Start Taking Action With The Overload > Load > Deload Method

“You get what you tolerate.” -Tony Robbins

What are you “putting up with” in life that you wish you didn’t have to?

  • a friend that takes but never gives
  • a dead-end relationship or job
  • piling credit card debt
  • extra pounds
  • the same new year’s resolutions, year after year

Some people thrive during stress while others shrivel for a reason. It has nothing to do with circumstances, money, or some genetic quality. Instead, your ability to thrive-no-matter-what comes from within, from a choice you’ve made about what you will and will not tolerate.

I won’t tolerate blaming, victimization, or deflecting responsibility in my life or business. I’ve lived that way in the past, blaming others for my insecurities, living the victim of past circumstances outside of my control, and refusing to take responsibility for my actions. And let me tell you, it sucks. Nothing was ever my fault, but my life was going nowhere fast. And I felt miserable.

We put up with sucky behaviors from ourselves and others because we fear the perceived pain of doing something different.

If try and fail, it will hurt. #Truth. LOL

What I won't tolerate. Click 'display images' to show

I won’t tolerate naked gingerbread. You shouldn’t either.

But if we don’t do something different, nothing will be different.

Profound, I know.

That’s why we’re digging into the most important piece of your New Year’s Resolutions today. To help you do something different and actually create a life you love this year, no comparisons required.

It’s time to get to the nitty gritty of how you will take action on your goals. We’ve been building to this step. First, you learned out to set each day up for success by finishing how you want to start. Then you learned how to apply The Catalyst Technique to double your motivation. Today, I’m going to show you how to easily take action.

Most people never take action towards reaching their goals because they don’t believe they are really possible. And if you don’t believe it’s possible, why put forth the effort? Might as well break out the wine and chocolate. This girl’s livin’ it up like it’s 1999.


> You don’t want to diet! You want to feel skinny and hot.

> You don’t want to spend your life in the gym! You want to feel fit, healthy, exuberant, and 20 years younger.

So the question is, “How do you actually begin (and sustain) taking action on your New Year’s Resolution?”

Introducing The Overload > Load > Deload Method to Creating Momentum that Lasts

We are taught to load, overload, then deload a client’s training program in the strength and conditioning world.

Load > Overload > Deload

For example,

  • Load – Start with easy weights performed for 8+ repetitions (Week 1)
  • Overload – Progress and end the program with a difficult weight for three or fewer repetitions (Weeks 2-7)
  • Deload – Recover for a week with bodyweight or very light weights at high repetitions (Week 8)

This method works, but leaves much to be desired for seekers of excellence. I prefer Coach Sommer’s ( method. Coach Sommer builds excellence, bit by bit, while also building bodies impervious to injury. His method overloads, loads, then deloads his athletes to achieve all the results possible from a training program before moving on to the next program. Recovery is built in as the exercise becomes so easy it’s effortless over time.

Overload > Load > Deload

  • Overload – Begin a with a challenge slightly outside of your comfort zone (try 4%)
  • Load – Continue with this same challenge as it becomes easy
  • Deload – Every set feels easy. You can do it perfectly.

The underlying principles here are universal, so you can use them in any area you want to improve in. Research shows that only a slight challenge outside our current abilities is all we need to grow and enter flow.

In my gymnastics practice, I perform each exercise progression until it’s effortless. Holding an arched body hold for 60 seconds, 5 times, was one of my nemeses. In fact, it’s taken 4 months to achieve it, often performing the exact same progression several weeks in a row until it feels easy. Then I move on. Overload. Load. Deload.

Not taking the time to eek out every bit of progress here complicates training later and increases my risk of injury. Conversely, preparing my body and mind in the beginning internalizes discipline, perfect effort, and quality now and later.

This means consistent, measurable results, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year.


So, how can you apply the Overload > Load > Deload Method to your New Year’s Goals? 

Easy. First, take out your list of goals and application of The Catalyst Technique (do it now if you haven’t). Then perform the following steps with each of your three goals.

