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It's Not What We Know, It's How We USE That Knowledge!

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

How many times in our adult life have we got excited about a new diet, exercise method, handy tips and advice... or all of the above - only to find after a few days, weeks or even hours, that it was 'too good to be true'?

When we're REALLY faced with a choice which one looks more appealing? What makes us choose the donut over the apple?

We all WANT to choose the apple... but what stops us?


Why Is Your 'Why' The Answer?

There are only two reasons that any of us really do anything, and we carry those things out for only two possible outcomes:

  • Increased Pleasure

  • Decreased Pain

We can think as hard as we can, but all the choices we make are motivated by those two things.

I'm reminded of an episode of 'Friends' where Joey challenges Phoebe to find an 'unselfish good deed'! The argument, was that 'ALL actions are selfish' - even those where we serve others - and in turn, all of those acts or deeds are motivated by the two primal instincts - to move TOWARDS PLEASURE or move AWAY FROM PAIN.


Moving Towards Pleasure

Our own individual 'pleasure' is unique to us, but for many of us, when it comes to losing weight or getting in shape our 'pleasure point' is similar, if not the same. Over the years of working with over 40s to lose weight and gain a longer and healthier life, I've come across the EXACT SAME REASONS time and time again. Yours may be different, but here are the most common:

  • To fit into the unworn clothes in my wardrobe

  • To be more attractive to my partner or potential partners

  • To look good on the beach

  • To improve mental health and therefore my relationships and career

  • To have more energy

Moving Away From Pain

Moving away from pain is so often our biggest motivator. Who has ever been in a relationship where at some point in time you've said to yourself "That's it, no way, no how, that's the end, I can't do this ANY longer"! Or been in a job or business where the 'pain' has reached a limit that you can no longer tolerate?

These 'pain points' are what motivate us to make a change. It's when the 'pain' becomes too much to just sit and moan about. What if we could get ourselves beyond the moaning stage and into the stage of action before the pain becomes intolerable?

A few 'pain point' motivators I hear are listed below - but we won't take action until these 'pain points' become too painful to live with!

  • To avoid puffing and panting when I climb stairs or go for a walk

  • To stop hating what I see in the mirror

  • To stop beating myself up for not sticking to healthier habits

  • To be able to walk and move more freely

  • To stop feeling like I'm being judged for my weight/health

  • To put an end to the daily mental stress

Even when we're told by a doctor to cut down calories, cholesterol and fat we find it hard to make the changes unless we are in a life or death situation. Even then many don't take heed and end up a sad statistic.


So how can we make our 'wants' become 'needs and musts'?

During the early days of Covid-19 in the UK in early March 2020 what was the one thing that we couldn't find for love nor money?

I didn't remember toilet paper ever being something in my life that i liked, loved or even wanted, but there's nothing like a pandemic to show us what's important to us. What if we'd have stocked up on toilet rolls in February 2020 instead of worrying we'd have to live without just a few weeks later? We tend to take action when action is required - but we need to start taking action BEFORE it's too late - not WHEN it's too late!


How to turn your wants into 'Needs & MUSTS' for a happier, healthier and longer life!

Here's a top tip I use with all my new members. It's what I call a 'Clarity Maker'

1. Take 30 minutes and a few blank sheets of paper and a pen.

2. Draw a line down the middle.

Think about your current weight/fitness levels and project 5 years into the future.

On the left write the heading:

"My Life in 5 years time if I follow the steps to get in shape and lose weight today"

On the right write the heading: "My life if I DON'T make any changes or take any action to lose weight or get in shape today".

IMPORTANT: Once you've got that down do the same, but this time project 10 years into the future.


Here are few pointers to help you with the exercise - this process is likely one of the most important pieces of action you'll take if you 'want' to be slimmer/fitter/healthier.

  • How old are you now?

  • How old will you be in 5 years' time?

  • How old will you be in 10 years' time?

  • What will life look like for you in 5/10 years' time?

  • How will you look?

  • How will you feel?

  • How will you move?

  • How will your state of health be?

  • Who will be in your life?

  • Whose life will you be in?

  • What will you do each day?

  • What body will you be carrying around

The above are just pointers. Take your time and think about how your life will be in 5 and 10 years following the 2 possible courses of action:

  1. Taking NO Action

  2. Taking Massive Action

This simple exercise will work for ANYTHING you do in life - but remember, you may not feel ready to take action, but you DO want the result. The only way to turn the 'want' into a 'need/must' is to focus on the 'why'. If you have a big enough 'why' the rest will follow and help you through all the times that you're finding things hard. Start to believe that it will be that one thing that stops you giving up!

Phil Brookes (

For more visit or for more weight loss mindset advice visit

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