Let’s say you’ve been wanting to quit spending so much time on reddit or Facebook for a while, or you’ve really been wanting to start your online business or finish your new book.
All of a sudden, you read something that motivates you …
You’re ready to make the change! You’re determined. You’re going to make this happen. It’s amazing.
The question is: How are you going to use motivation for lasting change?
How can you do that? The feeling of motivation is wonderful. However it fades quickly. Most of the time it doesn’t even last for more than a few days…
Unless you really work on this factor:
You need to create an environment in which your new habit will stick.
Yes it’s really possible to make a change. One that lasts if you change your environment.
Here’s what I suggest, based on my successes and (many more) failures:
1. Pre-Commit yourself:
It’s easy to say to yourself, “I’m going to make this change” but then let yourself off the hook when things get tough or you get busy or stressed. Don’t let yourself back out — take action now and “precommit yourself”.
2. Set up a daily session:
If you have motivation right now, that’s great. But what happens to your commitment when your motivation fades and you start to procrastinate again? You don’t change.
The only way you can make something stick is to create a habit through daily practice. So if you want to work more on your online business, block a time for it where you only allow your word processor and your notes. Choose a fixed time like 7am until 9am. Put this time in a software like FindFocus, and set it on “Fort Knox Mode”, turn of your mobile phone ”.
If you want to quit a habit it’s even tougher. One way to do it, is to only allow reddit on one device. (I recommend not using any social media apps on your smartphone) Just allow it on your desktop computer. If you still feel you using it too much you can still block it for certain hours or make yourself wait a few minutes with the delay discounter. Eventually you’ll get used to this new habit and will quit completely.
3. Create unforgettable reminders:
What happens if your session is supposed to happen but you forget? That’s incredibly common when you first start a new habit. Don’t let yourself forget!
Set up a automated schedule in FindFocus that will block URL's automatically. Additional sticky notes and reminders on your calendar app and phone can help as well. How would you make yourself remember if it were your wedding day and you needed to get to church? Oh, that’s right — you wouldn’t need reminders, because it’s one of the biggest days of your life. Make this new habit (or effort to quit a habit) the most important thing in your life for awhile.
4. Be accountable
If you have to tell people every day, or every other day, how you did … that will create an awareness when you feel like giving up. You’ll stop yourself from giving up, for at least a moment, and reconsider. Be sure to commit to regular accountability.
5. Use a goal with a dealine:
This is one of my favorite tricks … I have a goal in the future that I that I want to achive. And I requires me to work one it almost every day. I put it on my one-page productivity planner and write it down every day in this section. (picture of Yearly Goal)
6. Enjoy each step:
All of this might seem like a bit of work, but honestly, they can all be a lot of fun! See each step as a celebration of yourself, of life, of compassion for yourself and others. See each step as an amazing moment to be enjoyed, not a sacrifice for some future gain. The victory is right now, in the doing, not in a later reward. Smile.
If you put these ideas into action (and you’re determined, so you will!), you’ll turn your motivation into change that lasts.