September 1, 2023

Episode 335: All It Takes is a Goal: A Conversation with Jon Acuff

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I believe that setting a goal will help you lose weight.

But that doesn’t mean you need to pick a goal weight.

I’ve just watched too many women skip setting a weightloss goal. They just Google a new meal plan and hope they’ll be able to do it perfectly.

SPOILER: That plan doesn’t work.

You need a PLAN in place that’ll help you stick with your goal even when shit hits the fan.

Well, you’re in for a real treat today!


I’ve invited one of my favorite authors, Jon Acuff, to join me on today’s podcast.

We’re celebrating the release of his new book called All it Takes is a Goal: The 3-Step Plan to Ditch Regret and Tap Into Your Massive Potential, and why it’s so perfect to apply to your weightloss.

In this episode, you’ll get some practical tips to set goals that you’ll stick with.

Don’t wait to listen in on our conversation in Episode 335: All It Takes is a Goal: A Conversation with Jon Acuff.


Hi, I’m Corinne. After a lifetime of obesity being bullied for being the fattest kid in the class and losing and gaining weight like it was my job, I finally got my shit together and I lost 100 pounds each week. I’ll teach you no bullshit weight loss advice you can use to overcome your battle with weight. I keep it simple. You’ll learn how to quit eating and thinking like an asshole. You stop that and weight loss becomes easy. My goal is to help you lose weight the way you want to live your life. If you are ready to figure out weight loss, then let’s go.

All right, everybody, welcome back. So I have one of our no BSS men here. That’s right.

I like that. Let’s

Go. I know we don’t have many Nost men besides you. My husband and an old friend of mine was one of my very original clients. Him and his wife signed up in 2007. We still vacation together. So y’all are like the three no BSS men, but this is John aov and if you’ve been listening to this podcast that he’s been on a couple times, if you’re a no BSS woman in the membership, he’s been in the membership, he’s done all things and I think we’ve read all of his books. So I’m going to let John introduce himself and then we’re going to talk about his brand new book that’s coming out that I have literally sticky noted 5,000 times.

I love that. I love that. Well, let me first say, anytime I get to do something with you guys in my circle, text me and say, Hey, does she have a program for men? Does she have a, so just know that on my end there’s dudes that are lining up to be no BS men. But yeah, my name’s John Acuff. I get to do two things all year. I write books and then I go talk about the books. And I do that on stages and I do it online. And I’ve been a huge Corinne fan for years. These are the best funnest interviews. She’s been on my podcast All it Takes as a Goal. It’s one of our most popular episodes because you guys love the stuff she does. She almost broke her back on my show, not swearing. I could see her, I could see the video. Her face was getting red. She had a lot of, she kept it t b s edited for television, which was funny to me, but, and I live outside of Nashville, Tennessee with my two teenage daughters and this is my ninth book and it’s called All It Takes is the Goal.

And it’s just a coincidence that we both live here. We weren’t even in, I don’t even know how we got into each other’s. I’m pretty sure I read your book and then somehow the world collided in order for us to do this. But I will say for all of you, the book is really good. I was telling John right before we started the interview that I have loved all of his books, but I really liked this one. It’s very practical. If y’all have been listening to this podcast for any amount of time, if you’re an no BSS woman, I love me. Four Steps, five steps. I like things broken down. And this was one of the first books that I think I’ve read about goals that just feels like, okay, now I know my zones. Now I know these things. And literally I’ve just been pouring through it. So it’s really good. So what I would love to, oh, go ahead.

I was just going to say that’s something you and I have in common. I think we both are fans of, okay, what do I do with this? I try to write books with the perspective of what do I do on a Tuesday? And your advice, there’s a reason people love the stuff you share because there are tactical things, there are real life things. I sometimes say we’ve all read books where you could tell it was written by somebody’s hands, but not their heart. And by heart I mean real life, real stuff that you can do. And Corrine, your advice is written with your heart, not just your hands. There’s a million things that go, here’s weight loss, here’s theory. It’s different when it’s written with a heart versus hands. And I think that’s why we enjoy being on each other’s shows so often.

Yeah, and he’s also funny. So

Hilarious. Hilarious. People say

That. I was reading part of it at the beach last week and I was just like the whole time giggling and somebody was reading a comedy and I was like, I’m reading about goals

And it’s hard to make goals funny. We take them very seriously. So I just think I have better long-term success when I’m enjoying it at the same time. Well,

On a serious note, I think one of the things that you do so well and why your books resonate with so many of us is that you are taking either a deep topic or in my world, when you look at each one, when I talk to my women about setting goals, their nervous system goes to hell in a handcar immediately. It’s like they’re pouring sweat, they’re triggered, they’re thinking of every Weight Watcher’s diet they ever failed. And when you are adding some humor into it and you’re making it not so deep, you’re making it. I know how we all freak out. I do too. You add a little humor, it’s so much easier to consume the concept. So I can’t recommend it enough. So let’s just jump in and I’m going to let you pick of all the concepts, because literally I think I do have at least 20 of the little sticky notes hanging out of all the ones in the book. What do you think is maybe one of the most helpful for women who are struggling with their weight loss that they need help with?

