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The Forty-Nine Dollar Advice

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Some things are really simple. Want to lose weight? All you need to do is exercise and eat healthy. Why is it so hard to just do it?

About a week ago, I was speaking with a Whole Life Challenge newbie. He is a business owner, and his business is growing quickly. His income has soared, and by all accounts he should be happy. But just the opposite is true.

He is stressed, bored, and burning the candle at both ends. The price he has paid to get this far—15 hour days, 6 days a week, eating at his desk, smoking, no time for reflection between meetings—has taken a toll on his body with weight gain, high cholesterol, anxiety attacks, and lack of sleep.

Frustrated with himself, he started seeing a psychiatrist who told him to “relax, get out of the office, exercise 20 minutes a day, drink more water and take vitamins.” Great advice for $300 an hour.

The $300 advice is clear. Our problem has never been that the answer isn’t clear. Taking action is the problem.

The habits he has are with him for a reason—they provide a twisted benefit. Smoking helps him feel calm and step away from the computer. Eating bad food or eating too fast helps him feel more productive because he is spending more time at his desk.

There is a real payoff to bad habits, which is why they are so hard to replace. It’s also why simple advice like “eat better and exercise” rarely works.

Part of the problem is the reality you’ve created for yourself. The unconscious “rules” you set about work and time dictate the actions you can take. They make your current habits easier to maintain and new habits harder to form.

When you change your reality, you can change the outcomes. The reality you create by changing the rules has new limitations that create new behaviors. When you change your rules, you change your reality.

That’s the point of the Whole Life Challenge. It helps you change your rules. When you join forces with other people in the Whole Life Challenge, you hold each other accountable and celebrate victories as well as dust each other off if you fall. Surrounded by people who are creating new rules, you start to see the potential of living the way you want to live.

You will have to experiment. You will find things that work and things that don’t. No big deal. Keep trying. That’s the secret. If you want to pay $300 an hour for that advice, feel free. If you want a way to put that advice into action for $49, register now for the upcoming Challenge.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.