Beckhard’s model for change, as it relates to fitness

Beckhard’s model for change, as it relates to fitness

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What does D x V x F > R and why should you care if you’re trying to get fitter or become a better runner?

First of all, I love it when my different worlds collide. I first got exposed to Beckhard’s model for change while doing some work for a client at Intersol. This model not only makes a lot of a sense, it also explains the human factor of change and why a lot of change projects fail.

It basically boils down to the driving forces needing to be stronger than the forces of resistance. Pretty simple right? Well a lot of factors go into it, including:

  • Dissatisfaction (D): How fed up are you with the current situation? Is it a feeling that comes from time to time or a burning desire to change? That will have a big impact on your success, regardless if it’s running a marathon or trying to lose those last 10 pounds. This is your “why” and something crucial to your success.
  • Vision (V): How will you get to where you want to go? We all know getting anywhere worthy includes a roadmap, or a plan. Sticking to the plan is key, whether you’re training for an Ironman or trying to do 15 chin-ups. You will have setbacks but you have to stick to the vision.
  • First steps (F): From my experience, first steps are key. No one likes to suck at anything for a long period of time. You have to see some results or at least have some positive feedback. I think this is where most corporate change projects fail. You need concrete first steps, and they better be easy so that early momentum can be built.

You’ll also notice it’s not an addition but a multiplication between the factors so they don’t all have equal weight. All those factors have to be bigger than the resistance. And rest assured you will get resistance, whether it’s external pressures or old habits that want to come out and play. Just make sure your D x V x F is bigger than the R!

(For those totally unfamiliar with Beckhard’s model, check out this link for a 3-page PDF which sums it up nicely.)

Keep this in mind when looking to make a change in your life, whether it’s your first ultra or a new fitness routine. And remember, change is not an option in today’s world…

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