I think the tool that I was most excited to learn in my own life and then put in this book was the best moments list for me. That was a moment where my life changed and I thought, oh, if I can shepherd this well, other people will see the same eureka moments I found. And so the best moments list, the book came about because I went to Sanford University in Birmingham, Alabama to tour the college with my daughter Ellie. And I was there, my wife was there, Ellie was there, and Jenny and I both went there and Jenny leaned over and was like, wasn’t college amazing? We’re standing there on the quad and I knew exactly where we were standing. I can still see it. And I was having the opposite experience. I was thinking it was terrible. I wasted my potential. I got rejected from memory frat because I was so insecure that it came off as arrogance and sarcasm and I had this wall up.

And I just look back at those four years and I’m like, man, I could have done so much more. And when we were driving back to Nashville, because I had just written soundtracks, I knew how to be deliberate about my mindset. So regret was really trying to take root in that moment. And I thought, is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is it true that I didn’t make the most of college? It is true, but is it helpful for me to sit in that regret? Is it kind to myself? It’s not so what would be better? So I started to think, okay, I didn’t make the most of those four years, but what could I do with the 40 years ahead of me? I’ve got a lot of runway. What if? And I think that’s where a lot of women sit with their diet of, there’s this weird thing that happens when you start making progress, this fear and doubt go, you could have made progress earlier.

Imagine if you had done this 10 years ago. Imagine if you’d done this five years ago. So I felt really stuck because in moments when we haven’t lived up to our potential, we often go, well, what do I want to do instead? What’s my plan? What’s my vision? And those questions paralyzed me. So I couldn’t really plan 10 years out in the future, a blank piece of paper was just paralyzing. I felt stuck in the present. So I only had one option, which was to look to the past. And so all I did was write down best moments on a piece of paper in the Augusta Airport, and I started to write them down. And really it was the first time I gave my head and my heart permission to go find those moments. And it was so counterintuitive because we right now are addicted to sadness and trauma and depression.

For every 100 scientific papers written on sadness, there’s only one written on joy and every counseling session I’ve ever been to, that’s what we discuss is what are the worst things that ever happened. Every small group my wife and Ive ever been in with church, when we tell our stories, it ends up being this six week slog cry fest of the worst things we’ve done to each other. And so there’s so much pushback against actually sitting down and going, but what amazing things have happened, we say, don’t look back. You’re not going that way. But what if you could learn from joy? So I wrote down this list, I thought I’d write down 10 items. I ended up writing down more than 170. And they were big things. They were small things. It was hitting the New York Times bestsellers list. That’s the big thing, seeing the headlights in the driveway when my kid comes home because it means they’re safe.

They made it that feeling. There’s this little burst of joy when your son comes back and go, yeah, he did it. He did it. Let’s go. And so I wrote down all these things and number one, it taught me gratefulness. So everybody says you should have gratitude. Have gratitude. Agreed, but how so? It taught me gratefulness. Two, it taught me self-awareness because if you ask your head and your heart to look for best moments in the past, they automatically start looking for them in the present. So you’ll be in a moment and go, oh, this coffee with this friend is a best moment. And you didn’t miss it. You were present to it. The way I define being present as being nostalgic about the moment you’re still in. And then the third thing that happened, which happened to everybody, I tested this with you automatically go, I want more of this in my life.

I want more of this in the future. So you get this roadmap to you where you go, these are the things that light me up. What if instead of them being somewhat accidental, I’m actually deliberate. Wow, I put three conversations with this one friend on my list. What if I had nine of those next year? What if I added more of those? And so the crazy thing, the turn moment for me with best moments was I said, okay, 170, so many, I got to see are there categories here? Are there buckets here? You and I are similar in that sense where we love to simplify complicated things, weight loss, body image, all that could be so complicating, so scary, so overwhelming. And we go, whoa, you brought it down to no bs, no bss. That is four letters that say 400,000 letters. You boiled it down like, hey, no, no, no, no bss, and here’s what that means.

And so I started to look in the list and I realized every moment was one of four moments. It was an experience, it was a relationship, it was an accomplishment or it was an object. And I’ll give you an example of what I mean by that. And I put this in the book. If you go on a hike like you and I live in Nashville, if you went to Radner Lake in Nashville and you were by yourself and you cleared your head, and that’d be an experience moment. If you went with a friend who was going through a divorce and you were able to pour into that friend, that would be a relationship moment. If you hiked it faster than you’d ever hiked it and you wore a weighted vest and you’re like, I was all into it, that’s an accomplishment. If you picked up a rock from the moment to remember, you can do challenging things, that’s an object moment.

So what happens is I then have people categorize their lists and it teaches you about you because you all of a sudden will go, wow, 60% of my best moments based on me not guessing, guessing about the future is a fantasy. This is history. This is real. 60% were relationship based. No wonder I feel like in a rutt right now, I’m not pouring into relationships. Oh, I need to increase that. Or you’ll say, wow, accomplishments matter most to me. But I grew up in a family of origin where accomplishments, especially for women, were looked down on, you’re too much, you should play smaller. You’ve got accomplishments were seen as bad. So even though I feel like I’m an accomplishment driven person, I’ve been pulling back or self-sabotaging, what if I gave myself permission to admit like, nah, I love accomplishments, so I’m going to lean that.

