March
22
2017

The Value of Positive Constraints

By Chris 0

If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

We all dream of a blank slate; an unscheduled day; a weekend with nothing on our calendar. But we’ve all spent a Sunday evening looking back and thinking, “Where did the time GO?” and wondering how we frittered away 48 hours without accomplishing anything.

When my gyms were new, I’d spend 15 hours there every day. I was “busy” – but didn’t make any progress for the first three years. People came and went. I didn’t do any marketing, or planning, or budgeting. I just let business happen to me. I wasn’t in control of my business.

When I got a mentor and started to TAKE control of my gyms, I wondered, “How will I do all this extra work?” And clients in our Incubator sometimes ask the same question: “How can I give Chris one hour per day when my days are already FULL?”

My mentor gave me a deadline and a clear path. Accountability and clarity are the best gifts I ever got (and now, that’s what I provide to other gym owners.)

Ironically, those are exactly what I sell in my gym business. But EVERYONE needs a coach.

If I say, “Add a Facebook retargeting pixel to your landing page,” you’ll say, “That’s amazing. Sounds super powerful. Gotta do that.” And I guarantee you won’t do it.

It’s effective. It’s important. I can even make it easy for you (there’s a full walkthrough video in the Incubator.) But you STILL won’t do it…unless I say, “I’ll check on your progress tomorrow, and we’ll be using this on our call next Tuesday.”

Deadlines are a positive constraint. But a budget can be one, too.

For example, if you can only afford one rower, you look at programming differently:

“I want to alternate steady-state aerobic work with higher-intensity intervals. What tools are at my disposal?”
Timed shuttle runs on the clock. Skipping. Shadow boxing. Jumping jacks. 400m runs. Bikes on kickstands. Stair climbs. Sled pushes with light weight. Shopping cart towing. Weighted carries. In other words, a dozen things you might not consider without the constraint of budget.

Space can also be a positive constraint.

When we started playing with CrossFit, our gym was above a ladies’ clothing store. Not the fun kind of clothing…and definitely not the fun kind of lady. On our first day, a client dropped a 75lbs snatch…and we knocked out all their light fixtures.

After that, we had to figure out how to achieve maximal explosive potential without using technical lifts. So we did, and our programming has been better since.

Many people benefit from having a dog, because it gets them out of bed on the weekend, or outside after dinner.

The beauty of positive constraints: you don’t have to wait for them to appear. You can create them to better leverage your time, money and energy.

You can put the new rowers on the 2018 shopping list, and diversify your programming.

You can get a mentor and get some trACTION.

You can get a PLAN and follow it, instead of reading about ideas on Facebook.

You can choose the smaller space, and get people REALLY fit.

Get a deadline, and get busy. If you’re working a 12-hour day and NOT moving your business forward, lack of freedom isn’t the problem: too much freedom IS.

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