Episode 25

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Published on:

8th Feb 2024

How to build a new habit (to get to a big goal)

In this mini-episode, I explain how to build new habits to achieve big goals. The key points I expand upon are:

  • Have a compelling reason why you want to achieve the goal. It should be emotional and really matter to you.
  • Clarify your identity - who will you need to become to achieve this goal? Seeing yourself as that person will help drive your actions.
  • Use structure and planning, not just willpower. Put actions to build the habit in your schedule as non-negotiable appointments.
  • Make the habit obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying. Ask how you can design the habit this way.

Show notes:

  • A compelling reason needs energy and emotion. It should really hit you and feel important. [00:01:00]
  • Identity is who you will be when you achieve the goal. It pulls you towards the actions needed. [00:06:00]
  • Scheduling actions makes habits a non-negotiable part of your week. Rely on structure over willpower alone. [00:08:00]
  • The four ways to build a habit are make it obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying. [00:09:00]

Get in touch with Sal

If this episode has caught your attention and you wish to learn more, then please contact me. I offer a free 20 min call where we can discuss a challenge your facing and how I may be able to help you.

Transcript
Sal:

If you want to make significant change in your life, to do

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something really cool, really

big, sometimes that can feel like

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it's the most overwhelming task.

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how on earth do I do this?

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But actually, it's normally formed

of lots of micro steps along the way.

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And in this, short episode, I'm

going to talk about habits and the

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flow of habits to get to that big.

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Lovely changing goal.

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The thing that you might want.

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Now it's a time of year when a

lot of us think about changing and

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habits and growth and that is great.

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So the, impetus is there.

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What I often see is that there's

a lack of understanding of how

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to deploy and make that happen.

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And as with all things, a little

like the analogy of when someone

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says, Hey, let's, cook some food.

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You're like, Great!

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What, do we have a recipe?

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Do we have the ingredients?

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What are we doing?

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And then it all becomes

a very confusing idea.

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In this episode, I'm going to give

you some cool understandings around

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the clarity needed, some of the most

important steps which have been found to

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be effective, and how you might go about

making some audacious, exciting change.

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So the first step is this.

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You've got to have a compelling reason.

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Now James Clear, who's the author of

Atomic Habits, he wrote about this as

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well as I think Charles Duhigg before

him, but pretty much it goes like this.

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if you have or create a compelling reason.

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That is one of the biggest sources,

the groundwork you need to make the

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changes to get the thing you are after.

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So What does that mean

a compelling reason?

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Okay, so compelling

it's got to have energy.

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It's gonna have emotion

It's gonna hit you.

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You know, it's got to feel really

really important Otherwise, it's

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just you know, I'd like to change

like to grow my business a bit or

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I'd like to be fitter It's just

very ambiguous and it won't stick.

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So when you get compelling, it's

really like wow, that's important I

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really care So that's our first piece.

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And of course, the reason

is, why, the why do it?

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and I've coached numerous people

around the early stage of the year,

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but of course, many times, who are

growing something, they're doing

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something amazing in their, work,

or they want to go from where they

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are to really push that forward.

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And it's like, okay, we want the

growth and that's exciting, but why?

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We've got to get clear on the why.

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So spend some time looking

at your compelling reasons.

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And it wants to have clarity.

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So it doesn't want to be something

like I'm going to grow my business.

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It wants to be something like I

would like to put 25 percent gross

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margin on my business or I would

like to positively affect 1, 000

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people this year in a healthy way.

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Whatever your business is,

and of course there are many.

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Be really specific about that.

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So you've got the clarity.

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You've got to have emotion with it.

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So in my work, have the privilege

of seeing people overcome.

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years of anxiety or lack of self belief

or, you know, difficult backstory.

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I have a real privilege.

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It's not easy, but when I see

someone change, it's just wonderful.

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It really is wonderful.

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And I'm very lucky.

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And it's compelling.

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And why, do I coach a

person through change?

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It's because when I see them

become free of whatever's held

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them back, it's just magic.

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It's wonderful.

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And of course, for my client, it's

even better because it's their life.

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That's really compelling to me.

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That's why I love what I do.

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So find what's compelling

to you and the why.

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Why do this?

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So I'll cycle back to me.

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Why do I coach?

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Why do I do human performance?

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Well, ever since being a young

boy, I never had what I needed

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in this field around psychological

help, emotional support, mentorship,

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understanding how the mind works, the

body works, the nervous system, all

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the things I work with an individual.

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So I needed, I needed to make

sense of the world and the

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challenges that I found in life.

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So I know that that was something I was

really calling for and it's a human need.

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So now I've done the work, I'm old,

so I take all that years of experience

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and I now share that with others.

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So it's a very special thing for you.

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It could be something else, whatever it

is for you, it's relevant to each of us.

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So find your compelling reason.

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Once you've got that, right,

we have got gravity now.

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We've got something that's going

to pull you towards that goal,

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that big thing you're after.

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So spend a lot of time on this.

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It wants to have emotion.

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I would also say it could even

have emotion that upsets you

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and gets you a little angry.

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If we think about some of the things

in the world, the climate challenges

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and that, many people are really

angry about the situation and that

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anger is because it matters to them.

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So while I'm not saying you

should be angry in what you're

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doing, but if there's energy

around it and if there's something

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like, Oh, that's really annoying.

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I want to solve that problem.

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Great.

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That can be really volitious.

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It can really push you forward.

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So get your compelling reason.

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And then we want to look at,

and again, big stuff here.

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Identity.

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Who will you be?

