BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST

One of the most potent strategies for reaching a goal is to identify the obstacles ahead of time and to develop a plan to address each before they are encountered. We want to be optimistic, but we don’t want to be a naive optimist. The naive optimist ignores the obstacles in their way and believes that they will not confront any challenges while striving to accomplish their goal. The realistic optimist believes in their ability to accomplish their goal despite the obstacles in their way. They acknowledge and prepare for the obstacles which makes them much more likely to achieve their goal. We want to have faith in our ability to overcome obstacles, not naively believe we won’t encounter them.

Research shows that predicting how and when you might be tempted to break a resolution increases the chances that you will keep it.[i]When you are working on developing a daily discipline, ask yourself: “When am I most likely to be tempted to give in? What situation is most likely to get me sidetracked? What excuses will I give myself to procrastinate?” Once you have such a scenario mapped out in your mind, imagine yourself in that situation, what it will feel like, and what you might be thinking?  If we are struggling to form a habit, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine what situations will cause us to slip off our path, because these situations must have occurred for us to be struggling with forming the habit now. Continue reading “BECOME A REALISTIC OPTIMIST”

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Five Things You Need to Know About Willpower for a Successful New Year’s Resolution

A lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of willpower helps explain why approximately 80% of those that make a New Year’s resolution will admit defeat by February. They will look at their list and blame their lack of willpower when they should be blaming their list, and their lack of focus. No one has enough willpower for that list. Our willpower is severely limited, and every demand for self-restraint draws from a single source. Sometimes a single willpower challenge will feel like one demand too many.

Here is What You Need to Know about Willpower:

  1. All your willpower demands draw from a single inner reservoir that depletes with use.
  2. The more simultaneous demands you place on your willpower, the quicker your willpower supply will evaporate and leave you naked to temptation.
  3. Our willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day wears on.
  4. The best use of our willpower is to eliminate temptations BEFORE our willpower reserves run out, so there is nothing to indulge our desires.
  5. Habits don’t drain our willpower reserves.

Continue reading “Five Things You Need to Know About Willpower for a Successful New Year’s Resolution”

A DISCIPLINED LIFESTYLE DOESN’T REQUIRE A MARATHON OF EFFORT

The next biggest lie about living a disciplined lifestyle is that it requires a marathon of effort. It doesn’t. It only requires you manifest enough discipline and motivation to make the routine a habit. The initial resistance we encounter doesn’t last beyond a couple of months. The authors of The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Truth Behind Extraordinary Results say success is not a marathon of disciplined action. It is a sprint fueled by just enough discipline to build a habit.  Habits are harder to start than they are to sustain. The key is to identify the behavior you need to adopt and then work at it long enough to make it a habit.

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DISCIPLINE IS A HABIT, NOT A PERSONALITY TRAIT

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Chinese proverb

The biggest lie about discipline is that it is a personality trait. It isn’t. It’s a habit. When you repeat an action enough people will attribute it to your personality. If someone works hard every day, they’ll say she is a hard worker.  Our habits are eventually assigned to us as a personality trait, but we weren’t born with them. We developed them through repetition. Habits and routines are what determine what we will achieve in life, that is why they are essential to our success and happiness. The excellent news is that we can choose to form whatever habits we want by shaping our environment to support them. Continue reading “DISCIPLINE IS A HABIT, NOT A PERSONALITY TRAIT”

THE LAW OF DIMINISHING INTENT

The Law of Diminishing Intent says the time to act is when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. When we delay, our intent quickly starts to diminish. The feelings grow cold, and the wisdom is wasted. We should follow through on the idea with action. The time to move is when we are inspired to act. BEGIN. Start installing the necessary habits and disciplines. Do it while the idea is clear in our mind, and the desire is strongest in our heart. Begin while your emotions are stirred.

Installing NEW routines and behaviors requires a herculean disciplined effort. Do not squander your desire. Put it to good use. Take immediate action. Hesitation allows your desire to install good habits that will improve your life to pass without being employed. Don’t allow the emotion to diminish through indecision. Indecision is mental paralysis. Indecision means what could be is postponed or may never be. Indecision means putting off what we could do, what we should do. Indecision means the opportunity waits. Indecision means the door remains closed. The longer we delay, the less likely we are to act. Our desire quickly erodes and fades from existence. The wisdom is wasted, and the idea is soon forgotten. “Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” Jim Rohn Continue reading “THE LAW OF DIMINISHING INTENT”