Or Okay, I need more accomplishments, I need more experiences, I need more relationships. And then what was crazy was everybody’s objects were small. Every single person had a small amount of objects and the objects always told the story. So they were connected to a person, they were connected, they made you feel young, they made you feel cool, they made you feel inspired. And so all of a sudden you’re not guessing about who you are. You have the easiest, kindest entry into that, and I walk you through with questions and make it really simple. So for me, that’s the tool that I just haven’t seen it done. I see a lot of people either say, don’t look back, or I see them go see if you can find the single thing in your past that’ll fix you forever. And they go, okay, when I was 12, this happened. And if I just unlock that and you should heal from stuff, you should process stuff. I’m not saying the opposite of that. I just think we don’t look back on joy enough and we therefore don’t get to enjoy joy going forward.

I think it’s such a healthy way to look at your past because as a coach in weight loss, I am the one who’s usually talking to them a lot about their traumatic stuff. But I will say the unique spend that I think is so valuable, because when I read this I was like, this is a simple way for me to also teach my women how to notice when they’re succeeding. Because one of the things that my clients have a hard time with that is imperative, that has to happen in weight loss is you cannot miss the moments if you are trying to lose weight and you’re only ever waiting for that end version of you until you get there. It is a slog. And most of us eat because our life is a slog. And so when I was reading it and I was thinking about it and I started thinking about my own best moments and stuff, I was like, this is such an interesting exercise because the way that you’ve said the best moments will help you not miss your current moments. That’s why I think it’s so important. It’s like it’ll also help you recognize when you’re winning because my clients miss the wins all the time and they always feel behind. And I’m like, we can’t do that anymore.

Well, I’ll give you a writing example of that. I write books. So my version of that is if my only win is finish the book, finish the whole book every day, I feel like a failure because I only get to do that one day. So it takes me a year to write a book or whatever. So every day I failed, I failed, I failed. Did I finish the book today? I didn’t. Didn’t finish the book every day. I feel like failure if though I say, today I wrote 200 words and that’s a win. And I recognize that and I’m grateful today I talk to the publisher and we pick the title and that’s a win. And now I’m grateful that changes things. And how I relate that to goals is most people, in my opinion, when they have a goal, say it’s to lose 20 pounds, 50 pounds or whatever, and get in shape, they have this 12 foot tall ladder.

I like to talk about goals like a ladder. And the ladder only has two rungs. It has the final version of themselves. The 30 pounds lost, the 50 pounds lost, or I wrote the book, I ran the marathon, I made the 2 million in my business. And then they have the very bottom rung, which is I started and there’s no rungs in between. They sit there on that bottom rung and it’s 12 feet tall and they go, I guess I have to jump as high as I’ve ever jumped in life two feet higher than a basketball rim. Grab that top rung and try to pull myself up. My version is what if we added a ton of rungs? What if there were rungs every six inches and you just climbed that over time? You’re going to look up, you’re going to be in the middle of the ladder and be like, I don’t even remember climbing this high.

You’re going to get to the top. What if you climbed a ladder that way? And everybody can climb that ladder. And so what I like to do is take goals and say, the reason I call that, all it takes is a goal, is you find something in life that you desire and then you just turn it into a goal and then you actually achieve it. So when I put this in the book, when I realized I wanted more relationships, more community, I was feeling isolated. The joke I do is you’re isolated. When you overtalk the u p s guy, when I’m like, Hey, hey, hey, hey, don’t leave so quick. How’s Pam? How are the kids doing? And he’s like, I want to leave this box. So I needed more relationships, so I wanted to be a better friend, but better friend is fuzzy. That’s so vague.

You can’t do anything with that. That’s not a goal. So then I said, I’m going to encourage one friend every day for a month. I’m going to just encourage one person every day for a solid month. Most of it was text messages and I came up with a list of friends beforehand so that I was never stuck in the moment. And then I would text somebody and go, Hey Jeremy, whenever I think of somebody really creative, you’re the person that comes to mind. It’s so fun to watch you create the things you create. And there wasn’t a single person that I did that to you that wrote back and said, I wish you hadn’t said that today. This is the worst day to send this. Most of them said, you had no idea how much I needed that today. And so at the end of the month, I’m a better friend and I worked on the goal, I was able to accomplish it. So whether it’s weight loss or writing a book or knowing your spouse better, I want to make things tactical so that I can actually enjoy the result of them versus go, I know I should be doing this. I just don’t know how. And I love to tell people, well, let’s figure out some rungs. Let’s add some rungs to the ladder and see how high you can climb. I think you can climb higher than even think.

And I think that kind of ties into the concept where you have the three types of goals, especially. I’d love to talk about the easy goals because I am constantly, I kind of talk about it a little bit different, but it’s same concept, but I always tell ’em, number one, if your goal’s not doable, what the fuck you doing anyway? I mean it doesn’t feel doable. You already have blown the wat. It’s got to feel doable. And I think you said something so similar, which is the goal should almost, whatever that easy goal is, it should make your brain scream at you. That’s not good enough. It’s just like whine. I always tell my people, the moment that happens, you’re on the right track because your brain’s job is just to not get you to do things. So ignore that. Just know you’re on the right track. Will you tell ’em more about your concept about the three zones and stuff?

