Hi, I want to talk to you about how to Begin to Improve Yourself.
How many times have we told ourselves in complete earnestness, I’m going to be more organized and productive from now on? Or the diet starts tomorrow? Or that we’re going to make a real effort to exercise? Only to have that enthusiasm fizzle away, and all our best intentions come to nothing.
It’s the most common thing in the world. The honest and fervent desire for self-improvement, followed by inaction or giving in to temptations, followed by guilt or giving up.
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 little at a time.
Inertia is beat only by movement. Once you get going, momentum builds up and inertia is no longer a factor.
Laziness, the second culprit, is beat by a bit of public pressure. We all get lazy from time to time and to beat it, we must apply a bit of pressure, in the form of Accountability.
We will always give in to temptation. Plan for it, accept it, move on. There’s no need to beat yourself up.
Most importantly, you want to really want it. It’s not enough to feel pressure to do something, you have to really desire it.
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? We use these seven simple steps, that you can do today. So really. Do them today!!
1. Make a date. Right now.
All the good intentions in the history of the universe mean nothing if you don’t actually get started. And the only way to get started is to Take Action, right now. Decide on the first action you can take to make your desires a reality. Then make that the most important action in your world, more important than a doctor’s appointment or a meeting with your boss.
2. Set a small, achievable goal.
Remember, inertia is a powerful force. If you haven’t been Exercising for a couple years, it’s hard to get started. You’re used to the way things are, and even if you want to change, it’s difficult. Don’t start out trying to conquer the world. Just conquer something exceedingly small. Be realistic, and make it very achievable. It’s the only way to beat inertia.
“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
3. Commit yourself.
It’s this commitment that will keep you going after you overcome inertia. Sometimes we get filled up with enthusiasm, but then a few days later, that enthusiasm wanes and we submit to laziness. Make a commitment, publicly. State your small, achievable goal, and tell it to as many people as you can. all or email friends and family, tell all your coworkers, join an online forum related to your goal and tell all of them.
4. Baby steps.
Again, inertia is a very strong force. I’ve said it before, but this is a very important step here: the best way to change is through baby steps. One small step at a time. Don’t try to bite off too much.The best way you get to a goal are small progressions that are barely noticeable. Not by killing yourself the first day out.
“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” – Woody Allen
5. Hold yourself accountable.
You’ve committed yourself publicly,but it’s not enough to tell people your goal. You have to make it clear that they must hold you accountable to reporting to them your progress. Then report your progress to them regularly. Daily reporting makes sure that you will think twice about being lazy and forgoing your action plan.
6. Motivate yourself.
We’ve already discussed accountability and commitment. Those are great, but you also want other types of motivation. You want to find ways to make your progress feel great, either through rewards, or the positive way you feel about your progress, or the Positive way you feel when others see how well you’re doing.
7. Just keep doing it, no matter what.
You’ll encounter obstacles, and falter and fall. Just get up and keep going. You’ll face temptations and give in. That’s OK. Just keep going. You’ll make mistakes and get discouraged. No matter … just keep going. Learn from your mistakes, and … keep going. No matter what happens, keep going. If you’re taking baby steps, you’re holding yourself accountable, and you’re actually doing something, you’ll get there.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” – Albert Einstein
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I also offer a Free Coaching Session for anyone who might be curious about what coaching is, or just needs help in some area of life. This session can be done across the globe by phone, Skype or Facetime and I use this time to establish or clarify your goals and form the framework needed to achieve fulfillment in the areas of your life where you feel you’re struggling.
Finally, if you have any comments, questions or thoughts on how to improve yourself, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and have a great day!