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Use the “4-Day Win” to Achieve Your Goals

T his was written by Jen Waak, who pens a monthly health column for The Solopreneur Life.

We are two weeks into January. How are those New Year’s resolutions going?

If you are like most of my clients, you may be realizing that you were a bit overzealous and be in need of a course correction. I don’t think of it as failure, as you only ever fail if you give up.

You aren’t giving up. Let me repeat—you aren’t giving up. You are making a slight course correction in order to be successful.

There are a million ways of making a change, but being successful in the long-term typically boils down to one thing—building it in to your lifestyle so that it becomes the new habit. And, the best way to do that is to do it slowly, because as my friend Leah says, “anyone can diet for a day.”

As a successful and motivated solopreneur, you likely have a ton of course correction strategies at your fingertips. But, there is no such thing as too many tools in the toolbox, so I’m going to share one of my personal favorites in case it resonates with you.

The 4-Day-Win Process

Developed by Martha Beck, author of the book by the same name, the “4-Day Win” is a laugh-out-loud-funny book that is a practical, step-by-step guide to change. While the book is diet-based, the methodology remains is the same regardless of the course correction necessary.

The 4-Day-Win process works like this:

Step 1: Pick a Goal
Identify the New Year’s Resolution that needs a course-correction.

Step 2: Play Halvsies Until Your Goal is Ridiculously Easy to Attain
This step is critical. If your thought process is, “sure, I can do that,” but in reality, you feel even the LEAST BIT squeamish about it, then it’s not small enough it. Ridiculously easy is the key here. Make it small enough so if you were to make it any smaller, you’d just feel foolish. THAT is what you goal needs to be (just for the next four days).

Step 3: Identify a Reward
Each day you meet your ridiculously easy goal you will give yourself a small reward. Make the reward small, because you are going to do this every day. Maybe this means you get 10 minutes to surf your favorite pop/celeb site, put aside money for a course, or 30 minutes to read a good book. Make it small but meaningful.

Step 4: Identify a 4-Day Reward
This is a slightly larger reward for hitting your goal for four consecutive days. Maybe it’s a full hour of reading, lunch out with an old friend, or a special outing to your favorite—but rarely visited—coffee shop. Again, the reward has to be what is important to you!

Step 5: Make Sure the Action and the Reward are Linked
What this means is that if you do the action, you HAVE to give yourself the reward. If you don’t do the action, you CAN’T give yourself the reward.

So, what do you do if you still aren’t able to take that action and make any headway on that goal? You know the answer. You continue to play halvsies until you nail it!

Apply the 4-Day Win Elsewhere

Once the initial 4-day period is over, you are just that much closer to making your larger goal a reality. The next 4-day period, make the goal slightly larger. It still needs to be ridiculously easy, but if your original goal was 5 minutes of exercise, maybe 7 minutes is doable now. Lather, rinse, repeat until you have met the original goal and it’s no longer a struggle to maintain.

You can then use the 4-day-win process to tackle the next challenge!

In the comments below, tell me, what New Year’s resolution are you going to course-correct?

This was written by Jen Waak, who pens a monthly health column for The Solopreneur Life. We are two weeks into January. How are those New Year’s resolutions going? If you are like most of my clients, you may be realizing that you were a bit overzealous and be in need of a course correction. […]

The Four Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace

The woman Psychology Today calls “the best-known life coach in America” shatters the myth that willpower is an effective weight-loss tool and introduces a revolutionary approach to lifetime leanness based on a series of “4-day wins” that work with any weight-loss program

Substitute a good habit for a bad one and stick to it for just 4 days, and it begins to feel normal. Tha The woman Psychology Today calls “the best-known life coach in America” shatters the myth that willpower is an effective weight-loss tool and introduces a revolutionary approach to lifetime leanness based on a series of “4-day wins” that work with any weight-loss program

Substitute a good habit for a bad one and stick to it for just 4 days, and it begins to feel normal. That’s the surprising discovery that holds the key to lifetime weight control, according to life coach and New York Times best-selling author Martha Beck. Not a conventional diet or exercise program, The Four-Day Win combines evolutionary logic, psychology, and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to restructure itself, which suggests ways to reshape our bodies) with strategies and success stories–plus large doses of humor and an insightful, straightforward approach to teach the principles required to reverse weight issues.

Drawn from hundreds of hours interviewing weight losers–in both her discussions with private clients and her groundbreaking consulting work for Jenny Craig–Dr. Beck reveals:

– why willpower-based dieting is doomed to fail

– how to step out of the conflict between the rule-making Commander (who bans all our favorite foods) and the rule-breaking Resistor (who gives in to cravings) and reach the Watcher, who is our happiest self

– what the latest research into the mind-body connection reveals about how our emotions affect our eating

Breaking down the weight-loss marathon into 4-day intervals, Dr. Beck provides effective strategies for changing the behaviors that make us fat. And if there is a relapse, readers take comfort in knowing they are just 4 days from turning it around. . more

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After losing and regaining the same 60 lbs twice (not counting all the attempts in between), I finally concluded that the key to taking weight off and keeping it off can’t be just working out and eating right.

It had to be something psychological. Maybe something hardwired. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Martha Beck’s book showed me where exactly to put my finger, so to speak. She covered a myriad of obstacles that present themselves along one’s weight loss journey.

And blessedly, she After losing and regaining the same 60 lbs twice (not counting all the attempts in between), I finally concluded that the key to taking weight off and keeping it off can’t be just working out and eating right.

It had to be something psychological. Maybe something hardwired. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Martha Beck’s book showed me where exactly to put my finger, so to speak. She covered a myriad of obstacles that present themselves along one’s weight loss journey.

And blessedly, she encourages the reader to adopt each healthier habit very slowly, by setting “ridiculously easy goals” and building upon them.

This, I can do. It’s ridiculously easy!

I’m on day four of my first four day win.

Martha, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. . more

We all know that in order to lose weight we have to eat less and move more. This seems like a simple and obvious concept, so why doesn’t it work. Why is it that the harder you try to lose weight (eating less and less and exercising more and more) the more likely that you end up craving junk food, binging, and eventually giving up? The Four Day Win gives us the answer.

Losing weight and being healthy isn’t about willpower, starving ourselves to death, or exercising until we pass out. In fact, stu We all know that in order to lose weight we have to eat less and move more. This seems like a simple and obvious concept, so why doesn’t it work. Why is it that the harder you try to lose weight (eating less and less and exercising more and more) the more likely that you end up craving junk food, binging, and eventually giving up? The Four Day Win gives us the answer.

Losing weight and being healthy isn’t about willpower, starving ourselves to death, or exercising until we pass out. In fact, stubborn will-power is actually the problem. The key is listening to our needs and being kind to ourselves. Simplistically put, once we care to stop, listen, and understand our true needs, we soon realize that instead of dealing with our anxieties, our fears, and the things in our life that cause us stress, we tend to self medicate with food. It’s seems so much easier to eat that chocolate cake than deal with that relationship issue or that job we hate. Then, we turn around and beat ourselves up because we weren’t strong enough which makes us hate ourselves that much more causing us to binge. It’s a horribly unloving cycle.

I’m eating less and I’m moving more but most of all I am paying more attention to my inner self these days. I’m constantly learning about myself while developing healthy self soothing and rat park strategies. I’m happier, healthier, and far more hopeful after having read this book. Four days really can change your life for the better. . more

The Four Day Win book. Read 49 reviews from the world’s largest community for readers. The woman Psychology Today calls the best-known life coach in Ame… ]]>