I wrote the bestselling book on argument, and according to Bloomberg Businessweek, I bring "the art of persuasion to some of the world's leading masters of manipulation." In other words, I'm a consultant. A persuasion consultant. (You can see my clients and what I do for them here.)
Most impressive of all: I helped raise two teenagers. That's the toughest of all persuasion tests. Actually, my wife did the heavy lifting, but still.
Which means I really ought to know how to talk myself into doing things. Which I, sort of, do.
Here are a few tools, straight from the art of persuasion, that I use to keep myself from gluttony, sloth, computer pinball and other deadly sins. I'll be fleshing this out in the blog.
Simple arguments are more persuasive. So I keep things simple: Get up at the same time, 7 days a week. Put in a workout DVD and push play. For food, eat the same things every day--smoothies, big salad at lunch--but vary the ingredients. Simple.
I keep myself from drinking during training by giving up all drinking. No choice. Nothing to measure. No promises, no rationalization. It's freeing, really, having no choice. Same with workouts. I work out 6 days a week. On the seventh, I rest and say it is good.
Many arguments bog down because they focus on the past ("Who moved my cheese?") or the present ("A good co-worker wouldn't move my cheese!"). The best arguments make choices for the future. Same goes for fitness and training. When in a fine microbrewery at lunch, the waitress handed me a menu. I asked myself, "What will this beer be doing for me next week?" I decided it would give me a happy memory. I ordered the beer.
Sometimes you can talk yourself into stuff by simply changing the terms. For instance, "failing on my diet" is now "feast days." The concept of feast days actually goes much farther than that. It's one of my coolest concepts and another tool. Follow my blog and learn how.