The problem-by-problem approach

written by Philip Stefanov  |  MARCH 23, 2021

We tend to be good at overwhelming ourselves. Be honest for a moment:

How do you approach new endeavors, especially ones you have experience with? Do you look at the first few steps you need to take, or do you look at the big picture?

Think back to the days when you first began lifting. How did you see the whole fitness thing? Were you focused on what was in front of you, or did you think about all of the unique aspects and problems?

If you’re like most people, you probably looked at fitness as a whole and felt overwhelmed by the many moving parts. But here is the thing:

Fitness, like most other things, is a process with many steps, roadblocks, and frustrations. It would be impossible for you to solve all of the problems before reaching them because you simply can’t predict everything. Trying would simply be a waste of time that overwhelms you.

For instance, I received an email from a reader a while back. The person shared that he wanted to lose some fat and was excited to drop his caloric intake. However, he also feared how his hunger would skyrocket once he lost some weight.

This is a perfect example because the person was stressing out over something that was weeks or months away. Instead of starting and making progress, the person felt paralyzed and afraid of what might have come later.

It’s much better to see things as they are:

Processes made of many small steps that collectively help you reach your goals. It’s also important to develop a problem-by-problem approach to fitness. Do the work, don’t overthink it, and fix one problem at a time. It would look like this:

Do work Encounter & solve problem Do more work Encounter & solve another problem

A problem could be anything: struggling with a trigger food, having difficulty learning an exercise, not understanding a particular aspect of fitness, or something else.

Every process comes with its fair share of frustrations and problems. It’s an unavoidable part of life. What matters more is that you look at what’s in front of you and avoid stressing over future potential problems.

Thank you for your time! Until next week,



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