From: Howard Jacobson <>
Subject: Here's some advice: stop giving advice ;)

Hey, Howie Jacobson here, with Plant Yourself, Sick to Fit, and Proteinaholic. I'm writing to share some more thoughts about how to help people in your life improve their diets and lifestyles for health.

Today's concept is the relationship between advice and ownership.

Have you ever given someone unsolicited advice ("You need to stop eating meat," "You should fill up on veggies before you go the restaurant," "Have you thought about joining an online yoga class?" "Don't scroll your phone in bed at night if you want to stick to your bedtime")?

It doesn't matter how true, right, brilliant, or helpful that advice may be. It doesn't matter if it will work perfectly. 

When we solve problems for others – and force them to run with our ideas - we take away the pride of ownership in the solution. Even if we create the perfect plan for them, the advice is useless if it isn’t used.

When someone owns an idea or a solution, they care about it. They will proactively take steps to ensure it succeeds. They have a personal, emotional connection to the process. They will pursue the idea without supervision, nudging or haranguing.

That’s why it’s crucial for them to make the plan for change, rather than you. You can support and guide them in the formation of the plan. (My new book will show you how.)

A suboptimal plan that they own is far better than your perfect plan, because they will be more likely to implement it and work through the obstacles. And when it comes to meaningful change, implementation is everything.

Even if their plan fails, they’ll be open to your help in brainstorming a better approach next time, as long as the perceive you as their ally, rather than their critic.

I discuss this “change rule” and others in my newest book, You CAN Change Other People. If you preorder it before September 22, you’ll receive access to four recorded coaching calls demonstrating the Four Steps. Learn more about that here.


PS: Preorder You CAN Change Other People before September 22 to receive access to four coaching call demos, featuring the Four Steps in action, as well as a one-page cheat sheet for the Four Steps. Learn more about preordering the book here.