Let's Face It: All Or Nothing Doesn't Work

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You Can Call Me The Goldie Locks Of Coffee

Because I hate when a shop only has 'Small' and 'Large' 

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A small coffee hardly has enough caffeine to get me out of bed, and a large coffee makes me talk faster than Busta-Rhymes on speed.

Not surprisingly, that large coffee also leads to a pretty epic crash 3-4 hours later. 

So, they should just have a medium, right?

Right. Because usually the best place to be is between the extremes. 

Oh wait --  and you thought it was a good idea to go 'all Or Nothing' on your fitness?

There's really no difference between an 'all or nothing' mentality and those coffee shops with only 'small' and 'large' coffees.

On one hand, we have the version of you that doesn't exercise... 

You see yourself as lazy, out of shape, and probably a bit heavier than you'd like.

On the other, we have the version of you that's living the #FitLife

You see yourself as dedicated, maybe even strict, with a sense of pride about how well you treat your body.

What's wrong with this? Isn't it good to be dedicated to my health and proud of how well I treat my body?

While it is always a good thing to dedicated to, and proud of keeping your body healthy... The problem lies in how we approach this.

Nothing Is Consistent


I've coached close to 1,000 people through their goals - and no two people have been the same.

Some do great with more restriction, and others do better with flexibility.

But, the one consistent is this:

Those who try to sprint to the finish line inevitably fall flat on their face.

Not because they don't have the willpower to finish. 

Or because they're lazy.

But instead, because life isn't consistent.

Something happens that's unplanned, 

And suddenly it isn't realistic to eat paleo or lift 5x/week.

That's where we go from all, to nothing.

All Or Nothing doesn't work... But this does.

For most, all  or nothing doesn't work because we miss something that the Stoics figured out hundreds of years ago.

They knew that only seeing one path to was (pretty much) a sign of failure. To combat this, they came up with:

premeditatio malorum
— Seneca

Translated, this means 'the premeditation of evils'. Or in other words, accepting that something's gonna get fucked up along the way so you might as well prepare for it ahead of time. 


So what does this mean for you, my all-or-nothing friend?

The next time you're making a plan to get in shape, lose weight, look great naked, etc... Consider not going all or nothing, but instead looking at, and accepting that there will be lots of speed bumps along the way. 

Take a moment to FIND the potential speed bumps before they happen, and create a system for when/if they do happen.

One of my favorite examples came up when a client of mine mentioned that he had been struggling with food choices at work. Things were GREAT whenever he brought lunch, but when he'd forget to bring lunch everything seemed to go to shit. Lunch was no longer a salad, but instead a greasy burger or a burrito from Chipotle.

So what'd we do?

Simple - A quick google search of healthier lunch options near his work, and some strategic chipotle ordering.

(Not surprisingly) this worked great. He was able to feel more confident about his lunch choices, eat the food he likes, and continue to lose bodyfat.... All by having a plan for when things don't go to plan.

How should I apply this?

For starters, take a look at what's stopped you from reaching your goals in the past - was it a vacation, forgetting food, or running out of time to hit the gym? 

As Ryan Holiday says... Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.

Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.
— Ryan Holiday

What angle can you take that will help you work around these speed bumps? There IS a way - you just have to be creative, persistent, and accept that things are not always going to be perfect.

Hope this helps,


Stanley Dutton