Focusing on what you gain vs what you give up

Posted Kevin Koskella Articles

I read this quote this morning:

“one reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.”

That resonated with me, as I teach swimming and weight loss / fitness.

If you tell someone, “If you do x, y, and z, you will get to your goal”- most people will start focusing on all the things they will have to quit doing.

“I will have to go to bed earlier?”
“I will have to cut out Netflix?”
“I will have to stop eating Pop Tarts???”

I can relate. I do the same things in various ways. When I hear the word “discipline”, I cringe a little.

It reminds me of being in school and being forced to sit at a desk all day. To be in a classroom on a beautiful day.

No way. I’m not giving up my freedom as an adult!

But the thing to always understand, is that we’re all disciplined.

We may be disciplined to sit on the couch and eat bon bons all day.

But that is a discipline.

So this is more about where you are focusing your energy.

Look at it this way: everything you do has consequences.

If you focus on the things you are “missing out” on, you won’t get the satisfaction of achieving goals- ever.

The key here is to anchor what you do. If you associate the bon bon and pop tart eating with pleasure- and the swim practice with pain, you will always be fighting and battling to get the healthy things accomplished.

So if you anchor swimming with pleasure, you will eventually be going to the pool on auto-pilot, and the struggle will end! It may take a few tricks and a few weeks to make this happen, but I know it’s possible.

You may want to get a friend involved, or sit in the hot tub before and/or after your swim, or plan to kick with a kick board, or perfect your bubble ring blowing! Doesn’t matter really what it is, something to anchor a positive thing in your mind with the thing you’re struggling with.

Could be swim practice.
Could be eating right to lose weight.
Could be sitting less often during the day for better posture and energy.

Momentum is important here! If you are struggling to get your swims in, create a “vision board”. Your “why” will get you to the pool.

If you want to get fit, what kinds of pictures motivate you?
If you want to land on the podium, would seeing podium finishers get you going?
If you want to finish, how about looking at finishers of various races? Or even a finish line?

The mental model you create will get you ultra-focused on your gains vs the minor things you will be giving up.

Try this for the next 4 weeks. See if you can get to autopilot.

In the mean time, we have a program that can help take the guesswork out of training, and make sure you are on track for your best season yet. To find out more, go to:

Befriend that water!