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Because if we've got some kind of

identity block, around who you'll be

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when that future, goal come to fruition.

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It becomes your life and your business.

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If you can't see yourself as that

person, that identity, you're

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going to really struggle.

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Again, I'll give a very personal example.

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in my mid forties, I had a bit of

an epiphany that I needed to really

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shift what I was doing physically.

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And I was quite active at the time.

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When I say quite active, what I look

at now is probably quite inactive.

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But I was doing a lot of

yoga and walking and stuff.

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And I got involved in CrossFit.

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which really took me by surprise

as it was a whole new discipline.

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But I decided by the time I

was going to be turning my 50th

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birthday, I would be an athlete.

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Now, I defined that in terms

of how an athlete lived.

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Not so much that they had medals

and showed up for competitions, but

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an athlete would train, diligently.

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Every week, every month, every year, and

like an Olympian, they wouldn't just do

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it for a bit, they would do it for four

years, they'd be long term thinking.

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So I got in my mind, like,

I would be an athlete.

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So if I live like this, I'll

embody the identity of an athlete.

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And that changed everything.

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That's allowed me to overcome all

the highs and lows of that training.

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It allows me to train in

a way that I love to do.

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Now for you, it could be, if your identity

is like, well, I'm just a solopreneur

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right now and I want to grow a business

with a team and I want to really

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make a massive impact in the world.

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Well, then you might be a CEO

or whatever title that is.

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Getting closer to that identity

combined with a compelling reason.

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Again, these are massive

gravitational pulls to shift.

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Once you've got these, two big forces

in play, then we can start to come to

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perhaps some of the more strategic stuff.

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Now, a lot of people think that habits

in any domain is about willpower

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and just being diligent about that.

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And actually willpower

is not a great strategy.

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I recommend it particularly.

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It's there, but don't recommend it.

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I recommend structure.

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So with structure, with planning, with

when do I do The thing that I need to do

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to move you forward, it needs to go in

your schedule, it needs to be blocked out,

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like a meeting, whether it's an exercise

session, whether it's a business session,

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whatever the area you are growing into

is, it has to be scheduled, and it's,

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it's a non negotiable, you don't just go

because you like it, you go because it's

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in the diary, and if you're building

your business, or you're building your

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health, you show up because it says so

in the diary, And you don't have to worry

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about, do I feel like doing this today?

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It's in the diary, it's what we do.

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So the structure then becomes

the, in many ways, the kind of

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the composite that brings the

steps together over the long term.

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And that allows for continuous growth.

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Now, James Clear, he's covered

a lot of this, and I've just

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sort of briefly mentioned him,

but his work goes a lot deeper.

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But he also spoke about some other things

about if you really want to make a new

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habit, you know, a new way of being.

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kind of four things and he

said that the first question

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is how can I make it obvious?

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So how can you make it obvious

to do the thing you need to do?

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What is it you need to do and then

how can I make it more attractive?

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So what's gonna make it

more appealing to me?

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How can I make it easy?

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So yeah remove the friction, right?

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How can this be the easiest

version of what I can and

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how can I make it satisfying?

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Now, there's loads and loads

of ways to do this, depending

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on what you're aiming to do.

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The problem we have is that if we

get caught up in not following a

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simple process, it's going to be

really difficult to put it in.

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So those four I find are very

helpful just to dial back into.

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How can I make it obvious?

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How can I make it attractive?

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How can I make it easy?

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How can I make it satisfying?

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And when you've got those On a

daily action based process, align

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with your structure, align with the

identity of who you are and who you're

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becoming with your compelling reason.

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Oh my goodness.

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It's a great driving force.

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And if you simply take that alone,

which is still quite a lot of work, but

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if you take that alone, the results

are likely to be really powerful.

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So I trust and I hope that those

points will really push you forwards,

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give you the energy that you need,

give you the focus that you need.

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to make some massive change

that's going to be compelling.

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It's going to be authentic and

it's going to be what you want.

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So as always, do let me know on the

platforms you may be listening or

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where you've seen this, your thoughts,

your comments and your experience.

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And, I always love to hear.

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So until the next time, take care.

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About the Podcast

Mindset, Mood & Movement
Human performance podcast for life and business
Feeling stuck, stressed and exhausted is bad for you, your health and your business. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Sal Jefferies is a coach who helps founders overcome anxiety, build confidence and become healthy. This podcast will help you feel calm, confident and strong in life and business.

Sal has a unique coaching philosophy which integrates psychology, emotional regulation and embodied action. This podcast aims to share knowledge, skill and strategies from these 3 interwoven areas - mindset, mood & movement.

Each fortnight, Sal will be in conversation with a guest from a specialist field of human performance and behaviour. The week in between will be Sal's own shorter episode where he's goes deep into various topics - all created to give you the tools to become calm, confident & strong.


About your host

Profile picture for Sal Jefferies

Sal Jefferies

I believe in helping people become free - free of anxiety; to be authentic; to not worry of what others think of you. Free to create, to love and free to be calm, confident and strong.

I understand what it’s like to find life difficult, to deal with challenges and to feel lost; that’s why I over the last 15 years I have immersed myself in yoga, psychology and human behaviour. I have been on a journey of deep change and growth and I know at the core of most life choices is the desire for freedom and peace. I work with people who think deeply and feel deeply and looking to change, evolve and grow.

I don’t take myself too seriously and I bring a light and positive energy to my work. When I’m not coaching, I love reading and learning about anything to do with the human experience. I am also super active and movement is a big part of my life - running, swimming, strength training, doing yoga or enjoying being out with my dogs.