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It’s Time for a Change. But How?

The recent book Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath, lays out a helpful three-part framework for making change using the metaphor of an elephant and rider.  The elephant and rider metaphor is an update version of Plato’s observed millennia ago, using a charioteer and unruly horse.  Since we don’t have many of either in Minnesota, I’ll stay with elephant & rider here, and focus on changes relevant to health and fitness, though the framework is effective anywhere.

To make a change, you must:

  1. Direct the rider

  2. Motivate the elephant, and

  3. Shape the path

 The rider represents the conscious, thinking mind.  The part of you that judges your current health, fitness, or activity level to be undesirable.  The elephant represents your unconscious, emotional mind.  The part of you that is unhappy, or cannot identify with the image you see in the mirror.  The path is the situation you are in and represents the opportunity to reach a destination.

Related: Why Do I Keep Needing to Start at Square One?

If you want to change, then you have probably looked down your current path and decided that you do not wish to reach that destination.  This is the first step towards change.  That decision can be thinking (I don’t want to be unhealthy, limited, and struggling) or feeling (that person I see in the mirror is not the real me, or I feel embarrassed by my performance, or my looks right now).

Related: The Slipstream Difference: “Fitness” and Your Goals

Our approach at Slipstream is to help you get in touch with these thoughts and feelings, and help you define a path from where you are to where you want to be.

We are here to help.  Contact me at john@crossfitslipstream.com for a free, no-sweat discussion of where you are, and how we can help you.

—John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer