It's the start of the New Year and the possibility of change is in the air. It was also another action packed week of awesome conversations about habit-based coaching at the Motivate Collective!

  • This week, we hazed Benjamin Pickard, Marcelino Martinez, Andy Fossett, William Ferullo, Mandie Hall, Trey Potter, Steve Bergeron, Cameron Yick, and Scott Bojan into the Motivate Collective! Welcome!
  • Another week, another video from from The Habit Lab! This week’s video was on Habit #169: Create habit triggers using phone reminders.
  • This week's Articles for Clients Roundup features articles from Marc Halpern, James Clear, KC Ushijima, and Coach Stevo.
  • Parker J Burns shared his post, A Community for Success.
  • Sean Flanagan asked for advice on how and what to survey his email subscribers.
    • Sarah A Chapman said: I just did a few for my clients. I mainly focus on women but you can adjust it how you like.1. Do you have common negative thoughts that seems hard to get rid of, thoughts that seem to creep in daily is not hourly?2. What are some messages from outside influences that you hear/see, suggesting that you have to "be" a certain way to be "ok" or "good enough"?3. If nothing was impossible for you right now, what would you be doing to create the ideal life you want?
    • Andy Fossett said: One thing to consider is that you're probably surveying your people all the time, without even realizing it. What are your most popular blog posts? Which FB posts get the best responses? What questions do you get via message and email over and over and over?The better you track what you're already doing, the less you have to ask people to tell you what they want (because they probably don't even know).So if you're going to survey, ask things you *can't* tell via other means.
    • Josh Hillis said: What Andy said - I used to base my blog direction on what blog articles were most popular and most responsive.And, in general, I still mostly write about answers to questions my clients are asking me. Like, the stuff that actually comes up, is always there.
    • Stevo said: What Andy Fossett and Josh Hillis said. I think it's important to remember that surveys are very limiting quantitative data because 1) they're really hard to write and people get PhDs in that shit and 2) people like to tell us what they think we want to hear. Instead, we should rely on metrics that more reliably reveal our customers problems. And we have to just fucking test shit and be open to (most of it) not workingI think Henry Ford put it best when he said, "If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have told me 'a faster horse.'"Also, read this: http://www.amazon.com/Lean-Analytics-Better-Startup-Faster/dp/1449335675
    • Stevo said: And you don't have to be a data genius. My most popular MyFitnessPal Articles have 7,000 shares. My least popular have 4. I'm no mathematician, but 3 factors of 10 is a pretty obvious difference.
  • Sarah A Chapman wrote a post about how much she has learned since joining the Habitry Collective!
  • Stevo shared the article , The Secret to Talking to Teens (And All Kids) About Weight.
  • Michele Burmaster shared her article, How To Lose Weight.
  • Seth Munsey asked a great question: "If you were asked by someone what the number one reason is for small group/semi-private training over joining a big box gym or working out on their own, what would you say?"
    • Stevo said: Community, community, community, community. Distributed willpower. Distributed struggles. Every major successful intervention for behavior change in the history of humanity has been dedicated, intentional communities united to help people make small changes, one day at a time, lead by a small team of experts, and supporting autonomy, competence, and belonging. These are universal human needs. Community is a universal human desire, even for introverts (who seem to just want less of it, but not none of it).
  • Joy Victoria shared her article, Goodbye 2014: A story of what I am learning as a coach.
  • Sean Flanagan asked whether introverts are more attracted to small group training than extroverts.
    • Lauren Koski said: I'm an introvert and I find I do better and interact more in small groups vs larger groups in anything.
    • Roland Fisher said: My psychologist told me that I was one of the only people she's met that could go and work on some project, by myself, in the woods, for years and be happy. I of course would need Georgie to join me, but yeah, color me an introvert. I love small groups of friends, small groups for training, etc.
    • Steven said: Introversion - Extroversion is one of the only (relatively) persistent "personality traits" in psychology (pardon all my quotes and parenthesis, I'm not really sold on personality psychology as a rigorous social science). What we know about it is that it clearly lies on a spectrum, is affected by context, and one of the easiest ways to understand it is that everyone seems to have a threshold number of people that "energize them" and another threshold that "saps them" (I got this from a professor, so pardon the lack of citations). Personally, I'm energized by a group of 2-6 and sapped by more until the group is large enough that I can reorganize smaller conversations into less than 6. The point is, everyone has these, so I try to create this with dynamic groups of multiple sizes within a larger group. That way I can give people what they need and we don't stay too large or too small for long. It also makes all day workshops WAY easier on people.
    • Kristin Laine Newman said: Even introverts need love! The book Quiet has interesting insights on introversion vs extroversion.
  • Stevo shared a post about Why the Motivate Summit Is So Special.
  • Josh Hillis shared his experience in teaching clients to love their body instead of hating it.
    • Amber Evangeline Rogers said: https://gokaleo.com/2014/06/03/self-compassion/
    • Michele Burmaster said: I got into a pretty deep convo with a potential client who messaged me from my fb ad I posted two days ago. Samesies, Josh! chat
    • Georgie Fear said: I agree with the positive self-regard working best. Most of the research evidence I have is looking at the opposite though: futility of the negative emotions to aid in weight control, worsening of binge eating, etc with shame. Increased reward circuitry in the CNS from sugars during negative affect states, etc.
  • Lauren Koski asked, "What do you do when someone doesn't quite do the habit 100% but still kind of does it?"
    • Seth Munsey said: I've been told that Josh Hillis has a little experience in food journaling.
    • Josh Hillis I don't actually care about food journals, nor am I married to any habit or sequence of habits - they're tools. Tools for awareness, tools to get strategic, tools to create new changes.So if you step back from the tool and look at what you're trying to create - let's say awareness - is the client more aware of what they are eating than they used to be?Of if you're trying to create a strategy to overcome a roadblock that the client repeatedly faces - do you have enough information to do that now?
    • Roland Fisher said: ^ awareness. It is amazing how if the coach focuses on helping the client become aware, almost all the coaching takes care of itself. Also when the coach doesn't know what to do, clarifying, asking questions to truly understand (aka, become more aware) is the answer.
    • Josh Hillis said: Also - a good time to handle "perfect habits", man, let's *never* strive for that.Sometimes you get a little better at a habit for a while. Sometimes you hit a ceiling and need to move on vs having the client grind away at the best they can do right now.
    • Josh Hillis said: What Roland said about questions - YES.Good questions can totally create awareness, and reframe the issue for clients also.Asking questions to truly understand is awesome. Perhaps Steven Michael Ledbetter could chime in about good questions and better questions. He's my question genius.
    • Josh Hillis said: If you think about habits like exercises, it makes more sense. Do you need a "perfect" squat to load the bar?No.But it needs to be good enough that they aren't going to get hurt. Knees, low back, there are things that need to be in the right position, and when they are you can move on, and do tune up coaching at the same time.I think of habits like that. Most of what we're doing is coaching, with imperfection, on the fly.
    • Stevo said: What Josh Hillis said. Before we ask a question, or indeed ever open our mouths with a client instead of actively listening, I think we need to ask, "what's the goal?" or "what's the point of me talking?" In general, to Roland Fisher's point, the answer to that question should be "to foster awareness." I once asked my counseling skills supervisor, "when do you have to move on from going deeper with awareness? When should we start using other tools?" and she told me, "It's been working for me for 12 years. When it stops working, I'll let ya know."So what's the point of the food journal? What's the actual habit (unthinking behavior) that you're trying to foster in the client? It's not writing shit down, it's being aware of what she eats. So I'd ask her about that. I'd ask, "what have you noticed from writing all this stuff down?" And just go deeper. :-)
    • Jessica Owens Mauk said: I love everything that's been said. The only thing I'd add is asking the client what is stopping them from sending it everyday. If it's procrastination and fear/anxiety produced from the journal, I'd think she's not ready to move on. If it's because she's gained an awareness and doing it every few days works for her, then she's probably ready.
    • Matt Talley said: Another thing to consider is simply toning the habit down, or starting smaller and building UP to daily send-ins. If she's sending it every 2-3 days maybe the habit could be slightly downsized to sending twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday?).If she's able to do that for a while and feels like that's easy-peezy, then perhaps if you feel it will progress things (eg foster more awareness) you can bump up to 3-4x a week, or daily even.For what it's worth, I first ask someone, a new client, to send me 3 days worth of eating without calories, macros, or weight. Just time and a basic description. "3 eggs and piece of buttered toast 8am". Sometimes that is a hassle in itself (they won't send it for a few weeks...) so daily reports are a long ways away, if they are ever necessary.Kind of like with a new exercise, if it looks shaky give them a chance to auto-correct for a few reps. If it doesn't look like they are, give a cue or two. If that cleans it up, sweet. If cueing and practice aren't helping, I just scale it down. I started a bit too hard is all.
  • Rob Morris asked for help creating a habit of daily reading.
    • Roland Fisher said: Pick your trigger. It should be everyday. Write it like this: After _________, I will ___________, and reward myself with ___________. EX: After I brush my teeth at night, I will open my book, and reward myself by saying to myself, success! Make the habit ridiculously easy, so that you can't fail. DON'T skip the reward, you do better to acknowledge your success, after all your brain needs a reason to form the habit. After you open the book you will likely read, if you don't, no biggie, for now you're building the habit that will lead to reading.
    • Jessica Owens Mauk said: I picked a time of night (10pm) and said I will shut down the computer and get into bed with my book. Doesn't matter if my chores are done or not.
    • Josh Hillis said: For me: Reading is a really awesome way to wind down at the end of the night. A lot of times I read because if I stay looking at a screen (internet, TV, movie, phone) I'll stay up forever.Past that — find a book that's really interesting. Like some really good fiction. I go through phases where I don't read much that isn't directly tied to work, but the Game of Thrones books sucked me in to the point reading was like a part time job. I just couldn't stop 'cause I HAD to know what would happen!
    • Sarah A Chapman said: Just pick up the book and hold it. That's a great place to start Rob then thumb through and hopefully it has pictures to keep you captivated! HahaBut in all seriousness I finally "caught the bug" to read because I chose to learn about my weaknesses. I hungered for more knowledge and I can finally say I enjoy reading now. I'm not into fiction at all I can't do those. I want real, tested and tried material.
    • Seth Munsey said: I would definitely start with something that really interests you. If I started with a few of the things I'm reading now, I would have quit day one.Also, I started by just committing to reading one or two pages. After two pages, the gears were already turning in my head and I wanted to read, "just a few more pages."

      With educational based books, I read it in small chunks and try to relate what I'm reading to how it affects my clients. That usually makes me want to keep reading.

    • Jennifer Campbell said: During the week I have to shut down the screens by 9-930pm. I have a really hard time powering down for the night unless I read before bed. Start with committing to five minutes of something you think you could get into. I prefer fiction (non-work stuff!). When you get into a story you'll find yourself going to bed earlier so you can get back to your book. That's how it works for me anyways.
    • Kristin Laine Newman said: ALSO!I put my kindle in a ziplock bag and read in the shower. It's a nice way to wake up or wind down.
  • Jennifer Campbell asked for thoughts on the new Facebook algorithim.
    • Matt Talley said: "Get creative with your organic posts. You can’t post about a gift card sale. You can’t post about an event. You have to add value to people’s lives in some way. You have to provide quality content that’s creative, that makes people stop & think, and then share.Be relevant. If you want to increase your organic reach, you must increase your engagement rates. What’s the best way to do that? Talk about what matters. Have a point of view about trending topics and always think about what’s going on seasonally, and personally for your community."

      I've been thinking for a while about how I want to present posts and content on my business FB page and it's pretty gratifying to read this article and see that I don't need to make any changes to my approach in light of these changes to the algorithm. My intuition already was to avoid anything even remotely spammy and just share relevant and useful ideas, recommendations, recipes, etc. etc.

    • Josh Hillis said: This was good to see. What Matt Talley said 100%. The sale probably has to be entirely outside of Facebook. Possibly only use FB to drive to content posts, and content posts to drive to email list, and email list to sell.
  • Josh Hillis shared an interesting video on marketing and qualifying leads.
    • Jennifer Campbell said: Very inspiring. I had a discouraging day on my page last week. A certain evidence-based but "controversial" post I did left a lot of people angry. Some left angry comments (I even got a PM) and many left my page. It was discouraging. BUT, I also attracted some new followers from that post and in the end probably broke even. I'm always reevaluating my content and situations like last week leave me wondering if I need to do a better job building my content for what my followers want to hear rather than what I'm passionate about. This video reminded me that there are people out there that share my message. I need to stay the course and they'll find me.
    • Aron Rightious said: Funny you posted this Josh - just last night I watched this other video Dax posted. And, I think they go together nicely."Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own" - Bruce Lee


