I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. Douglas Adams
Every few months gym member Marg, would set herself a goal and a date to achieve it. By all accounts her goals were achievable and realistic, but the date would come and go, and she wouldn’t be any closer to it. She would then reset the same goal with a new date, and it too would come and go. This went on for years.
If it was important to you, you’d do what it takes. P.Eople Muttering
I don’t think Marg’s goals were unimportant to her. I think it was the fact that the deadline was moveable that was a big part of the problem in her not reaching them. The goal mattered, but the deadline didn’t and that’s something that as health and fitness professionals we can, and do, help people with all the time.
Bets on you’ve already come up with plenty of great ideas that have helped the Marg’s of the world, but if not, or you’re looking for some more, then this short article, contains three ideas on how we can help make people’s deadlines matter more, so more people knock more goals out of the park.
3 Ways to Make Deadlines Matter
1. For starters, we can encase people’s goals into group Challenges, where once they are signed up for the Challenge, the deadline is what it is. Changing the end date is outside of their control. It works in the same way that those school exams pushed us into studying for them.
2. Next up, we FOMOarise it. FOMO is the fear of missing out – in this case, missing out on all that’s on offer in our Challenge packages. That means our Challenge needs to include things in it that we don’t normally offer. So, it could be that we add in some sort of unique adventure or outing, prizes, award ceremonies, workshops, guest presentations, types of training, the chance to try out various smart devices, apparel, running packs, fitness equipment or cooking appliances, sessions with affiliate professionals, certain types of health and fitness testing, etc.
If our Challenge only includes a collection of our existing services, (even if it’s more of them, at a discount), or easy to come by goodies, then it and its deadline and all those goodies in it, won’t have the pulling power we expect because our members can tap into those things any time.
The caveat here is that whatever else we add in still needs to help our Challenge entrants reach their goal, and they need to know that – that those services and goodies are hand selected because they will help them succeed and consist of things that they may never otherwise do or have access to. So for example, a talk by a podiatrist to your running group may be a better excuse to get together than a sausage sizzle.
3. More FOMOarising. Then, after we’ve FOMOarised the content we can FOMOarise elements around how often this Challenge rolls out, to whom and for how much. For example,
- If a Challenge is only run once a year, FOMO.
- If only 30 people can sign up, FOMO.
- If it only goes ahead if 300 people sign up, more FOMO.
- If it’s going to retail for $5000 but the first time you roll it out it’s only $2500, FOMO.
It’s good practice to FOMOarise the content first because on their own these scarcity tactics risk our Challenge looking more like a marketing ploy than something that has been put together for the attainment of specific goals by the specific people signing up, even if that’s far from our true intentions. They may work first time around or with newbies, but their pulling power can quickly wear off, which then leads Challenge organisers to think Challenges don’t work, but on closer look, this may be the reason – lack of FOMOarised content and an overly heavy reliance on these surrounding scarcity tactics.
Making deadlines matter is a whole chapter in my book on Challenges for health and exercise professionals, due out early 2022. Stay in the loop with it’s release date and pick up more Challenge tips by becoming a member.
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