Days go by and although you notice the stuff lying around, your jeans getting tighter, it’s hard to lift your mood. I found these wise words in an old file.
How many times have we told ourselves in complete earnestness, “I’m going to be more organized and productive from now on.”? Or that the diet starts tomorrow? Or that we’re going to make a real effort to exercise now?Only to have that enthusiasm fizzle away, and all our best intentions come to nothing?
It’s the most common thing in the world (besides bacteria) — the honest and fervent desire for self-improvement, followed by inaction or giving in to temptations, followed by guilt or giving up. Bridget Jones captured it best, writing her constant resolutions into her diary. “Will definitely go to the gym this afternoon.” Only to be followed by a binge of pastries followed by drinking and smoking.
We’re all Bridget Jones. It happens to the best of us. It’s inertia at work, mixed with a bit of laziness as well as the very human trait of giving in to desires despite all the good intentions in the world.
So how do we beat inertia and temptations? Four basic ways, really:
- Get moving, a bit at a time. Inertia is beat only by movement. Once you get going, momentum builds up and inertia is no longer a factor. So the key is to get started, and you do that not by trying to go from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, but by trying to go from 0 to 5mph in a day or two. That’s doable. It’s all about baby steps. Once you get going, you’re golden.
- Be accountable. Laziness, the second culprit, is beat by a bit of public pressure. We all get lazy from time to time (or, to be more honest, all the time), and there’s nothing wrong with that. But to beat laziness, we must apply a bit of pressure, in the form of accountability. There’s nothing wrong with a little pressure, as long is it’s not overdone. Pressure is a motivating thing, especially when it’s positive. Positive pressure includes encouragement from family or friends, an online forum, a help group in your neighborhood, or the readers of your blog.
- Ignore failures — giving in to temptation is OK. We will always give in to temptation. Plan for it, accept it, move on. There’s no need to beat yourself up.
- Motivate yourself. Most importantly, you want to really want it. It’s not enough to feel pressure to do something — you have to really desire it. I mean, really desire it, not just think it’s something you should do, or that you’ll be a better person for doing it. If pressure gives you the push toward your goal, motivation gives you the pull.
Given those strategies for beating the obstacles to making your desires become reality … how do we implement them? How do we go from theory to actual action steps?
Mull this over, I’ll continue with the practical stuff in my next article.
Source: 7 Steps to Turn Your Self-Improvement Desires Into Reality – Zen habits