Many people have a difficult time convincing themselves to do something. That something could be just becoming active, or cutting back on the food they eat, or anything. Until something becomes a habit, you need a different tool to get yourself to do that. That tool is psychological manipulation.
Salesmen use it on us, and it is very effective, so propose we should use the same tactics on ourselves for positive results. Robert Cialdini wrote a book called "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion." This book talks about 6 principles, these are: Reciprocity, Commitment, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity. You can use these principles to influence yourself. Also, you have a very successful person by the name of Charlie Munger who has described what he calls “The 24 Causes of Human Misjudgement. Since there are 24 of them, I don’t feel like listing them all here, but a few of the important ones are these: ”Reward and Punishment Super Response”, “Disliking/Hating Tendency”, “Inconsistency Avoidance”, and “The Lolla Palooza Effect.”
As I said, these are used on you every day. Robert Cialdini is hired by politicians to help direct their campaigns. Charlie Munger used these to create a net worth of over a billion dollars. Salesmen, advertisers, and your boss, and NGO’s all use these techniques. If other people are using them successfully on you, for their own gain, why can’t you use them to influence yourself for your own gain? Well you can, and I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to do it.
The first one we’ll use is the Lollapalooza Effect. This isn’t really an effect all by itself, instead it is the result of using several at the same time. Think of the frenzy at a TupperWare party, or a Jewelry Party. Why does this happen? You get scarcity, liking, social proof, and reciprocity all coming together at the same time. Four of Cialdini’s 6 principles all at once. It’s a tsunami of influence. That is the Lollapalooza Effect, and we’re going to use it on ourselves.
The next one to use is the Reward/Punishment Super Response. We want to create an environment where we reward ourselves for doing something that gets us closer to our goal, and punish ourselves for doing something that moves us away from our goal. For example, work a treat into your meal plan. But only eat it if you achieve a certain level of physical activity for the day. You don’t get to eat the treat if you didn’t do the activity. Reward and punishment.
You can use Commitment to your advantage. You know how salesman get you to write down your offer? That is commitment in action. Write down your goals and your strategies to achieve those goals. Use big bold writing in bright bold colours. Make them stand out. Then sign and date each goal and strategy. Read them back to your self out loud several times. Every day, look at what you wrote and look at your signature. This is commitment.
One option is to pick your favourite some a group of influencers. Consider the Liking and Social Proof influencers along with the Disliking/Hating Super Response. Choose one and use it to your advantage. If you choose Liking, then you need to find examples of a body you like, post it somewhere where you can see it frequently. Every day visualize that body and how you would like to have it, and think positive thoughts. Or, you could find an image of someone surrounded by happy cheerful people who has a body you would like. Visualize that every day. Or, you can find an example of a body you do not want. Do not use an image of yourself. You do not want to hate yourself. Every day, visualize doing the things that need to be done to not look like that. Think of the good life that person would have once they slimmed down.
I provided examples of three influencers that you can use at the same time to provide powerful incentives and drivers to do those things you need to do every day to create the habits you need to lose weight. There are many more you can use, it just takes some thinking. Once things become habit, you don’t even need to think about them.