Yeah, so the big thing I started to realize, okay, people tend to float, especially with weight loss, float between three different zones. One is the comfort zone, and we talk about that one all the time. That one has a ton of conversation around it. But an equally dangerous one in my opinion is what I call the chaos zone, which is the opposite of the comfort zone. If you think about a line one in says comfort, the other says chaos. The chaos zone is where you try to do everything all at once. So say it’s December and you feel like I want to get in shape and you go, I’m going to have 15 New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to do it all. I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to start running, I’m going to take better care of my kids. I’m going to start a side hustle and I’m going to do yoga all in the set all at once.

And that’s the chaos zone and you can’t get it all done. And so you get discouraged and you rotate right back to the comfort zone. And there’s a reason we have the phrase yo-yo diet in our country because people, yo-yo back and forth between these two and in the middle of that is what I call the potential zone where it’s like the goldilock zone. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s not too big, it’s not too small. It’s where you make sustainable success long-term, like long-term sustainable success. And it starts with easy goals where you say, okay, I’m not going to change my entire life. I’ll give you an example. So sometimes I’ll meet people that’ll say, John, I have 10 goals and I’ll go, that’s awesome, 10 goals, that’s fantastic. I never meet people that don’t have any goals. The people that talk to me usually have too many, not too few.

And so they’ll say, I have 10 goals, and I’ll go, cool, how much free time do you have in your week to do those goals? And they’ll go, what are you talking about? I go, well, let’s just do an exercise. How long will the goals take? How much free time do you have in a normal week? And if those two things are against each other, you’ve already hurt yourself. And so what happens is if people will do that quick exercise, they’re often, they have 20 hours of new goals they want to do and they have two hours of free time a week, and then they feel like a failure. They don’t acknowledge that the calendar is the failure in that moment. They go, I’m terrible for some reason I can’t do all this. That’s where easy goals I jump in and go based on your schedule right now, unless you are a new person, we love the fantasy of in this story, I’m also a completely new person. I meet people all the time. No, in this story, I’d go to the gym every morning at 4:00 AM You’re like, yeah, I

Had a lobotomy. It’s time for me to go get my goals.

Yeah, yeah. And you’re like, that’s who you are. And that’s not a problem. So I’ll say, okay, can we do it once a week? Can we do it twice a week? Can we do it for 15 minutes? A phrase that I say to people, especially in weight loss all the time is some beats none, some beats none. Just the other day, a friend of mine was teasing me because I put a mile run on Strava and he was like, dude, I never would. I couldn’t put such a small run on Strava, the app. And I was like, yeah, but one, I’m not doing my run for strangers on Strava. I’m not like, I hope they saw, I hope that’s not the motivation. Number two, I know that stacks up. I know I didn’t want to run at all that day, but I did 1.2. That’s going to stack up over time.

So some beats none. And so that’s where an easy goal starts. And then here’s how I think about it, and I guarantee you’ve seen this with people a million times. What happens is nobody decides to change just because nobody goes, I woke up today, I decided to be disciplined. Grit, persistence, whatever. They get a glimpse of what’s possible. And it could be from a community they join, it could be from something they listen to on a podcast. They get a glimpse of what’s possible. They get this little taste and then they want to leave the comfort zone because the desire for that thing is worth leaving the comfort zone. Nobody should naturally want to leave their comfort zone. It’s comfortable. You have to kind of trick yourself out of it. And then what happens is as you get that taste, you want to do it more.

So when I was writing my blog, I didn’t decide I’m going to start getting up early at 5:00 AM to write my blog because that seems mature and I need to be disciplined. I liked blogging so much that I was like, I got to find some ways to throw more time at this. I think about it, think about exercise. You right now might go, I’m not an exercise person. I think that’s a broken soundtrack. I think you just haven’t found your type of exercise yet. To say you’re not an exercise person means you don’t enjoy 1 million types. There’s something you enjoy. We just haven’t found it yet. Let’s figure it out. But you say, okay, I find something I like doing. And then you think of time like logs where you want to throw those logs into the fire. So I started getting up early because that was another half hour log.

I get thrown into the fire and I just want to see how big that fire could be. You’ve seen people that would tell you, Corin, I’m not a runner, I’m not a this, I’m not a that. And then you look up a year later and you go, dude, yeah, I just signed up for my fifth five K. I’m kind of like they know me at the running store. If you told me a year ago that I would have an opinion on Brooks running shoes, I’d be like, I don’t even know what is that a company now? And it didn’t start where they went all in on day one, which is what culture tells you. Culture says, go big or go home. If your dream business scare you, it’s not big enough. I don’t want fear to be the indicator. So could I build an easy goal, have the patience, and then what I think you’re so great at Corinne is community.

I’m not going to do it alone. I’m going to it in community and that’s going to motivate me as I go. And you’re going to look up six months in, three months in a year in and go, oh my gosh, I’m still doing this thing and now I’m doing it at even bigger levels. But I didn’t start at that level. I started at a small level and then I grew. But we don’t understand it with stuff like learning a language. No one ever says, I’m going to learn Italian this weekend. That would be insane. But we say, I’m going to change my entire health this weekend. I’m going to this week I’m going to be a new me. We say that that’s a phrase in January, new year, new you. We go, I’m going to do it all this weekend. Where if somebody said, think we’re going to learn Russian this weekend, you’d be like, oh man, there’s so many words. Are you sure? Pretty good luck. Good luck. I don’t think they have any vowels. They cross letters out from what I can tell. You wouldn’t think somebody do that. But we put that pressure on ourselves with health goals and I don’t think it helps us.

