You know when you go to the gym for 3 months straight, then miss a day (“I’ll go tomorrow…”) …then you end up skipping the next 3 weeks?
Why do we stop doing things we actually want to do?
Jerry Seinfeld knew why — and he knew the secret of momentum:
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.
One of the most valuable things I ever learned was how to keep building MOMENTUM — in business, in relationships, and in our personal areas like health and learning.
This came from one of my mentors, BJ Fogg, who runs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford.
He taught me to always run two projects in parallel. “That way, if one gets stalled, you can always switch to the other one.”
But this was just one of the many things he taught me. And recently, I invited BJ back to interview him about his best advice.
In particular, we talked about human behavior — how it works, how to change it, and how to get un-stuck. Think about it: If you master your own behavior, could you earn more money? Be more productive? Have more energy every morning?
And we go deep into the tactics, including the actual words to use in emails…the phrases we use to persuade ourselves to do something (even if we don’t want to)…and more.
In this interview, BJ Fogg and I dig deep into behavior change strategies we’ve never covered before.
- The “pre-persuasion” elements you can embed in your environment to persuade yourself to stay focused
- Why we’re lazy — and how to work around our inherent laziness
- Your “self-persuasion toolbox”: When to use baby steps vs. systems vs. willpower
- Why saying “It can’t hurt” is actually wrong — and how failures have an invisible cost
- How to break apart the successes of other people and find winning tactics you can use in your own life
This interview is part of my “Brain Trust” program, where each month I unveil a new interview with my personal mentors, advisors, and confidants each month. Each month, you get access to these private interviews, plus a community of hundreds of ambitious people to hold you accountable every day.
For a sneak peek of my BJ Fogg interview, check this out:
March is “Get Unstuck Month” in my Brain Trust program, and we’ll be using BJ Fogg’s latest research and methods to make real, lasting changes in our lives.
If you have even ONE area where you want to get “unstuck,” I invite you to join my Brain Trust program.