  • Andrew McGunagle asked for advice on long-term success as a coach.
  • Chris Highcock shared the article, Everything We Thought We Knew About Motivation is Wrong.
  • Jessica Owens Mauk wrote a post to see if there was interest in starting a Motivate Collective book club. Go join the discussion if you are interested!
  • Meredith Rhodes Carson shared her monthly newsletter.
  • Omar Atlas shared the article, To Stop Procrastinating, Look to the Science of Mood Repair.
  • Roland Fisher asked if Collective members were interested in a webinar on marketing.
    • Aron Rightious said: Set it up man.
    • Stevo said: We're trying to, Aron Rightious. With Josh Hillis, Roland Fisher and the Habitry, Co co-founder and CMO Vanessa Naylon in February or so. Roland is just surprised we all think he's the expert that he clearly is.
    • Aron Rightious said: This is great! It seems to me that folks who are trying to take a different approach to coaching are also interested in a different approach to business.Well, it's that way for me at least. It usually goes something like this... Subscribe/follow some business guru, inevitably reach a fork in the road where their advice and my values don't match, experience massive frustration.
    • Sean Flanagan said: Aron, you mean you don't want to run a 21 lbs in 21 days for $21 promotion to get new clients?
    • Chris Cbfit Forrest said: Thats what my business coach currently wants me to market like. 21 days for $21. All that stuff. But its never long term. Would like to blend the catchy advertising with the prospect of making life long change. With small steps. Not 6 weeks to ripped and go back to your couch, you are done for the next 3 years.
    • Aron Rightious said: I have this crazy idea for catchy marketing. BE FUCKING HONEST.
    • Roland Fisher said: I really don't have a clue of how to market. I've been lucky, really lucky. All I needed to do was spend years getting to be expert, be very helpful, and deliver like crazy. My audience always knew what I believed and stood for. I was simply transparent, and people paid me. Same with Georgie. Not the fast approach, but it worked. So I may add something to this webinar, but I bet it will be short.My best advice is to first really know who the hell you are and what you stand for, just knowing that will allow you to eliminate marketing ideas like $21 for 21 days.. Then model folks like examine.com. Learn from great teachers.

      Ha, there, webinar done.

    • Josh Hillis said: I'm going to go way against the grain here and say that being good at what I do, over delivering, and producing results has (until very recently) *never* been enough for me to keep food on the table, much less live a comfortable life.I've had to spen

      d more than a decade working on better messaging, how to tell my story, to get my emails opened, how to get opened emails to click through, and how to get blog traffic.I've spent at least $30,000 on marketing weekend seminars, week long bootcamps, private mentoring, group coaching, hot seats at seminars, ect. And, honestly, I needed most of it to get where I'm at (where I can just be honest and over deliver and make money).

      So, I'm just throwing that out there, because I can distinctly remember years where I would wonder why just doing good work wasn't enough.

      And in case anyone out there is feeling like they're missing it, I want you to know that I had to work for every single subscriber, and learn a lot about marketing just to have any.

    • Benjamin Pickard said: Josh Hillis - thanks for the addition. People always say "give give give" like somehow that solves all problems and you will be picked up as a rising, genuine fitness star.. Obviously don't be a selfish prick, but if you aren't thinking about how to get more clients and make more money, you have a hobby not a business.Obviously I have a ways to go still but been thinking about this recently and nice to hear something different.
    • Omar Atlas said: I think what Josh Hillis has hit here is that being good as a coach and being good as a business person are two different skills. You need to get good at both.
    • Roland Fisher said: And there you have it. I got lucky. Not sure if I'd want to learn much from someone who got lucky, lol. I'd rather learn from Josh.
    • Josh Hillis said: I doubt you got lucky Roland.It's totally possible that most of the stuff I had to learn just came naturally to you.

      Or you got positioned in a way that set you up to be heard early on.

      I'm sure you are doing A LOT right. And I'm sure that I could learn a lot from you.

    • Stevo said: OK Roland Fisher, we'll call the webinar, "how I got lucky." And we'll start with a quote from Branch Rickey: "Luck is the residue of design." And you'll have a front row seat to hear from Josh Hillis, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSNNav2eYwk
    • Roland Fisher Alright, fine. You can't argue with Obi Wan. I'll participate.
    • Andy Fossett said: OK, I don't really know most of you very well, but I come from an online marketing background, and I've gotta jump in to say that there's plenty of very effective ways to market honest, good shit in an ethical manner without having to hype and BS.Any marketing coach that's telling you to say shit you don't believe in is someone you should stop listening to. And definitely stop paying - immediately.