Hey, it’s Corinne and I want you to check out You know how new online business owners have an idea or way they can help people, but they can’t seem to build a business around it. They struggle with finding clients, figuring out the marketing to get the word out, and they definitely struggle with making money. Well, after years of being the person, people were asking behind the scenes as to what they should do, I created the No BSS business membership where people could learn the basics of starting, growing and scaling a profitable online business. You will get when you join the actual emails and copy we use in our own business here at No bss, you’ll get the same planner I use to run my eight figure business. You’ll get access to my marketing team, customer experience team and other experts each and every day where you can ask questions, get unstuck, brainstorm ideas for sales pages, and get coaching on things like procrastinating, fear of your business not working or worrying that you can’t do all the things when you join.

You’ll get immediate access to workshops like nailing your niche, creating a valuable free offer, how to build your offer, how to sell your offer, creating your organic social media strategy and more. These workshops are filled with step-by-step instructions on how to put systems that work into your business are also giving you templates that you can use immediately when you join. Our mission at No BSS business is to free you from a lot of the guesswork that happens in the early stages of starting your online business from making none of the dollars to about $300,000. It’s hard to find a one-stop shop for creating and growing your business. New business owners often find they got to buy tons of books, courses and mentorship so that they can cobble together a barely functional system. Many people come to me after spending over $10,000 in the early stages of business trying to learn all the things, only to find that all of those courses and memberships don’t work well together and no BSS business. We want to be that affordable and easy solution where you can get all the help you need in one simple place. No more buying one more course when you can have all the courses a coach and expert advice in one place, just go to Nobs CEO and check us out. That’s Nobs ceo and you can find the most affordable and personalized business coaching membership around. We

Have a member inside our membership right now that this story just reminds me so much of her name’s Karen, and she is literally becoming the most beloved woman in our entire membership. She started, it’s a few months ago, she, she’s probably in her fifties or sixties. She’s never been a real exerciser or anything, but she really wanted to and she found a used recumbent bite and she’s got some health issues and stuff, so she was really going to have to figure this out. She needed to start moving. It was becoming, but talking about moving out of the comfort zone, it was staying in her comfort zone was becoming life-threatening. And so she found this used recumbent bike and it reminded her of being a kid, and she named it the Betsy Corin because one of our coaches is named Betsy. And then she’s got me and we, we’ve talked to her about it and stuff, and she started with just literally making sure that she could ride one mile and she’s been steadily riding.

She ended up getting a brand new Betsy Corin when some guy told her, he said something happened to her bike. It was old and used, and he said, this is not going to be repairable for what you’re wanting to do. You’re going to need a new bike. She almost quit. We all rallied her in community and we were like, don’t quit. You can figure this out. And she ended up getting a bike. She overcame the shame of going into a bike store and saying, I’m a beginner rider. I need a recumbent bike, all this other stuff. And that she rode like 50 something miles last month. That’s crazy. Just killing it. But she’s such a good example to me and I really wanted to spotlight her because literally she is the biggest obstacle between her. And her goal is just her brain. She calls it shady Karen.

She speaks up every day and she’s always like, you can’t do it. You look a fool, blah, blah, blah. She’s always talking about what shady Karen had to say today, but then she gets on Betsy Corinne and she feels like a new woman. So she’s such a good example of someone who the world also tells her she can’t do it, and she just decided, I need this for me and I’m going to figure out a way and I’m going to start so small. And she needed it. And for all of you who are listening, a lot of you, John calls it the chaos zone. I call it scared shitless zone. I know everything has a cuss word in nobody else be, but it’s like for all of you listening, his chaos zone is where your nervous system just freezes up. And so many of us are setting these weight loss goals that way.

Where’re like, I can’t be this way, but I think I have to do all this other stuff. And then I freeze my nervous system, I fry it out, I get overwhelmed. I get so discouraged for my own emotional safety, I have to retreat to the comfort zone. And that’s why I loved this whole section of your book where you laid out the zones beautifully and you did such a good job of we’re going to, you made easy goals, not shameful. You made them the badge of honor. This is what we do and this is what the smart people do. And I was like, fuck yes, amen. Somebody needs to say it. And

I think we are worried somebody’s going to judge them as too small or not enough. And so part of it is just take the shady Karen, we all have that, just I don’t think enough of us talk about it. So I ran a half marathon in Nashville. It was one of the better ones, better times I had. And I was walking to my car and there was a guy selling popsicles at a popsicle stand, this little cart. And my brain was like, you could never run one of those. And I was like, what? And it was like, yeah, I mean hiring and staffing it and how would you even get it here? And the permit thing for that thing, I don’t even know if you know how to make a Popsicle. And I was like, what are you talking? I’m not trying to run a Popsicle stand right now. It was like I had had this good moment from the race and my brain was desperate to be like, let’s dial it back down a little bit.

Right? Let’s talk about your Popsicle career, John, stop celebrating for a moment. In

A second, I looked at a Popsicle stand, and then in a minute my brain was like, you would be the worst Popsicle c e o. And I was like, but I’m not trying that right now. So I say that because I think everybody has that. And I think the more you talk about it, the more you can get other people to go, well, that’s not true. That’s not. And same with easy goals where you say, the more I give myself permission to have easy goals, the longer success I have. So I’ve tried chaos zone for most my life, like comfort zone, chaos zone. But when I’ll actually be brave enough to go, here’s what I’m going to do today and I’m going to write a hundred words or 200 words, and I’d rather you keep going than have these peaks and valleys where there’s not something sustained.