Step One: Create Your 4% Sweet Spots

Step Two: Do Until It’s Easy

Step Three: Rinse & Repeat


Step One: Create Your 4% Sweet Spot

To build momentum that lasts, we first need to figure out your 4% sweet spots. Look at your list of goals and actions now.

Which of these feels doable to you? You look at it and think, “That’s easy. I can do that.” Circle it. Then, how can you break it down into one small action you’ll commit to? 

I’m not talking exercise 30 minutes, 2-3x per week. Think smaller.

For example, I wanted to train regularly 3x per week when we moved to Boston three years ago. Often I didn’t feel like training, much less driving to the gym. It would take FOREVER, I thought. Instead, I committed to driving to the gym. If I wanted to turn around and go home as soon as I got there, I could. No worries. Driving to the gym was my 4% sweet spot. Once I got there, I’d just warm-up. If I wanted to go home afterwards, great, I’d accomplished my goal. Instead, I’d complete my workout more times than not.

This was effective because I committed to a small change instead of 6 hours a week of my precious time. It flipped my perspective and made it doable. Two years later, it would physically cause me pain to not train 2-3x per week because I’ve built the habit to a point that it’s just normal. I don’t even have to think about it.

The challenge here is to not discard easy with ineffective. This 4% sweet spot works because it feels easy to do, not because it’s overwhelming.

If in doubt choose the easiest action possible. Now we’re going to build a habit around it. Behavior research supports this idea of creating dramatic transformations beginning with Tiny Habits.

Another example is finances. Using this tool, I discovered we only need to invest around $650,000 in order to make our yearly living expenses from the interest. Instead of never starting because $650K seems like so much money, our current 4% sweet spot is a small automatic monthly deduction into a Roth IRA. If I want to invest more, great, but all required for success is this small payment.

Building the habit of investing is more important and doable than trying to invest $650K or even $100K right now. Later, only when this feels easy will I up the ante to invest a larger amount each month.

Take a few moments to think through your 4% sweet spots right now for each goal. Write them down beside your goal.


Here’s an example from the previous post.

Example 1: Lose 10 lbs by summer 2015 > wear a bikini > feel sexy
- wear lingerie under my everyday clothes
     • 4% Sweet Spot - Pick out pretty lingerie for the next day after I brush my teeth at night.

All I commit to is picking out pretty lingerie. If I want to put it on after that, great. If not, no worries. I can do it again tomorrow.


Step Two: Do Until It’s Easy

For the next two weeks, commit only to your 4% sweet spot and nothing else. Do this and only this until it’s easy. If you want to do more after you complete your 4%, great, but no need if you don’t. You’re still reaping benefits and rewards.

You’ll be tempted to think you should be doing more, but resist this. That’s the way everyone else does it and why everyone else falls off the bandwagon.

You’ll also be tempted to not do it because it’s so easy compared to big, huge goals. Resist this too. You want consistent results that last. This is the path less traveled.


Step Three: Rinse & Repeat

When your 4% Sweet Spots become so easy that you don’t even have to think about it, perform this exercise again. What’s the next 4% Sweet Spot towards attaining your bigger goal?

As you move through this process, you are first overloading your system with a new behavior, but one that feels doable, creating momentum. As you continue performing it, you are turning the stretch into just a normal load. Then, when it’s easy and effortless, you’re ready to begin again.


This process is important for three reasons:

  1. It creates consistent, tangible results
  2. It builds confidence and momentum
  3. It eliminates the overwhelm


Make no mistake, transformations rarely happen or last from one time challenges or shifts. Instead, transformations are built, brick by brick.

Overload > Load > Deload is riding one wave all the way to shore. It’s seamless, effective, and efficient. Putting the Catalyst Technique and this method together creates a synergistic effect to make your New-Year-New-You unstoppable.

Tomorrow you’ll get a PDF guide to put all of your work in one simple place.

For now, I want to know one of your goals and one of your 4% sweet spots. Comment below to share yours. 


Life tastes better with butter,


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