About Featured Expert: Craig Ballantyne has been the Editor of Early to Rise since 2011. He’s also a Strength & Conditioning coach in Toronto, author of Turbulence Training, a contributing author to Men’s Health magazine, and a member of the Training Advisory Board for Maximum Fitness and Oxygen magazines. TurbulenceTraining.com features Craig’s best-selling “Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program” and TTmembers.com offers access to all of his Turbulence Training workouts and video clips (for men, women, mass-building, athletes, and bodyweight-only workouts). Craig also has an advanced research background, completing a Master of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He continues to study the latest training, supplementation, and nutrition research to help clients improve health and wellness, as well as their physical and mental performance.
The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.
Coach Dan: Craig, I figure some of the folks that are tuned in now maybe have already seen the url for your book, and have heard a little bit about what you’ve written and sort of the program itself. I want to get a little bit, sort of an example here of someone who’s improving their life today with The Perfect Day Formula. This is kind of the whole gist of the book. Obviously people are looking for results. What does this look like when somebody actually does it right?
Craig Ballantyne: That’s a great question. People can have so much more freedom in their life. What we’re focusing on doing here is structuring the day, getting the most out of your hours at work, so that you’re able to go home and start on what counts, your family, your hobbies, your health, so that you can transform your life into anything you wanted to. We show people how to create a vision for their life. We show them how to use the Five Pillars of Transformation to transform anything, whether they want to lose weight, find the love of their life, get out of debt, whatever it is, use those five pillars, and I can talk about those if you like.
CD: As an entrepreneur, many of us know the exact opposite of that, probably from sometimes flubbing up the process of starting and ending our day with any degree of rigor whatsoever. It’s funny, when you read great biographies, which I’m sure you have, the Ben Franklin’s and Bonaparte’s of the world, almost all of them have some degree of rigor. I know that you have your own that you’ve outlined. Maybe it would be helpful to at least touch on, just so people get an idea of kind of the framework, and maybe can think through a couple of the tenets, what the five pillars are.
Craig: The five pillars are this. First, better planning and preparation. You have to plan and prepare better than ever before. Second, you need professional accountability. Research from Stanford University found that when people were accountable to a professional, like a doctor, a nurse, or a personal trainer, they got better results in a weight loss program than someone who was just accountable to a friend. Now you still need those friends. That’s the third pillar, which is social support. Those are your cheerleaders.
Then fourth, you need a meaningful incentive. You need something that is meaningful to you. Most people, they think that because the world values something, that they should go for it. Then they kind of just lose motivation. That’s because what they’re going for isn’t meaningful to them. Then the fifth one, this one is the most important, and it’s the big deadline. I always capitalize that when I’m writing my articles because it’s so important. The big deadline gives you motivation and inspires you to take massive, massive action when you know that the deadline is coming up.
CD: In terms of motivators, so pillar four, I’d love to get some examples of pillar five, which I think would be a lot of fun, too, but examples of pillar four. You touched on a few that you saw time and time again….What are these? What are some of the core tenets? How are they articulated, those ones that you’ve see resonated time and time again?
Craig: Great question. What gets people going at the start is almost something materialistic. When we run these transformation contests, they’re 12 weeks long. We say, “Listen, if you win the contest, we’d give you $1,000 cash….Then so many people, after 3 or 4 weeks of getting results, they say, “I’m not in it for the money anymore. I’m in it for what’s an internally beneficial incentive to me.Internalizing the benefits is where people are really going to make the improvements and stick to it, is when it’s meaningful to you and not.
CD: You had also talked about the big deadline. BIG, all caps…For people that want to set their own goals, what kind of big, deadline examples have you seen work when people are out there, probably like our listeners now, just tuned in. They sort of know what they’re after, but they don’t know how to turn it into something concrete that’s a finish line. What does that look like in health or otherwise?
Craig: All right, so let’s do one where somebody has a yearly or annual assessment at work. You know, they’re coming up, and 60 days from now, they know that they need a raise. Now I’ve got to go in; I’ve got to get my income from $80 to $85,000 this year. I need to convince my boss that the raise is worthwhile. I’ve got 60 days to do that. What can I do in the next 60 days that shows my value, so you start making that plan. Then, once you accomplish those things, you can then go into the meeting and say, “Listen, I did this and it had this value for the business. I did this; it had this value for the business. That’s why I want to get the raise, up to 85,000.
CD: When it comes to living your life with rules, what does that look like? How do you sort of articulate some of those tenets in the book, as well, in a way that might be helpful for some of our listeners?
Craig: Yeah. Some guys might be thinking, “Rules? I do not need rules in my life.” Let me tell you this. Did you stop at the red lights on the way to work, today? “Yes.”…Everybody’s got rules in their life. Most people actually follow rules for their life; they just have never articulated them properly…One day, 5 years ago, I was just sitting around my kitchen table, and for some reason, I got struck to write the rules for my life. I wrote down … I call them my personal 10 Commandments. They’ve actually grown. There’s 12 of them, now. You don’t need that many, and you certainly don’t need to follow mine. What you need to do is have a few rules in your life. What the rules do for you is it makes a lot of decision making easier, so that you don’t have to rely on willpower.
CD: If people want to learn more from you, whether it be on the fitness side of things, or just about the book and goal setting and productivity, where would they go on the web to find you?
Craig: Please join me at earlytorise.com. We put out amazing content. Free content every single day to over 100,000 readers. I write an essay, every Monday, that is just going to be really instructive for people’s lives on time management, productivity, success. That’s what we’re based about is success based short cuts through science and through experience. That’s what we share every week. I hope to see everyone on that site.
Image credit: LaRae Quy
Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.
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