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I’m starting to write this blog immediately after my middle son’s swimming lesson.

The same one that organised “Vote Oli” from yesterday’s blog.

I know you love hearing where and when I’m writing these 😂

He’s just getting changed so I’ll have to break in a minute.

He’s been getting a bit frustrated with his swimming recently.

He wants to stop his lessons.

But, for all of them, swimming has always been the only none negotiable.

“You have to finish Level 7, then we’ll talk”.

He’s been on Level 5 for quite a while.

Partly due to Lockdown’s, etc.

But, I’ll be honest, they don’t seem to push them through the levels.

I asked him on the way today what he needed to do to pass this level.

“Just work on my backstroke” he said.

I asked him what he needed to happen to his backstroke to pass the level.

He didn’t quite know.

“Just work on it”.

So I told him to ask his swim teacher today “What exactly do you need to see in my backstroke for you to pass me”.

The teacher told him.

He did it.

He passed him on that.

He just needs to see his butterfly next week.

So, you guessed it………

He’ll be asking “What exactly do you need to see in my butterfly for you to pass me”.

He’s here (I’ll come back to this later)……….

Right, it’s Friday morning now – I’m back.

Questions like that are great for getting really, really clear on exactly what we need to do to get the result we want.

Because often we’re working with the vague ideas of “better” or “more”.

“I just need to eat better”.

“I need to exercise more.”

“I need to do better at work”.

“I need to put more effort into our relationship”.

And these are all perfectly valid sounding goals.

But they’re a bit vague.

We can’t always work backwards to make sure we’re doing what needs to be done.

We can’t get clear on if what we’re doing is leading us towards the desired result.

We’re just, kinda, left with how we ‘feel’ about the whole thing.

And how we feel will usually tell us it’s not going well.

That it’s “not happening”.

That we’re “failing”.

That we “should start again next week”.

When we have specifics in mind we can relatively easily set a plan around them.

We can easily monitor how we’re doing.

Build confidence and momentum if we’re doing what needs to be done.

Have something more concrete to analyse and work on if its not getting happening.

Imagine the difference between getting fed up with not getting a promotion or pay rise at work……….

And asking your boss “What, exactly, would you need to see that I’ve done over the next 12 months for you to definitely give me a promotion this time next year”……….

And then putting steps in place to do that.

Imagine the difference between saying “I need to do some more exercise”…………

And deciding that we’re going to do Sessions at RISE at 6pm on Monday, 7am Wednesday and 9am Saturday each week (other locations and times are available)……….

Putting them in the diary……….

And making work and child care arrangements around that.

Imagine the difference between saying “I’m going to eat better this week”………..

And deciding that the weight loss you desire would come from a deficit created by eating 10,000 calories a week………

Putting some thought into what relatively easy meals we could choose that would make that happen………..

Spending 30 seconds a meal tracking what you’ve had……….

And having 3,000 spare to cover the few meals that are a bit more out of your control.

—– You guessed it, other calorie amounts are available ——

We often don’t like to set specific plans because we feel it’s restrictive.

We want to feel “a bit more flexible than that”.


But it’s worth remembering that there’s always a plan.

When there’s no new plan, we’re just planning on reverting to our default behaviour.

Which has led us, and will continue to lead us, where we don’t want to be.

——- Check www.myrise.co.uk/apply if you would benefit (and you would) from proven help in getting you where you want to be ———-

Where we’re actually more restricted and less free than we would be if we made some changes.

Or we don’t like to set specifics because we’re worried we might “fail” to achieve them.

Forgetting that, without, that default behaviour is way more likely to mean that we fail to do the thing we want to.

Much love,

Jon ‘BSc’ Hall

P.S. Bronze swimming certificate. Anyone get the reference?

P.P.S. Update. It’s now the following Wednesday and I’m watching his lesson. He’s just done his butterfly, got out, spoke to the instructor and given me a double thumbs up 🙂

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.