The Chimp Paradox – Motivation for ‘Getting into Shape’

The Chimp Paradox is a great book if you are interested in self-development, psychology and generally not being a bellend.

It can also be applied to sports and fitness- psychology and motivation.

This can be very helpful and practical information for those people looking to lose weight, get fit or train for a fight.

 

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Practical Example of a ‘Task-Sheet’ For People Looking to Get in Shape


Goal Setting

Maker goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do

Some are target goals. Others are process goals.

Always work on 1 or 2 target goals at a time.

What are your 2 Target/Outcome Goals?

  1. e.g. Lose 2 inches from my waist by June 10th 2016

 

What are your 3 process goals? / How will you achieve the outcome goals?

1. e.g. exercise 3 times per week by attending the gym and sticking to my programme
2.
3.

 

When you reach a goal, look back. Celebrate how much you have gone so far.

Monitor the success with a chart or some visible signs of showing your progress.

 

 

What do you need to succeed?


Make sure there is nothing essential or significant that you haven’t put in place to increase your chances of succeeding

 

  1. essential – what is absolutely critical to do the job
    e.g. a place to exercise, and access to healthy food
  2. significant – what will greatly influence the results of the job or job itself.
    e.g. a friend to help and advice from an expert.
  3. desirable – may or may not help, but definitely makes things more comfortable.
    A personal coach or trainer for the first few weeks.

 

 

What difficulties might you encounter?

Write them down and decide how you will deal with these difficulties
Don’t let any likely-difficulties stop your progress.
Anticipate them and have a strategy for dealing with them.

 

Hurdles

Obstacles that simply have no way to get around, they are always going to happen and you must jump over them

– e.g. Hurdle – people offering you unhealthy foods
– Solution – Say “no thanks, I’m on a diet”

 

Barriers

Obstacles that you can get around of.

e.g. barrier – shopping when hungry
Solution – don’t shop when hungry. Make a shopping list to stick to. Make a list of foods not to buy.

 

Pitfalls

Obvious problems that will destroy your goal-progress


e.g. pitfall –  buying unhealthy food or keeping unhealthy food in the house.
Solution – Give away or throw out all unhealthy food you currently have


Empowerment

Do you think you have everything you need to succeed?
If not, what else do you require?

Do you think this plan will work? –
If so, what is it that you like about the diet and exercise programme you have been given?
If not, what are you concerned about?

Accepting Responsibility for Execution

Are you convinced that this plan is worth your while? –  Is getting in shape worth the effort and commitment?

This is your programme. Not your trainer’s programme. You must take ownership of the programme and be happy with it. Is there anything you would like to know more about, or anything you would change before taking ownership?

 

Be Motivated by Success, not a Fear of Failure –
Be motivated by, and see an opportunity to succeed and become healthy; rather than being motivated by the fear of failure and shame.

See the carrot of health and happiness, not the stick of shame and guilt.

 

Download a full Pre-Exercise-Programme Questionnaire Here
This includes Goal Setting and Motivational Questions to ask your clients/yourself.

 

Sports Nutrition MMA

Sports Nutrition mma

 

Another great psychological tip for getting into shape comes from Tim Ferriss’ book
The 4 Hour Body

Take pictures of all the meals you eat & Upload to a specific Instagram or Twitter account.
The ‘public accountability’ of influence, will help you stay on track

You should also keep a diary of what food you eat, and you should consider writing down an estimate of the weight and calories in every meal.  “What is measured, is controlled”.

I would personally just do the Instagram photo thing though.

 

More information, directly from the Chimp Paradox book below.
This is full of jargon unfortunately, but I’ve tried to explain what everything means as best as I can

 

 

From the book

The “chimp” refers to the chimp-brain. The part of the brain that we share with chimps, and that is built for survival in the wild, not for a modern society were violence is illegal.
Let’s take Weight-loss as an example

In order to reach your goals, think about ‘The Core Moon’.

CORE moon

Commitment

Ownership

Responsibility

Excellence

 

Commitment

Chimp is motivation-driven, not commitment-driven. Commitment comes from Human.
The chimp will act on emotions, and be impulsive.  For example, the chimp may decide he/she wants to get fit. But it is the human-brain which ultimately needs to organise and commit to a plan of action.

 

For success to occur, it is commitment not motivation that matters.

 

Ask yourself:

  1. what do I need to do the job? 
  2. What solutions do I have ready for any difficulty?

 

What you need is divided into 3 types:

  1. essential – what is absolutely critical to do the job e.g. a place to exercise, and access to healthy food
  2. significant – what will greatly influence the results of the job or job itself. e.g. a friend to help and advice from an expert.
  3. desirable – may or may not help, but definitely makes things more comfortable.  A personal coach or trainer for the first few weeks.

Write out all your needs and write down the solutions/requirements for each of them to start your plan of action.

 

What difficulties may I encounter:

  1. hurdles – obstacles that simply have no way to get around, they are always going to happen – e.g. people offering you unhealthy foods
  2. barriers – obstacles that you can get around of.  For example shopping when hungry.
  3. pitfalls – if you do not watch out for these, it will hurt you. For example buying unhealthy food or keeping unhealthy food in the house.

List all the hurdles, barriers, and pitfalls.
Make a plan to overcome them.

 

Anyone can be organized by making a plan. Only the disciplined person can stick to a plan and make it work.

 

Ownership

Having ownership excites the Human and the Chimp.

Making a plan and having ownership of the plan ==> being organized.

Don’t use others and circumstances as an excuse to fall-off the plan

Remember this throughout your weight-loss endeavour.

 

Responsibility

 

Taking responsibility and accountability for executing plan ==> being disciplined.

 

Excellence

 

Personal excellence means doing your best.

 

Now you have all 4 ingredients:

A thought-through commitment

A plan for which you have ownership

Accepted responsibility for execution

Striving for personal excellence in execution

 

Do Not be Negative

Civilised society replaces sticks with carrots.

3 common sticks are:

Beating yourself up

Guilt, blame and regret

Abusive reminder ( putting other people in constant guilt trip)

 

See the weight-loss plan as an opportunity, rather than a problem.  Be motivated by an opportunity, not a fear of failure.

 

Set Goals

Maker goals SMARTER.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Evaluate, and Re-Do

Some are target goals. Others are maintenance goals.

 

Always work on 1 or 2 target goals at a time.

 

Maintenance goals are goals where you only need to maintain the standards of your outcomes. 

 

When you reach a goal, look back. Celebrate how much you have gone so far.

 

Monitor the success with a chart or some visible signs of showing your progress.

 

Display visible reminders and encouragers such as posters or notes to keep you on track.

 

Get a friend to share your journey with.

put a reminder on the fridge “Do not feed the chimp. He will be upset in 30 minutes if you do”

 

Audit – Review Progress Every Month

Looking at the progress so far. Are you on track? What is working? What isn’t?

Don’t blame others. Look to yourself first and take ownership.

Successful thinking requires considering the source of problems in this order:

  1. Me
  2. Circumstances
  3. Others

 

 

Outcomes

 

Success can lead to 3 feelings: complacency, fear of losing success, emotional depressed because the success did not turn out to be as wonderful as first thought.

 

It is normal to have a dive in emotions after success.

 

Partial success

The chimp sees things black and white like a child. Consider that you may have partial success as an outcome rather than success and failures only.

 

Failures can be an opportunity to sharpen your skills and problem solving capability. Chimps tend to see this as a catastrophe.

 

Anything in life is only as important as you want it to be.

 

Pics from pixabay
The Book on amazon