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Rules Versus Principles

When you first decide to set out on your goal, no matter what it is, you first have to define your principles. The immutable factors that are non-negotiable in order to get what you want.

Think of those principles as a map. The map gives you a general idea of where you are and where you want to go. What it doesn't do is tell you exactly which streets to walk down and when to turn; now you know where to go, but how to get there depends on you!

For some, a map won't be enough. They need a GPS. They need something telling them at every turn, and ahead of time, how far to go and when to turn. You can always ignore it, and there might be good reasons to, but it will immediately readjust and get you back on track.

I firmly believe that people crave a degree of structure.

How much structure is a bit more personal, though. What's stifling for one person may seem like chaos to someone else. As we get older, we stop letting others be the arbiters of what we have to do, when we have to do it, and how we have to do it.

Something I hardly ever see anyone talk about, however, is how long the process of figuring out which rules work best for ourselves individually can take.

It can take years of trial and error. Years of getting close and not making it. Years of getting there, only to let it slip away.

You can spend a long time using fad diets and workouts that don't work or don't work well. It doesn't matter if you scour the internet looking for the best information. It doesn't even matter if you hire a coach. If you can't adhere to that structure, if it's stifling to you, you're going to stop doing it eventually.

That's where principles and rules come into play.

For example, to lose fat one has to be in a caloric deficit; there are no two ways about it. That's a principle.

There's a laundry list of diets which all work. Keto, calorie/macro counting, even The South Beach Diet. They can all work. Let's call that a rule

I feel that everyone should lift weights for a variety of reasons. That's a principle.

But how you lift, be it low reps/heavyweight, metabolic resistance training, or even the type of training split you use, those are rules

The only reasons why the "rule" works is due to its underlying principles. If the principles are sound, then the approach is sound. At that point, it's just a matter of figuring which rules you want to follow; at this point, you choose the amount of structure that works best for you

What you, dear reader, do today is to identify what you want. And, no, I'm not just talking about fitness.

What are the principles you need to which you must adhere to get what you want? Think of the non-negotiables, "the big rocks", the big picture ideas that you need to strategies. Then, think about a few different people who have achieved the same goal. Think about how they did it. Which rules did they follow? Why did they follow them? Do they have a book or a social media presence with content you can use? Can you email them or reach out to them via social media to answer some of your questions? This is 2018 and a world full of mentors and coaches are at your disposal.

Like I mentioned before, figuring out which rules work best for youa might take some time, but in the end, it's going to make all the difference in the world.

Is there anything you want to achieve? Is it something I can help with? Contact The Discipline Fitness Coach and let's chat about it.

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