Today, I found myself watching an interview with the author of a new book, one of those personal growth books that promises to change your life. As I listened to the interview, I was thinking: “This author seems really wise and I like her message. I could use this in my life. I should read it.”
And then I realized that I don’t need to read one more book on how to be a more authentic version of myself or make my life work better or achieve my goals.
It’s not that I know everything there is to know about these things. Far from it. But there comes a point at which reading yet another book or article or blog post or subscribing to yet another podcast or newsletter becomes a substitute for doing the work.
Analysis without action doesn’t produce change
Taking consistent action, however imperfectly, beats another month (year/decade) perfecting my philosophy and planning my approach. If I want to make more progress toward my goals, I need to quit researching and start putting some of what I already know into action. And through trial and error, I’ll learn what works for me.
This is something that we talk about a lot in the Weighless program. So much of the work we do in this year-long program focuses on mindset and attitudes: how we think about food, eating, and our choices in that regard. But, as our members quickly discover, insights are only as good as the actions they lead to. That’s why we spend an equal amount of time on concrete strategies for changing habits.
You can change your mind without changing your behavior. You can also change your behavior without changing your mind. It’s only when you manage to change both that you’re on the road to lasting success.
If you weigh more than you’d like to, and you’re ready to stop analyzing and start solving the problem, we would love to have you with us in our next group. Learn more here.
One thought on “Why I’m not reading self-help books in 2018”
Thought I write a kind-of self-help blog, I feel much the same way. But there is another side to that coin that you can appreciate. I’ve always argued that people know what good eating looks like. They just don’t do it. Then I got talking to a guy at work who told me that he quit eating unhealthy snacks at work and brought a jar of roasted peanuts instead. You know that jar that is about twelve inches tall? And he was eating one a day. I said “Dude! Do you know how many calories that is?” He didn’t care – peanuts were a healthy snack. I told him that he would weight about three-hundred pounds in a few months if he kept this up. He had no idea but only knew that peanuts were supposed to be healthy for him.