7 Simple Steps by Jonathan Wells Book Review – Life, Values, Success, Goals

7 Simple Steps
By Jonathan Wells
Life, Values, Success, Goals

“This course is a practical, step-by-step guide designed to help you to quickly transform the quality of your life.  It is practical – not philosophical.  I deal in proven techniques and sound scientific principles.”
from 7 Simple Steps, Page 8

About Jonathan Wells

One of my favorite anecdotes about Jonathan is about the way he dealt with learning he was adopted.  He was seven years old when his parents told him, and explained to him what it meant.  How did Jonathan react?  How do you think most seven year olds would react? I’ll tell you in a minute.  Let me tell you a bit more about Jonathan first.

Today Jonathan runs a popular personal development blog, but he didn’t start out looking to improve people’s lives – he began by helping them improve their bodies.

During Jonathan’s background in nutritional counseling he worked with a variety of people, and he noticed some differences among two distinct groups:  1) athletes, mostly bodybuilders, and 2) those who were overweight and wanted to reduce.  He found the athletes were ready and willing to adhere to strict regimens, because such discipline was anchored in the pleasure of better performance.

On the other hand, those who were overweight linked the same disciplines to pain. This was because, to them, it felt like they were being denied the pleasure of food.

Through this experience, he began learning about pain, pleasure, and the effects of emotional anchoring, mental imagery, learned behavior and established belief patterns. Jonathan applied this knowledge to help overweight clients change their emotional association with food, and  they were able develop new behavior patterns that supported their weight loss goals.

Seeing broader application, from that point on Jonathan’s focus has been on helping others to get in touch with their own beliefs and emotional anchors. Over time this process developed into a series of questions and written exercises designed to help people discover their deepest beliefs, expose areas of internal conflict, and establish internal harmony.  These exercises are the basis of his new ebook, 7 Simple Steps.

Today, Jonathan Wells helps people overcome their personal challenges through his Advanced Life Skills Coaching Program and public speaking seminars.

And how did he react when he learned he was adopted?  Here it is in Jonathan’s own words:

“I analyzed the situation and decided that it was an advantage. Why? Because I reasoned that my parents had a choice, and I was the beneficiary of that choice. Many who find themselves in a similar situation feel a big void in their life.

To me it felt like a blessing

Summary of 7 Simple Steps

Very broadly, 7 Simple Steps is a series of chapters and question based exercises to help you get to the core of who you are and what you desire.  Jonathan’s writing pulls from his own personal experience, but this is not a book to be read and put aside.  The advice and perspective Jonathan provides has value, but it’s true purpose is to set the context and get you thinking about your life and what is important to you – and then guide you through a series of exercises for better clarity, purpose and meaning in your life.

The underlying message in 7 Simple Steps is that success is all about you, and what you want.  Don’t let that simple premise fool you though – that’s just where the book begins, and then goes through some concrete exercises to help you define what you want, and how you’ll get there.

The book is divided into seven sections (hence the name, 7 Simple Steps)

  1. Your True Self – Jonathan begins with some introspection to help you define your values, your patterns and your beliefs.
  2. Make It Personal – This section covers success and achievement – what it means to you, and what it means to others.
  3. Know Your Outcome – This section covers goal setting, and how to achieve your goals.  This section is really about knowing where you’re going.
  4. Designing Success – This section is all about your “success blueprint.”  If the prior section covered where you’re going, this is about how you’ll get there.
  5. Harness the Power –  In this section, Jonathan talks about tips and techniques to make the plans you created in the prior chapters a reality.  In order to succeed, you need more than a plan – that plan needs to be executed.
  6. Accept Success –  This section is all about the mindset you have, and need to have, to succeed at bringing your desired outcomes to fruition.
  7. Life is Circular – The closing section ends with hope, some thoughts for the future, and your personal growth moving beyond the completion of the program.

Please note – this is a high level summary to give you a gist of what’s in the book.  Each of these bullet points is summarizing 20-40 pages in the book, and don’t do the material justice.

My Favorite Section in 7 Simple Steps

Regular readers may know that I’m all about analytics, tracking your time, tracking your progress etc. What you may not know though is I also enjoy self reflection – and my favorite sections of 7 Simple Steps were the exercises towards the beginning, where Jonathan discussed personal values and guiding principles for internal harmony.

If you’re like me, you may take these things for granted and assume you just have them.  Doing the exercises though was very powerful for me, and had me rethinking some of my goals and the approach I have been taking towards them.

My hands down favorite chapter was Chapter 5 on Response Patterns.  Briefly, Jonathan discusses the patterns we all have based on the pain and pleasure we have experienced in our lives.  Though this wasn’t new to me, I enjoyed the discussion and it was a great reminder that so much of what we do sometimes isn’t based on a rational evaluation of the situation – it’s based on a pattern we’ve learned, a pattern that may or may not be serving us well.


You would benefit most from 7 Simple Steps if you perhaps are unsure where to begin with improving your life, or are  looking to begin your personal development with a good hard look at who you are, and your values.

This book is like your own personal value based personal growth course, and Jonathan does a great job gently walking the reader one by one through his 7 Simple Steps.  The exercises are laid out in a manner that makes them seem to flow effortlessly one to the other, and you may be surprised what you learn about yourself in the process.

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed that Jonathan brings such an analytical perspective to the subject, and yet still manages to tie it all back to your personal values.  Check out some more information here, about 7 Simple Steps .

Chapter Listing For 7 Simple Steps

  • Introduction
  • Step #1 – Your True Self   9
    • Chapter 1 –  Internal Harmony…10
    • Chapter 2 –  Personal Values…14
    • Chapter 3 –  Paradigms of Pain & Pleasure…20
    • Chapter 4 –  Choosing Your Passions…24
    • Chapter 5 –  Response Patterns…31
    • Chapter 6 –  Modifying Your Beliefs…35
  • Step #2 – Make It Personal   53
    • Chapter 7 –  What is Success…54
    • Chapter 8 –  Always Ask, Why?…57
    • Chapter 9 – Think Beyond Yourself…61
  • Step #3 – Know Your Outcome   65
    • Chapter 10 –  Clearly Defined Goals…66
    • Chapter 11 –  Wants & Intentions…68
    • Chapter 12 –  Trying vs. Committing…71
    • Chapter 13 – Overcoming Roadblocks…72
  • Step #4 – Designing Success   76
    • Chapter 14 –  Think It Through…77
    • Chapter 15 –  Mile Markers…80
    • Chapter 16 –  Date With Destiny…83
    • Chapter 17 –  Time for Completion…85
  • Step #5 – Harness the Power   88
    • Chapter 18 –  Power of Decision…89
    • Chapter 19 –  Fear, Anticipation & Excitement…93
    • Chapter 20 –  The Decisive Moment…95
    • Chapter 21 –  Total Commitment…96
    • Chapter 22 –  A Question of Focus…99
    • Chapter 23 –  The Power of Words…105
  • Step #6 – Accept Success   110
    • Chapter 24 –  Can You Handle It?…111
    • Chapter 25 –  Acknowledgement & Approval…113
    • Chapter 26 –  Celebration…119
    • Chapter 27 –  Born to Succeed…121
  • Step #7 – Life is Circular   124
    • Chapter 28 –  Joy & Satisfaction…125
    • Chapter 29 –  Contribution…130
    • Chapter 30 –  New Beginnings…135

7 Simple Steps
By Jonathan Wells
Life, Values, Success, Goals