And so I think if we can be honest about the easy goals and celebrate the easy goals and know how to do them in a healthy way, they do grow and they do expand, and it’s not the final easy turns in the middle. It tends to grow, especially when you start to see some success. And she didn’t. If she gets started with 50 miles that first month, she never would’ve done it. That would’ve been overwhelming and discouraging. But she started like, okay, I’m going to get a mile and let’s see what this looks like. But yeah, there’s that temptation. I think it has to be massive right out of the gate, and I don’t think that’s helpful.

I think that was another concept. I love that whole section. I actually have lots of little notes, but I’d like to even talk more about how when you start getting the wins of the easy ones, how it allows you to embrace some momentum, the positive benefits of it and how it sets you up. Because I think a lot of times I know that my clients say this, it’s like, but if I only ever do the easy stuff, I would never move on to more challenging things. I need the challenge.

No, that’s where you go, yes, you would. You’re going to be a different person a month from now. You’re a different person and you will have experienced this. If you think you’re going to get the easy goals, you’re going to have some wins. And then you’re going to naturally go, oh, I think we can do a little more. What would it look like to do a little more? No one gets a win and then goes, nah, no, you’re designed to grow and do more. You’re going to naturally want to. I think we pick out fears that are so far ahead before we’ve actually dealt with them. So we like to discuss fictional problems. So an example of that would be, I heard Nate Bartzi do this bit about his friend saying, I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t have to buy new clothes. And he was like, well, let’s go.

You don’t even go to the gym right now. Let’s worry about that in a year from now. You and I talk about that. Go get that problem. That’s a dope problem that you need a new wardrobe. That’s not a problem, that’s a celebration. Cool. If that happens, we’ll figure that out. It’s the same. I have authors go or business owners, you talk to business owners that’ll say, but what if my product sells out and I don’t do good customer service? And I’ll go, do you have a product right now? And they’re like, no, no. Just like in the future, what if I’m like, let’s get a product first. So the fear that you’ll be lazy after you do easy goals for a month is a fictional far off problem that by the time you get there, you won’t even have to worry about that because you’re going to want to do it more. That’s just how as you experience the joy of that, you’re going to want to do it. That’s going to happen. It’s going to grow. You don’t need to worry about that.

It also, I think it expands your capacity to do harder things too. It’s like there’s version one, you version one on day one, and you’re having to overcome a ton of self-doubt. You’re having to overcome fear. You’re having to overcome just being a lazy fucker. I mean, that’s me, my biggest, I joke around with my members all the time. I was like, I can’t wait for the day. And this is, I’ve only been lifting weights for 16 years now, or I don’t wake up in the morning and go, fuck me, I got to work out every day, every day. But you expand on day one. When that happened, it took everything in me to do it. I was ashamed of my body. I had to overcome that. I had to overcome all the years. I didn’t work out. There was so much baggage. Now when that happens, I’m not having to overcome all that stuff and then I’ll go and do a workout and it’ll be harder. But I don’t think people understand that when you give yourself the opportunity to win, not only will you kind of be drawn to do more, but so many of the things that you had to overcome, you don’t have to keep overcoming. So your capacity to do harder things grows. I have a good friend named Car Ental. She has a podcast called Unfuck Your Brain, and you must think, all I do is hang around with Cuss.

Yeah, just sailors, you’re down at the

Lump being the sailors. We all hang out all day.

Yeah, exactly. Just whatever it is. Longshoreman, I don’t know who’s swearing.

She had a podcast where she said something so brilliant and she’s like, the hardest step you’ll ever take is zero to one, but one to two is easier and two to three is easier. And then everything after that just gets exponentially easier because as you go, you’ve got momentum and you’ve overcome so much of your crap. The majority of our crap lies between doing nothing. And the first step,

That would

Always be the hardest. A

Hundred percent. Think about it this way. You get theoretically, you get better every time you do something. So if it’s the you ever at the airport and you see somebody who has never flown, where if you’ve fly, you’re used to it. But if you’ve never flown, t s A is mind boggling. Which line do I go in? I take my shoes off. Is this four ounces or three ounce? There’s a million little things that are really challenging, but how early they close the doors 10 minutes before the flight time? People who have never traveled miss flights because they think they just have to be there at the exact time or the door’s still going to be open. They don’t know. It closes 10 minutes before. They don’t know that Southwest loads 30 minutes before. There’s all this information that if you fly, you’re used to.

So the first time you ever like, oh my gosh. But now me, I fly, I do 50 events a year. I never get to the airport and go, oh, I don’t know if I can do t Ss a, I don’t know. I don’t have any of those. I actually have favorite spots in the airport where like, oh, that’s a quiet spot. That’s the best place to get a water. That’s now because I’ve done repetitions. It’s easier, it’s better. And my capacity has grown. This is such a silly example. When I first started as a public speaker, I remembered I couldn’t do anything else. The rest of the day. If I had a talk at four, I was a stress ball, we would go on it. I remember we went to, I spoke in Savannah and my wife and kids came with me, and the talk was at 6:00 PM it was to 25 people.

