December 29, 2019
Solutions for sustainable change. | by Jameson Skillings
Your weekly source of actionable tips, helpful ideas, and questions to improve your deep health.
Every action brings you closer to or farther from the person you want to be.

People struggle to find a balance between who they currently are and who they want to be.

New Year’s resolutions are an example of this dynamic.

Here is 1 tip, 1 idea, and 1 question for you to dig into this week.


Exercise shouldn’t hurt.
Exercise helps your body become more resilient. You become stronger and more capable. If you feel pain when you are doing an exercise, your body is giving you valuable information that something is wrong. Listen to your body.

Pain when exercising almost always means there’s something off with your technique. Nine times out of ten it’s your setup or your movement pattern.

What to do when exercise hurts.

Adjust your setup and movement pattern. Start downstream from the point of pain and then work up from the point of pain.

Feet: stance width/length/foot angle
Knees: over feet/tracking angles
Hips: pelvic tilt
Spine: angle/postural alignment
Shoulders: positioning/range of motion
Movement pattern:
Eccentric phase (easier part of the lift), and
Concentric phase (tougher part of the lift)
Does it still hurt? Do this next.

If you’re still experiencing pain after adjusting your exercise setup and movement pattern, change the exercise.

For example, if deadlifts hurt your knees after making adjustments, switch to another glute/hamstring dominant exercise like the hip thrust.


Motivation comes and goes.
Here’s the thing about motivation: you can’t control it. Motivation is a feeling: the desire to do something in order to reach your goal. Coming in waves, motivation waxes and wanes typically in multiple-day stretches. Motivation will come and go without reason.

Your motivation will disappear, taking away your desire to exercise, meal plan, or make health-conscious food choices. There will be days where you will wake up not wanting to do anything that makes you 1% better. This where you have to make a mindset shift.

What to do when motivation is gone.

Use discipline to stay on track when motivation is gone. Yes, I’m saying do it anyway, but only to a degree. It’s important to ride the wave of motivation by dialing up and down on the difficulty of your routine.

Not wanting to do something but doing it anyway is when we override our emotions with discipline to fulfill our intentions. Bear in mind that discipline uses up willpower pretty quickly. Tap into willpower too often or too much, and you’ll burnout. So be thoughtful about how you expend your discipline.

Downregulate difficulty.

When motivation is low and the habits you’re struggling to master haven’t been formed yet, fall back on your foundational eating habits: eating slowly and stopping at 80% full. Ride out the motivational lull and improve your longevity by decreasing the amount of discipline required by focusing on these two habits.

Make your workouts easier by reducing training volume either by lowering resistance, reps, or sets. Switch to walking instead of jogging on a treadmill. If your motivation is gone, make the bar so low for success that it feels like you’re doing almost nothing. While your workout may not be an Instagram highlight reel, a little bit of something is better than nothing.


Can your current habits carry you to your goal?

The nutrition, sleep, and exercise habits you currently practice combine to create larger systems for your general health. If your goal is weight loss, the more times you practice habits within your general health system, the more progress you make toward your weight loss goal. The flowchart below helps illustrate the positive impact the right habit can have on your goals.

If your current habits aren’t designed to lead you to your goal, look for simple changes to your routine that will have a positive impact on your results.

Look to create an easy, repeatable habit that will have the biggest positive impact on your goal.

All the best,

Jameson Skillings