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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 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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