# 4: You Don’t Have the Power of A Cohort
I bet all of my collector’s edition R2D2 quarters that you’ve heard this quote.
“You’re the average of the five people you keep closest to you.”
Let me breakdown why this should be your mantra when you want to change your fitness.
First, you need to understand that you have the pieces you need in order to change. Any internal tools you don’t have to make change last, you can learn. For the most part, you have what you need.
But the problem is that those pieces are unorganized. You’re like a puzzle that’s been dumped out of the box. Flattering, I know. All those pieces can be assembled to make this picture that you want to see. So what’s the first thing you do when you build a puzzle? You ask, “what does it look like to have all, or even most of these pieces organized?” You look at the box. You get a reference.
So, start looking at the pieces (qualities) you would need to build this picture you have in mind.
- I’m going to need to eat better, and I currently don’t do a great job of that. I start and stop pretty often.
- I’ll need to workout often, and I don’t like working out. I haven’t been able to make it fun for myself. I don’t stay consistent.
- I don’t talk to myself all that well. I beat myself up when I don’t see something through. That makes things worse. So some positivity would make a difference.
Now, look at a reference. Find people who have these qualities. i.e., people who found and learned from other people with those qualities.
*These qualities are code for “I don’t like doing things that are hard, and that I don’t want to do.” So you’ll want to find people who generally do this. Guess what? They have a cohort.
This is the group you need to find and surround yourself with.
It’s going to extend beyond physical fitness. These people often question their ideas, look for how they are responsible, and accept feedback and coaching. They rarely complain. These are all signs of a person using their power to change what they can change.
Remember, you are already in a group, even if it’s you and your poorly-named dog, Jennifurr. So, you are already modeling that group’s qualities, and it’s led you here. If you want something better than “here,” you will have to do this actively. It’s not likely going to happen on its own.*
If you don’t have a group that’s already modeling parts of the person you want to grow into, seek them out, create your group. Ask different people to be in your group. Share this post with them. I have a whole gym built around this idea.
Find the cohort. If you’re too far away, build one.
*This is one of the most interesting ideas around change because you can become fit and stay fit by accident if you end up surrounded by the right people by default. A lot of us had this in sports teams in school. Then we stop sports and start taking on the qualities of our co-workers or friends instead.
**Bonus: In 2017, I found a small cohort of people who bonded over not being very good at fitness but supported each other to do their best anyway. I made a literal application and emailed it to all of them. My core strength as a teammate was my “vast knowledge of all of the funny youtube videos.” – which they thought was hilarious, so naturally, I was in.
So, if you’re shy and don’t know how to start the conversation, try emailing an application.