Make Like an Infomercial and Act Now

Got a goal? Make like an infomercial and act nowYou’ve heard the infomercials: Act now, and get 12 bonus knives and a super-duper discount deal for a limited time! But only if you act now!

Of course, the whole point of an infomercial is to develop such a strong sense of urgency that you will happily and immediately part with your money.

A good infomercial will identify a pain, demonstrate exactly how they will solve the problem, show great “after” shots with testimonials, and then urge you to act now while a clock counts down.

And it’s a very effective formula.

So…have you ever thought of applying that formula to your life?

Where does it hurt?

Start by identifying your urgent pain. In other words, what’s the goal you would most like to achieve, on a deep level?

You know, the goal that reappears every year on your list of New Year’s resolutions, or the daydream that starts out with “If only I could…”

Take the next step

Now make a list of the next few reasonable and actionable steps you could take to achieve your goal.

For example, if you want to start an emergency fund, maybe your very next step could be to identify a place to open it. (I have mine at Capital One 360 and Digit.)

Then you could decide how much to send to it each pay period, and get that automated. (Or in the case of Digit, you could let it start saving for you.)

Whatever your next few steps are, list them out.

If you’re stumped…

If you can’t think of any steps (because sometimes we all get stuck), make a list of (supportive!) friends and relatives who could offer ideas, or look up a few books or classes you could use to get going.

Make contacting those people, reading those books, or taking that class those your first steps instead.

Picture your results

Once you’ve identified steps you can take, imagine an after picture and write up some accompanying testimonials — a description of how great things will be when you get there.

How will you feel when the pain is gone? What will things look like? Write it down.

Then, make like an infomercial and act now. Pretend a clock is counting down, and this is the moment to act before it’s too late. You’ll be glad you did.



  • Jackie, I love this post! Who can’t relate to those infomercials? Applying them to our own lives to spark action, though, is really brilliant, in my opinion. And, as you say, the clock is ticking…really ticking away and each day of our lives with it. Thanks for this great message. Sharon

  • Taking action is huge — it’s really what separates success and failure but it’s *hard*. Inertia is real.

    It’s not that people don’t want to act, it’s that there’s often something in the way. It’s a lot harder to get yourself to act when you don’t identify what’s stopping you, so when you make that list, add a note that lists what is stopping you from doing it.

    If it’s something else, then make sure to do that so at least you remove the impediment.

    If it’s something more nebulous, like fear of failure or “just not enough time,” then let the act be to cross that item off your list forever.

    But you’re right, action is the crucial step.