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How to Sell Yourself on Lifestyle Change

How to Sell Yourself on Lifestyle Change
sell yourself on change

    It’s coming up on that time of year again. You know, the time where you seriously commit to the same resolution that you seriously committed to last year… before life got in the way and it evaporated into thin air.

    Depending on who you ask, up to 85% percent of all New Year’s resolutions involved some element of lifestyle change, be it weight loss, exercise, better nutrition, improved life-balance or more sleep. And, of those, nearly 50% have been broken by the end of January, while 90% bite the dust by June.

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    Problem is, just saying you want to do something isn’t enough to make it happen. You need to literally sell yourself on the need to make it happen, then create a plan and set up a support and accountability structure.

    Selling is an art form, even when we’re selling ourselves.

    This is especially true when the actions that would lead to the result being sold are viewed as unpleasant, i.e., exercise and diet. So, let’s take a lesson from legendary master of persuasion and 7-figure copywriter and marketer, Dan Kennedy.

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    In his book, The Ultimate Sale Letter, Dan reveals a highly-effective 3-step sales process:

    1. Problem: Identify the problem or need that is not being satisfied
    2. Agitate: Stir up the problem to make it more present, more inflamed, more painful and more in need of immediate resolution
    3. Solve: Present a solution, a way out of the pain

    It’s pretty easy to see how this 3-step process might work when trying to sell someone else, but we can also use it to sell ourselves on actions that we often view as unpleasant in the name of losing weight, getting fit, de-stressing, improving our health or just being able to do more with our lives.

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    Here’s how to sell yourself on lifestyle change:

    • Problem: Rather than just resolving to change some behavior or accomplish some goal, take a step back and define the problem that you are trying to solve by accomplishing your goal or resolution. Put another way, ask what’s important about achieving your goal/resolution or what’s wrong that you’re trying to fix. For example you might want to:
      • Rebuild your confidence – you feel bad about yourself when you look in a mirror and want to feel better.
      • Get off medication – high blood pressure is making you feel sick and the medication you take to control it kills your energy.
      • Recapture your inner-calm – stress is making you so anxious, you’re on medication to control it.
      • Get horny – don’t want to have sex anymore because you feel so self-conscious about your body.
    • Agitate: Once you’ve gone past a general desire to attain a result and defined the problem that the result will fix, it’s time to drill-down a bit and do some agitating. This is not the most-enjoyable process, because, when it comes to lifestyle change, it almost always requires you to do two unpleasant things: (1) face the present as it truly is and (2) visualize the future, should you stay on your current course. For many, neither is an appealing exploration. So, rather than agitating the problem, we do the exact opposite and avoid or minimize it so we don’t feel uncomfortable. The problem is that it is this very process of agitation and discomfort that serves as a huge motivation to take action. It brings our pain to the surface and gives us the opportunity to take action to remove ourselves from it. Looking at our first example above, we’d build on our disgust looking in the mirror and ask two more questions:
      • First, we’d ask the ‘what’s important’ question again to try to get to a deeper motivating force. In fact, we might ask it a few times until the motivational onion is fully peeled.
      • Then, we’d ask what our lives will look like 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road should we choose not to make any changes.
      • Take the time to write out your answers in as much detail as possible.
    • Solve: This is where we finally get back to your original resolution, recommit to a specific goal and then take the step that almost nobody takes: make a plan of action. Take out a calendar, choose a start date and write down the exact actions you will take every day for the first 30-days to make your goal your reality. If you need help with this step, get it. Items on that plan might include joining a gym, seeing a nutritionist, hiring a trainer, finding a therapist or joining a team. Then, tell someone close to you about goal, the underlying reasons for it and your plan. Give them a copy of your plan and get their commitment to ask you about it every day for 30-days to provide a level of accountability.

    Using the classic three-step method to sell yourself not only on lifestyle change, but on the very actions that will create it is a powerful step in making this year’s resolutions different than next year’s.

    As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and additions in the comments below.

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

    What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

    1. Take the scenic route.

    Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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    Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

    2. Distract yourself.

    No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

    3. Listen to music or podcasts.

    There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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    4. Bring a friend.

    Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

    Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

    5. Accessorize.

    There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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    For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

    6. Compete.

    A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

    7. Relax.

    The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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    With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

    Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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