Bestselling author Ken Blanchard has long been known as the coauthor of one of the bestselling business books of the past several decades, The One Minute Manager. The book has sold over a million copies since it was launched in 1982.
In total, he has written or coauthored 50 books selling over 21 million copies. He is a proven writer, business thinker, and leader. He has coauthored a new book, Fit at Last Look and Feel Better Once and for All, with his fitness coach, Tim Kearin,
The book starts with one of the best tips in the book, commit to your commitment. While the book is about Blanchard’s year long commitment to working towards better health and dropping 30 pounds, that particular piece of advice can be applied to any part of one’s life.
Blanchard writes that he has a friend who believes the difference between interest and commitment causes people to fail to keep their intentions for self-improvement. Interest can drive failure while commitment can work towards success.
He writes, “For example, when interested exercisers who have started a jogging or walking program wake up and find it is raining outside, they lie back down and say to themselves, ‘I think I’ll exercise tomorrow.’ However, when committed exercisers wake up and find it’s raining, they get out of bed and say to themselves, ‘I think I’ll exercise inside today.’”
This book follows Blanchard’s fitness journey where he works from interest to commitment. He does so with the help of a fitness coach who is also his co-author for the book.
The first chapter goes through some of Blanchard’s life story. He writes about where he grew up, went to college, when he got married, how he became a bestselling author and how he lost control of his weight at various times throughout his lifetime.
He also introduces the reader to three levels of change a person needs to make to start committing to commitment. First is to have the necessary knowledge to change. Second, changing one’s attitude is important to any type of self-improvement including getting healthy. Third, one has to change behaviors (the toughest factor to change) that affect one’s habits.
While the book is centered on Blanchard’s getting fit story, he and Kearin introduce six principles that can help anyone wanting to lose weight:
- Have a purpose with compelling reasons
- Ask a friend or family member to help you and who will have a mutual commitment to your success
- Learn about the benefits of Situational Leadership II
- Develop goals that are age-appropriate
- Set up and use a support system to help hold you accountable
- Develop measurable milestones to reach for to help you stay motivated
Blanchard and Kearin take turns writing parts of the book. Blanchard writes about his side of the story, and Kearin writes about his thoughts on the year long journey. By the end of the book, Blanchard does achieve his goals, even with overcoming a number of medical hurdles.
The book does provide an interesting perspective, a person making a commitment and keeping that commitment. But, it should be noted, Blanchard had plenty of professional help along the way that many people may not have the resources to spend on as part of their getting fit program.
A second issue for the average person is the Situational Leadership model stressed by the authors. The leadership concept may be off putting for those readers who have never studied such models. Still, this is a good book for any reader interested in converting their interest in getting healthy to making a commitment to the commitment of getting healthy.
There are several resource chapters at the end of the book that will help those who live on more limited resources than Blanchard. For example, the authors offer a list of “key components for the average person to achieve an optimal level of fitness.” Kearin also offers his “guide to components of fitness.”
One of Blanchard’s strengths as an author is that he presents his ideas in a short and succinct writing style. He gets to the point fast in his books. It won’t take readers weeks to get through any one of his books.
As with many of Blanchard’s books, this book is a short 126 pages before the resource chapters begin. It is well written and offers many helpful tips and suggestions to getting fit.