Fat Loss and other Bad Habits: Friends vs. Accomplices

According to the scientists and authors of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Change, our social surroundings weigh heavy on our habit forming ability. One important tactic they use in their habit changing (or forming) is knowing who’s a Friend and who’s an Accomplice. These two types of people shape your bad habit fighting ability. A Friend can help you break the bad habit and be an aid in your path to success (eat better, quit smoking, exercise). An Accomplice, on the other hand, abet that exact bad habit you are trying to break. Think of your wrong doings as a “crime” and they are the accomplices to the crime.

These Accomplices are not always so easy to see. Think of the actions you need to partake in to help break your bad habit. If your goal is a healthier lifestyle you may have identified that grabbing drinks after work with a co-worker derails your best efforts. It is sold to you as a “couple of harmless drinks”. BUT, we know that turns into more drinks, poor nutrition choices at that point, and a headache the next morning that keeps you in bed instead of the gym. Your co-worker, who might be a great person, has no idea they are hurting your ability to reach your goals is an Accomplice. The more time you are with an Accomplice, the less likely you’ll change your bad habit. This can make things difficult. You enjoy spending time with them but you now realize that to become a better “YOU” things can’t continue the same way with the Accomplice. Decisions, decisions.

Identify your Friends and Accomplices and make the right decisions. Failure to realize how influential  these social pillars are may be the reason, after many attempts, why you have not been able to change long-term.


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  • http://www.mikescottdpt.com Mike Scott


    Wonderful points made in this post. It amazing that most people say they are doing well with their exercise and diet yet surround themselves with people who are not sharing their same goals and they continue to actually get no results. It’s like the gym. You should not be working out WITH someone who is trying to gain strength when you are trying to focus on weight loss. As a personal trainer, and I guess the same with me as a PT, we are their to always be our clients friends, and yet to these people, we friends are seen as the enemies. We are often seen as the ones who want to make these peoples’ lives harder, when its really those pesky accomplices. Keep up the great work Josh! It looks like things are going well for you on the BEAST coast.


  • jgould

    Thanks Mike! 24 hour beasting. Take the drive to Vegas in March when I speak at the IHRSA conference. I’ll get you passes. -Josh