It was a small talk. And she was like, let’s go to the beach. And I was like, I dunno if I can go to the beach. She was like, it’s 8:00 AM your talk isn’t for 10 word hours. I was like, I got to be in the zone. Now. I’m not that way now. I can have meetings in the morning, I can have coffee with a friend and then I can step on stage to 5,000 people at 6:00 PM because my capacity has grown. So a big trick there, and back to that rung perspective is find a way to increase the speed of your repetitions. So if you’re learning every time, find a way to add more learning moments. So if I only traveled once a year, I would forget a lot of the things I learned the last trip. If I travel once a week, I’m in the zone.

I have it dialed in because I’m getting better and better and better at it mean. So if you think about workouts that way, every time you’re getting a little bit better at that and you’re going, oh, that person at the front desk I thought was intimidating. Isn’t that intimidating? So I don’t even have to worry about the door eventually doesn’t bother me. The first time I had to come in the door, that felt like I was coming into a jungle. And now if you’re going to the gym consistently, you don’t even think about the door. That’s just how you get in the building. The parking lot isn’t as intimidating. And the last thing I’d say about that imposter syndrome, for me, the only thing I’ve seen that beats imposter syndrome is results, like consistently beats imposter syndrome is results. And for me, take writing books.

If imposter syndrome says to me, you’re not a real writer, you’re not a real writer, you’re not a real writer. I go, that’s weird. That shelf has nine books on it that I wrote. I feel like I have a stack of results. And when you start to stack up results in your weight loss journey, a lot of those fears you realize they don’t have as much evidence as you have when they say, you’re not a real athlete, you’re not a great person at exercise. You go, man, that’s so weird because I’ve gone to Orangetheory for nine months and they keep telling me I’m doing a good job. And fear. It doesn’t feel like you have any facts on your side because old fears will come by every now and then for a freebie just to see if they can get you a year, two years, and they’ll be like, Hey, you still suck.

And they just want to see if you’ll go down that path. And you’re like, nah, dude, I don’t. I’m like, okay, just checking. Just checking. I’ll see you in a year. I’m going to come back at some point. I’m going to come back. So for me, the results, those wins, those small goals that turn those easy goals that turn into medium goals and middle goals and guaranteed goals, that’s where all of a sudden I have results and I’m able to go, nah, this is true. I couldn’t have written about guaranteed goals, Corinne, if this was my first book because I didn’t know that I could do this. But now I’ll turn in my 10th book the week this ninth book comes out, and people are like, oh, how do you write so much? I’m like, well, once you figure it out, you just do it. And it’s hard. It’s challenging to me. It’s not simple to me. I have to work really hard at it, but I know how to do it and I know how to do it, and I know how to do it. And then when I do it, I get another book. And it’s not a mystery or a miracle. It’s what happens.

That’s what I tell people about food prep. I don’t make my clients food prep, but I always tell ’em like, gosh, if you will do some food prep at the first of the week, you wouldn’t believe how easy your week is. First time I did it took me all day. I destroyed my kitchen, and I thought I just was wiped out at the end of the day. And I was like, why am I ever doing this again? But I did it week after week, and then I got to where I could shoot videos on how to do it. It was like two hours. And I worked out my systems. I knew how the funniest tip that we ever gave in our podcast was from my old co-host who, she still works for me, but I just do different things now. And she was like, I put the trash can on my counter because that’s where I do everything. She’s like, I just dump it right there and keeps my kitchen clean. That’s smart. But you learn yours, you learn your things and you overcome your fears and stuff. So it’s always, yeah, well,

And you become an expert. You’re not born an expert.


And it takes time, but again, you can get there faster based on the speed of the repetitions. So based on the participation, based on how, so you can speed that up based on the number of times you do it.

I think that’s such a good way to look at it too. I’m always trying to tell my clients, how can we look at things rather than going and it being miserable the first time, rather than focusing on the misery, just saying, man, if I can just get this done several times, it’s just going to get easier and easier and easier. Well, and I

Go ahead.

No, I was just going to say, I just think that sometimes we just have to realize where we’re putting our focus. If you’re putting your focus on, it was just so hard. It’s like, well, at least congratulate yourself for doing something hard and then say, and the next time will be a little bit easier. There will be things I will not have to face this next time. Just like your whole gym thing. If I go into the gym after the 10th time, I know how to set all the equipment. I know where all of it is. I’m not worried. I’m looking like a fool. I don’t know how to adjust my seat. Yet all that stuff’s gone.

Yeah, it’s automatic for you. And so for me, I just think the more we can do that, the easier it gets, and then we enjoy it more. And then we’re able to, that’s where your capacity expands, because now if you’re not worrying about how to adjust the seat, or are you breaking some unspoken gym rule by jumping in, there’s an order to do this in. You can actually have that brainpower to go, no, I’m going to do more weights, or This is my goal. The thing I think about one of my soundtracks is I’m hooking up Future me. I’m hooking up, future me. So let’s just pause on meal prep. When you prep on Sunday, you are hooking up Thursday, you, man, you’re hooking. So I am constantly thinking about this is going to be, I’m always going, how can I do it better today? That makes it easier tomorrow, that makes it easier for Thursday, me, it makes it easier for Friday may. So this is such a silly example, but when we come home from a trip, we try to automatically unpack because I’ve done the opposite. So if I leave my suitcase, it grows roots, it roots itself to a part of my room, and then I pick stuff out of it and it just grows. It becomes heavier. But if I, oh man,

Have you been in my house? Yeah.

