Did the latest episode of The Biggest Loser inspire you to get off your couch? Here’s how to use that energy in another way—for your career.
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You just watched the latest episode of The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and you’re feeling mega-inspired to hit the gym.
The problem? Unlike the contestants of these shows, you don’t have major pounds to shed!
Your problem isn’t empty calories; it’s wasted time on Hootsuite.
Your problem isn’t mindless snacking; it’s unconscious dilly dallying.
Your problem isn’t motivating yourself to hit the gym; it’s firing yourself up to make uncomfortable phone calls or to write that cover letter.
While fat melting is certainly stupendous, it’s not the only lifestyle transformation.
Contrary to what you may think, these inspiring weight-loss shows have not only taught you how to lose weight. The time-tested strategies they demonstrate might actually be more useful for creating results in your career.
1. Get ridiculously motivated
Are you seriously committed to change? Lifestyle transformation is an inherently long and difficult process.
If you don’t want success in your career badly enough, you’re doomed to fall back into patterns of binge eating and couch-potato-ness when the going gets tough. You have to want it so badly that the mere thought of failing keeps you awake at night.
2. Buy a goal dress
When contestants on Extreme Makeover begin their year-long journey, the trainer always gives them a big goal for the end of the year. This big goal gives you a picture of what success will look like, taste like and feel like. Having a “goal dress” represents the crystal-clear image of your victory.
How will it feel when you slip into your power suit? What does victory smell like? What will you be able to do then that you can’t do now?
3. Baby steps, baby
Though that hot red dress will look fantastic on you, it’s going to take a while to get there. To maintain momentum, cut that goal into bite-sized, time-sensitive chunks. If it’s going to take a year to reach your ultimate goal, then try breaking it into four or six pieces to seem more attainable.
For example, if your ultimate goal is to gain 1,000 subscribers to your blog in a year, how many will you need to gain in the first two months? What specific actions will you take in order to make it happen?
Or, if your ultimate goal is to earn $5,000 per month freelancing, your first small goal might be to sell your first clip. Challenge yourself to make that happen in the next two months.
4. Keep a success journal
Food journals are a classic weight-loss tactic. Likewise, keeping a journal of every action you take to advance your career will help you to see which actions are earning you money and which ones are a big ol’ waste of time.
In the weekly journal (in the form of a Word document) that I keep for my website, The Rule Breaker’s Club, I keep track of how many posts I write, the people I connect with and my email subscription numbers. Some weeks are better than others, and because I keep track, I know exactly why.
If you’re looking to maximize productivity, you will also want to use your success journal as a weekly time log. The one created by time management maven Laura Vanderkam is truly ah-ma-zing. Download the spreadsheet and get busy tracking!
5. Finally, paint the town red
Did you just achieve a two-month goal? Pop open the champagne!
When you reach each small career goal, treat yourself to a mini vacation, tickets to the big game or those shoes that you’ve been eyeballing for months. Do not deny yourself. You worked hard and deserve a reward. That’s the whole point, after all!
In fact, patting yourself on the back is so important that I encourage you to take 10 minutes right now to brainstorm a list of possible rewards. Once you’ve done that, print out a picture to represent each reward. Paste the picture on your wall or fridge.
Can you think of any other weight-loss strategies that could apply to your career?
Courtney Johnston is a lifestyle writer and the creator of The Rule Breaker’s Club, a slice of the web all about sticking it to the status quo. She has spent two years in Paris and is passionate about happiness, cheap wine and making $2,000 a month with her Project Moolah by August 2013.