We’ve spoken enough about the psychology of self-discipline, let’s get into actionable steps, things that are easy to remember and implement on a day to day basis. If writing some of these down on a post-it note help remind you, do it.
Let’s talk about developing determination – we have six steps that can help improve how determined you are, and how to avoid losing willpower.
- Give everything 100%. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to change your diet from garbage to perfectly clean overnight, but you won’t give 25% effort and expect 100% results.
- Avoid distractions that derail from your end goal. There’s countless examples, but the most common one I’ve seen are meetings at work. It’s a cliche because it’s almost always true – turning half your meetings into emails can double the amount of time you actually get things done.
- Commit to the end goal at the beginning. You might be delayed, frustrated or hit road blocks, but you won’t let that stop you from reaching the end goal you planned on.
- Fight negative thoughts. Negativity is a hole in your boat. The longer they’re there, the more you sink, even if you keep taking action. Reframe any negative thoughts to find specific actionable steps you can take to reduce the harm. Realize that everyone who thinks “I can’t do this” will prove themselves right.
- Road blocks are to be expected. Nothing in life worth having ever comes without mountains to climb. When you know the road will be tough, not hoping it’s easy, you’re able to take the bumps in stride.
- Act NOW. Hesitation is the hole that procrastination and doubt fit through. Waiting for the perfect time will allow negative thoughts to creep in, and make you question your entire plan. More is lost through indecision than wrong decision.
Those six steps are the fastest and simplest way to increase how determined you are to get to your goals. We’re going to end the chapter with a little different advice, what not to do.
If you’re ever looking to increase self-control, the simplest and most effective advice is to take ten seconds.
Literally, take a deep breath, count for ten seconds, and then re-engage whatever problem you’re facing.
If you have a hot temper, or have had a bad day and want to take it out on someone, you know that it is not going to make your situation any better, but you think it will make you feel better.
The truth is, you’re taking your bad day and passing it to them without getting rid of it yourself. You are still in a terrible mood, and now you’ve spread that to someone else. Later you’ll feel guilty on top of whatever caused the problem and now you’ve made someone totally unwilling to help with whatever problem caused all of this in the first place!
So just remember to take a breath and count to ten.
Next we’ll cover where this self-discipline will be implemented, and it’s above and beyond just yourself