Discipline & Procrastination are Habits, NOT Personality Traits

Often times we label ourselves. This can be empowering or disempowering because the labels become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We act in accordance with our beliefs about ourselves. If we tell ourselves we are disciplined, we act disciplined. If we tell ourselves we are a procrastinator, we will procrastinate. We become what we repeatedly do. It is important we all understand these are really just habitual behaviors and not personality traits.

Realizing that these are habits, and not personality traits are empowering. Habits are malleable. We can replace a bad habit with a good one. This gives us a greater sense of hope for a better future. You are not a procrastinator, you simply developed the habit of procrastination. You can break that habit, like any other habit. You can develop the habit of discipline; doing what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Habits, good or bad, allow our minds to operate on autopilot. Our minds prefer autopilot because making decisions at the conscious level is exhausting. The cerebral cortex fatigues quickly and is prone to exhaustion. Constantly making decisions at the conscious level is mentally exhausting because it requires our cerebral cortex to do the heavy lifting. This is why everyone forms daily rituals.

It takes time and effort to wire in a new habit, but once it is installed, it will take minimal effort to sustain. The initiation phase takes approximately two months. This is longer than the 30 days most of us were taught. It is perhaps why many people failed to form lasting habits in the past. The two most powerful tactics for changing your behavior are shifting your beliefs and identifying your reason for adopting the new behavior.

You might not be able to say you are a disciplined person right now, but you can say, “I am going to become more disciplined. I am going to make an effort each day to get better.” The more often you say this, and back it up with action, the sooner you will be able to say, “I am a disciplined person.”

Another important strategy for adopting a productive habit is to identify your reason for wanting to improve. What is procrastination costing you? What will you gain by becoming more disciplined? You have to link disciplined action to the reward and procrastination with what it costs you. If the cost of procrastination is greater than the discomfort of taking disciplined action, you will change. If it isn’t you will not. If your reason isn’t strong enough, your excuses will be.

Develop the habit of discipline by starting your day doing your most impactful task. Track your consistency. Mark your calendar each day you succeed at beginning your day with your most impactful task or use a habit-forming app, like Strides to track your consistency. Tracking your consistency will make you more consistent based on the principle of what gets measured gets managed. Tracking a behavior makes us more mindful of it.

As new tasks become routine, the more resilient basal ganglia take over. The action becomes easier and easier to perform. The actions flow almost effortlessly. Routines make life less stressful. Routine feels good; we thrive on routine. We all fall into a routine, and we all develop daily rituals.

Taking positive action when we don’t feel like doing it is one of the most powerful habits we can form. It is the habit of discipline; doing what we should do, when we should do it, whether we feel like it or not. The disciplined person doesn’t hesitate. Hesitation can become a habit. Hesitating to take positive action leads to the habit of procrastination.

When we hesitate to do something, our minds will magnify the anticipated pain or discomfort and begin to provide a myriad of excuses not to do it. Hesitation signals to the brain that we are about to do something dangerous; something that could threaten our survival. Our brain magnifies the danger to kill the idea.

This cognitive bias, called the spotlight effect is designed to kill any action that could threaten our survival. This is great when we are thinking about doing something stupid like risking our lives performing acrobatics on a 50-story building ledge to get views and likes on social media, but it isn’t helpful when it prevents you from taking positive action like speaking up in a meeting or working out.

Our mind is hardwired for our survival. Our ancient programming doesn’t look at the long-term consequence of action or inaction. It is only able to evaluate doing or not doing something based on the immediate pain or pleasure it produces. Hesitation sends a red flag to the brain that the action you are contemplating is dangerous. It cannot distinguish real physical danger from fear born out of insecurity.

When you begin to feel yourself hesitate, MOVE. This is a decisive moment; a moment of huge power. Force yourself to move. The mind and body are linked together; one affects the other. Even if the activity is to study a text, grab the book, turn on your desk light, grab your highlighter, initiate movement. The longer you hesitate to act, the more likely you are to get trapped in your head. Force yourself to move. It will help you to overcome your instincts and feelings so you can operate at the level of your ideas and higher self.

Good luck!  Best wishes and best health.

Change your habits, change your life! 

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Print Book Cover 09.25.2017

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple

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Want to be more successful? Ignore your feelings, and listen to your gut.

Do you want to know the secret to success? Here it is; ignore your feelings and listen to your gut. Successful people discipline themselves to do what unsuccessful people fail to do. Discipline is the foundation of all good habits, because it gives us the push we need to take the actions we know in our gut will lead to our long-term success and happiness. Discipline is the source that all good habits spring from. There are two fundamental differences between good habits and bad habits. The first is that good habits seldom provide instant gratification, while bad habits almost always do. The second is that good habits move us towards our long term goals and lead to great achievements and long term happiness, while bad habits sabotage our success and the immediate joy that bad habits bring are fleeting and often lead to feelings of regret afterwards. Abraham Lincoln said, “Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.” I couldn’t agree more.

Why don’t we do what we know we should? It’s because we are waiting to feel like doing it. We are waiting to feel like getting-up early and going running. Successful people don’t wait to feel like doing something. Do you really think that successful people feel like getting up an hour early to work out before going to work? Do you think successful dieters feel like logging their food, which is very easy using the MyFitnessPal app, but you wound know that until you do it. No they don’t feel like doing it, but they have the discipline to do it.

“Don’t wait until you feel like taking positive action. Take the action and then you will feel like doing it.” – Zig Ziglar

Do you think successful athletes only workout when they feel like it. More often than not they don’t feel like it, but they ignore their feelings and do it any way. What do you think the just, in the Nike slogan “Just Do It” is referring to? The slogan acknowledges our hesitation to do what we should do. It acknowledges it, and says do it anyway.