Yeah. So if I use the momentum of, I come home and you know what I’ll do now? I put on an audiobook, something that’s encouraging to listen to or a song to listen to. I’m like, all right, my final moment is I put the suitcase in where it goes and I shut the door. And so that’s the other thing is have a final moment for a goal. What’s your last thing that tells you No, this is the final moment. So when I work out, I have two final moments. I work out of my garage. I have a couple weights, a couple of kettlebells. One is I text the photo of the session, my chart to my trainer. And then the second is I bring my car back into the garage. And I joke because I go, gym’s closed, we, I don’t have a dedicated space in the house.

It’s in the, and so I’m like, I’ll tell my wife I’ll come back in. I’m all sweaty. I’m going to a glass of water. She’s like, you done? I was like, almost got to close the gym. And then I bring the car back in when I hit that garage door button. That’s so satisfying. So have those little moments for yourself where you go, this is my finished moment. This is when I know I did it. And it can be anything, but I’m constantly trying to gamify those little moments so that I actually do them. I think we make goals so hard on ourselves. And if you would go, how do I add more joy to this? How do I make it easier on myself? You’ll actually do it more. You’ll actually find yourself doing it a lot. And especially if you get creative with it.

Well, I think that’s one of the reasons why we love your books. You make such heavy topics fun. You make them enjoyable, you make them digestible, you make them easier. And I think that that’s a real talent.

Oh, thank you. I appreciate that.

Well, tell us all the ways that we can find more John Acuff if we need it.

So the book is available everywhere, but I also read the audiobook myself, and we put 10 bonus stories on it. So I like audiobooks because you can do other stuff with them. So I would say get the audiobook, take me on a walk with you, take me on around the neighborhood, on the treadmill, whatever it is. You can do so many different things with audiobook. You can do meal prep while you’re doing an audiobook. And then I have a goal community that you really inspire me to add excellence to again and again and again watching what you do. It’s just john It’s called the Guaranteed goals community. There’s a lot of Corinne fans that are in that community and in your community. I know that because they’ll say, I’m about to get the queen. Is it Queen Club?

Is that what you saying? Queens Club.

Queens Club. So yeah, so your community’s in mind going like, oh man, I got this goal I’m working on. I’m crushing open. So that’s john And then my podcast is, all it takes is a goal, and Corinne’s episode is fantastic. So wherever you listen to podcasts, listen to that. We’re recording a second one backed by Popular Demand, which is always super fun. So I’m going to be changing roles and asking her a bunch of questions, and she’s going to probably be telling a lot of stories about how excited she is about the stuff you guys are doing.

I’ll hang up my longshoreman jacket so that

Yeah, yeah, yeah. She’ll just probably the day before, she’ll just swear the entire day. Now here’s the thing. I grew up in Massachusetts, so when my wife who was from the south moved up to mass and she worked in construction, she would be like, people use the F word instead of the word very in Massachusetts. That’s not, instead of the word very. That’s just so I’m not, yeah, I never want to say I didn’t grow up. You’re not shocking me is what I’m trying to say.

No, I’m good. I’m good. I’m good with my potty mouth.

I love it. And here’s the thing I love about you. Last thing, I’ve been bragging on you all episode. We talked once and I asked you about that. People that don’t like the swearing, and you said, I had to come to a place that if my community is not right for them, I have other communities to recommend. And I think there’s a lot of people that don’t get to see that part of what you do. A lot of people that would go, this community is the best community, and every other community doesn’t exist. And you go, my real goal is healthy women. And if that’s true of me, I got to recommend other places if mine isn’t where you’re going to get the help. So I just think that’s super cool. It’s something I think about when I think about my audience and who I serve. So yeah, when I say you inspire me to do what I do better, I genuinely mean it.

Well, I appreciate that. Well, thank you for coming on again, and I’m almost done with the book. I’m legit finishing it tonight. Yeah,

Lemme see. Hold that up and let me take a photo of your book,

Make sure you get my sticky

Far. Alright, ready? I’ll do that. Right. Ah, the sticky notes. Perfect. I love it. Thank you again. Well, thank you for letting me do this. A huge Corin fan. Love the stuff you guys do and to be one of three No BS men pretty. Do we get shirts or anything? Is there like a Maybe we should. Yeah, just a three print. You can. Just three of them. That seems pretty reasonable. That’s low

Barrier to entry. Yeah, I

Was about to say. That’s an easy goal. Three shirts. I’m not saying an empire. You don’t have to have an empire. Three shirts. Three shirts. All right.

Well thank you

Again. Thanks Grun.

Thanks you so much for listening today. Make sure you head on over to no bss and sign up for my free weight loss training on what you need to know to start losing your weight right now. You’ll also find lots of notes and resources from our past podcast help you lose your weight without all the bullshit diet advice. I’ll see you next week.



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I'm Corinne Crabtree

Corinne Crabtree, top-rated podcaster, has helped millions of women lose weight by blending common-sense methods with behavior-based psychology.

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