What if I told you the reason behind my 17-year struggle to lose the same 20 pounds is the ANSWER you’ve been looking for, to finally take your business to the next level?
Let me explain 🙂
Most of us are very good at setting goals. We all have dreams and aspirations we fantasize about achieving. But, when it comes to actually executing on them…most of us fall short.
It’s really not our fault; the real cause is that we’re wired to behave this way. Every decision we make – big or small, is driven and dictated by one thing:
Let’s say you’ve set a goal to lose 20 lbs. But on a daily basis, you cheat and eat what you’re NOT supposed to — because, in your brain, the pain of not eating that slice of delicious pizza right NOW is bigger and stronger than the pleasure of reaching your goal weight in the distant future.
Perhaps you’ve set a goal to exercise on a regular basis. But the pain and inconvenience of exercising are much bigger than the ease of sitting in front of the TV and binge-watching your TV show — perhaps while snacking on your favorite potato chips.
We behave the same way with all of our goals. Including growing a thriving business.
Yes, you want to scale and grow your business. You absolutely want to reach your revenue goals. But when it comes to taking daily actions…you automatically lean towards what’s less painful. Like most of us, you want to avoid more pain.
Making yourself sit at your desk to come up with your weekly social media posts is more painful than catching up with what your friends and family are doing on Facebook.
Working an extra 2 hours every night to finally build that online training program is more painful than watching your favorite TV show.
Do you see a pattern here? Your natural defense mechanism gives top priority to survival, which is why you instinctively try to avoid pain.
So how can we solve this?
“The secret is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you”
– Tony Robbins
Just like anything in life, awareness is the first step.
This past January, I became determined to finally take back control and get off my own weight gain/loss roller coaster once and for all.
Becoming aware that avoiding immediate pain has been the VERY thing that’s kept me from reaching my long-term weight goal has allowed me to pause — and consciously think about what long-term pain I’ll be avoiding if I DO stay in control.
Do you see what I did there? I’m using pain, instead of letting pain use me.
I focused on a MORE painful scenario that I can avoid if I just put up with the LESS painful one now.
It’s really that simple. However, you do need to do some prep work first, to make sure you’re on the right track. Let’s go through it together:
1. First, write down the goal you’re trying to achieve
Make sure this goal is measurable. What you can’t measure, you can’t control.
I want to make lots of money in 6 months.
I like to gain 1,000 new subscribers in the next 3 months.
2. Create a plan of action to get you there
Break this plan down across months, weeks or days.
Now: what do you need to DO weekly and daily to get there? Make sure you’re being specific.
Sept – Week 1:
Come up with a high converting lead magnet
Sept – Week 2:
Set up my Lead Magnet landing page & write a welcome email
Sept – Week 3:
Write my nurture and conversion emails
Sept – Week 4:
Join 3 Facebook Groups related to my topic, and show up 3 times a week (30 minutes each time) to share tools, tips, and my lead magnet with that audience.
Then, break down those weekly goals into smaller daily goals.
Sept – Week 1:
Brainstorm potential lead magnet ideas
Pick one and create a high-level content plan
Script and create the lead magnet
3. Once you have a plan, based on your availability, schedule it on your calendar.
Now that you have your weekly and daily goals, block off whatever amount of time you need every day to make that happen.
Sept – Week 1:
8am-10am (Brainstorm potential lead magnet ideas)
1pm-3pm (pick one and create a high-level content plan)
5pm-9pm (Script and create the lead magnet)
4. Stay alert and aware of your habits
Now that you have a good plan of action, it’s time to exercise your awareness muscle.
Let’s say it’s Monday; it’s time to brainstorm your Lead Magnet ideas. You think to yourself “right now my brain is a bit foggy, maybe I should go for a walk…” or fill in the blank with other reasons (excuses) you come up with.
Catch yourself when you’re about to give up control like this — as soon as it happens.
5. Ask yourself what pain am I trying to avoid?
Try to get clear on the pain you’re trying to avoid, as well as what you’re trying to substitute for it (normally it’s something more pleasurable than the task at hand).
6. Find another pain that you’ll be avoiding if you don’t give in — and stay in control.
Instead of giving in to your impulses (which we normally do), think about what pain you’ll be avoiding if you DO follow through with what you set out to do.
For example, if you actually sit down and brainstorm topics for your lead magnet, you have a chance of building your audience. Which means that in 3 months you won’t be feeling defeat or failure. Or you’ll experience the pleasure of having additional subscribers, getting you closer to your income goals.
7. This last step is an important one: Reward yourself with something pleasurable for following through and not giving in to your impulses.
Perhaps treat yourself to a massage at the end of each month, for following through with everything you set out to do.
From a psychological standpoint, when our behavior is followed by a pleasant outcome, we’re more likely to repeat that behavior — because we want to repeat this pleasant outcome!
Also, knowing there is a pleasurable thing waiting for us in the not-so-distant future makes it much easier to say no to our impulses.
With that said, here’s an important thing to keep in mind when choosing a reward: be sure to pick something that doesn’t cause more pain in the future.
For example, treating yourself to a pair of designer shoes every week, when you don’t really have the financial means to do it. Treating yourself to a bag of potato chips every 10 minutes while working on a new blog post. These things may bring temporary bliss, but will backfire on you very quickly, eventually doing you more harm than good!
Also, be aware that at the beginning, this is going to be very challenging. So you have to pay very close attention to what you’re feeling — and allow yourself to dig deep to find the source of the pain you’re trying to avoid. And as I said, it’s also critical to be aware of what your go-to substitute for that pain is…and make sure that immediate pleasure isn’t really doing you additional harm.
The good news is this: the more you become aware and walk yourself through this process, the easier it gets. You realize that it really is possible to take control of your business and reach your dreams.
With every step you take — every time you work past that pain and take control — that mountain gets a lot closer. And a lot smaller.
Me? I’ve lost 9 pounds in 5 weeks. And for the first time in a long time, I feel confident I’ll get off this weight loss roller coaster for good.
So how about you?
I want to hear from you! Please share your comments below!