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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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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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