience in application!
How to turn information into application for better results
- Do a Meta analysis with yourself and look at your track record in the area you’re trying to improve (be brutally honest). Have you achieved the results before? Are you an autonomous and self guided learner? Possible roadblocks? Will you need to be held accountable? What will make you successful?
- Seek a coach, trainer or a program that has produced results in the area you wish to achieve. It can’t be a one off result, it has to be with repeatable subjects, anyone can get lucky once! This sounds redundant, but just because someone is a good sales person doesn’t always mean they can follow through with the goods every time. You MUST look for previous results. Having an experienced coach can help to fast track results and expose possible common mistakes. You don’t need to take the long road when someone shows you all the short cuts.
- If you’re adamant you want to do it without a coach, then find someone who is credible (produced results on themselves and others) in the field you are after and model yourself on them. Read the books they have read, study their approach and philosophy. Modelling successful people can produce results if you’re autonomous and motivated.
- Make yourself accountable. Tell your friends, family or work colleagues your intended outcome and what you want to apply. This is a strategy I often use to hold myself accountable to following through on my targets. I don’t want to look silly by not following through when everyone around me knows what I have set out to do. You can use this same strategy with making bets or posting online. For those of you who are a little more private, there are many online applications and websites that can help with the execution of goals and habits. Try me, they have a habit tracker and online coaching to make sure you are on the right success path. Plus there are many more online options.
- Let go of the ego. Thinking you know everything can be the enemy of action and the friend of procrastination. Ask for help and find ways for external accountability. Remember world-class performers have coaches and continually receive feedback. No one is too good to improve.
Remember, little information executed really well will out perform the smartest know-it -all procrastinator. Application to complete the learning process is key.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, ‘Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment’, (1999).
- Sarah J Hardcastle et al., ‘Effectiveness of a Motivational Interviewing Intervention on Weight Loss, Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors: A Randomised Controlled Trial with a 12-Month Post-Intervention Follow-Up’, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity 10, no. 1 (2013): 40.