Our minds have been hardwired to keep us alive and propagate the species. If you only followed your feelings, your days would be filled with eating, sleeping, and making babies. Not exactly a recipe for success. As Mel Robbins, Author of The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage often says, our minds have been hardwired to protect us. The moment you hesitate to take an action you perceive as difficult, your mind will immediately begin to magnify the danger to prevent you from placing yourself at risk. This cognitive bias, which magnifies our fears and discomfort, is called the spotlight effect. She says you can overcome this mechanism that holds you back by preventing you from taking the difficult actions that will move you forward with a simple trick. To interrupt this habit of procrastination, she recommends you count backward from five. The act of counting backward, 5-4-3-2-1, is a deliberate action that requires focus. It interrupts the habit of procrastination. Use it as a countdown to action: 5-4-3-2-1-move.

mel robbins

Ignore your feelings and do what you know in your gut you should do. Use her 5 second rule to take control of your life. These moments of hesitation are moments of huge power; moments when leaning into an action instead of backing away from it will change your life. Moments when your inner voice and instincts are telling you what you should do. Mel says if you let your feelings dictate your actions you will rob yourself of joy and opportunity. Many of the actions we need to take are difficult and uncomfortable. If you let feelings decide your actions, you will deprive yourself of growth, opportunity, and happiness. Growth and advancement are almost always the results of taking on new challenges, overcoming fear, and risking failure. If you let your fears and feelings determine your actions, you will be safe and comfortable, but you will never feel joy or experience growth. Conquering fears and overcoming challenges can be scary and daunting, but they also make us feel great about ourselves when we triumph over them. We feel like winners. Will you experience failures and setbacks, sure, everyone does, but failures teach us lessons and make us better.
My advice to you is to ignore your feelings and discipline yourself to take action by applying her 5 second rule. Take control of your life. Success requires we make good decisions. Success requires we consistently do all the little things we know in our gut we should, whether we feel like it or not. Many of these actions aren’t difficult to do, but as Jim Rohm liked to say, “What is easy to do is easy not to do.” These little things aren’t significant by themselves. Choosing to drink a glass of water instead of a soda one day will not make a difference in how you look and feel, but over the course of a year, it could help you lose 30-pounds. Living a disciplined lifestyle becomes less challenging as these new behaviors become habit, and eventually a lifestyle. Start today. There is no better time than now.
Learn more about the Five Second Rule.

 

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep moving towards our goals. Change your habits, change your life!

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Best wishes and Best Health!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.
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Book NOW Available on Amazon!
Book Introduction

The book contains:

• 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
• A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit, including Alcohol
• 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
• 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
• A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.
Our BOOK The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON!!! We would greatly appreciate a brief REVIEW. Your feedback is our best marketing tool and it will help us to make a better product. Your review will help other people who want to make a positive change by helping them to find our book.

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Book NOW Available on Amazon!
Book Introduction

 

#FatLoss #WeightLoss #NewYearsResolution #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #FitnessAddict #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #FitGirl #FitMom #FitFam #FitCouple

BOOK UPDATE (Kindle-Print-Audio) Chapter 1 Audio

Hello everyone,

A quick update on the book:

  1. Print: The printed book can now be purchased from here. The printed version should be available on Amazon by the end of the week, September 29, 2017.
  2. Kindle: The Kindle Version has been updated. If you have already downloaded the book, your copy will be updated in the near future. Amazon is working through some technical issues.
  3. Audio: We are currently on Chapter Four of the audio production, schedule to be complete by the end of October 2017. Click link to hear the 1st Chapter.  Chapter 1 Audio

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The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set point to Keep the Weight Off
  • A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

 

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep moving towards our goals. Change your habits, change your life!

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Best wishes and Best Health!

The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!!

Our BOOK The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!! We would greatly appreciate a brief REVIEW. Your feedback is our best marketing tool and it will help us to make a better product. Your review will help other people who want to make a positive change by helping them to find our book.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Jeff

The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limits,  including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set Point to Keep the Weight Off
  • A Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep us moving towards our goals.

 

Technology is a Great Servant, but a Terrible Master

Technology can save us a lot of time, but it can also rob us of our focus. Constantly looking at your phone, or checking your email will make you much less productive at work. When you are working on an important project, you should close your email and ignore your phone. Every time you allow yourself to be distracted, you lose valuable time. Every time you change your focus, your mind has to reorient itself to what you were doing before the distraction.

AssemblyLine

A useful analogy is an assembly line. If you are producing multiple products, you would finish producing the first product, before producing any other products because you would have to retool your assembly line before you began production of the second item. Your mind has to retool itself every time you change focus. This is very inefficient and hurts your productivity. 

delay delivery

Most time management experts recommend you limit checking email to once or twice a day to avoid its disruptive effects. The worst thing you can do each day when you get to work is check your email, but that is what most people do. That is why I use the Delay Delivery option in Outlook to deliver my emails that require action to arrive in people’s inbox first thing in the morning. That way my email will be at the top of their inbox. They will be more likely to respond quicker than if it were at the bottom of their email inbox because I had sent it the previous evening.  

 The most productive thing you can do at the beginning of each work day is your most important task. Learn more.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep us moving towards our goals.

Best wishes and Best Health!

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See our most recent posts.

Book Introduction

 Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss, but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limits, including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Set Point to Keep the Weight Off
  • A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

cover page done

____________________________________________________________________________

I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Best wishes and best health!

Follow us on Facebook

See our most recent posts.

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Our future book, The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic will be available on Amazon in August 2017. The book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.