The myth that it’s bad to start and stop

You’ve been there. I know I have.

You look at your schedule and spot a stretch of relative normalcy, a stretch where you could commit to getting leaner or bigger or even just clean up some bad habits.

To really nail it, you hire a coach or invest in a meal service. You even demand your family also gets on board. No more half-measures.

Day 1 arrives and you nail it.

Day 2 and Day 3 as well. Crushing it.

And then, on Day 4, it happens.

Stuff blows up. Your job. Or your back. Or maybe your water heater. It happens.

Social media wisdom says you should buck up and keep going. Find the opportunity in every obstacle or some other tired cliché.

But while most obstacles are really just inconveniences, they still require recalibration. That can require a brief pause.

This is why I never judge anyone who starts and stops the fitness process—especially if they’re new to the game or have never experienced success at it.

However, this isn’t ‘Nam, Donny. There are rules.

  • You can only stop if you promise to re-start. And by promise I mean mark a HARD date on the calendar when you WILL re-start. No excuses.
  • You can not make the same mistake twice. This means during your hiatus you (we) figure out WHY you fell off the rails and how to prevent it from happening again.
  • You agree to still do SOMETHING every day even while you recalibrate. Even if it’s just reviewing your original reasons for wanting to get in better shape.
  • You agree that when (not if) you do re-start, you may have to do half as much but twice as well. Success is starting small and building slow, not piling on. It might bruise your ego but get over it. Ego is holding you back.

Finally, you don’t think of yourself as a loser or failure. Ever. This is non-negotiable.

A football player who just doesn’t quite have it and gets sent down to the practice roster isn’t a loser—as long he keeps trying to learn and get better.

But a top draft pick with all the tools that mails it in or breaks off his routes is a loser every Sunday, no matter what the score says.

– Bryan