Here are some decisions I’ve made in the past.
Age 13: Never smoke or drink
Age 14: Never drink soft drinks
Age 15: Never bet money on football
Age 16: Stop playing computer games
Age 19: Stop watching TV
Age 19: Stop instant messaging / uninstall MSN messenger
Age 21: Only hang out with positive and passionate people
How many of these decisions have I kept?
All of them.
How do I do this?
I never really thought twice about this, but a recent conversation with a friend forced me to probe further to uncover the secret… which turns out to be nothing too crazy.
But I wanna share it with you anyway, in case you are struggling to stick to a resolution you made 3 months ago.
The friend I mentioned had accused me of having superhuman willpower. But no, willpower wasn’t a key ingredient at all. In fact, those decisions were as easy to stick to as “I will not beat up senior citizens”.
The way I see it, keeping a resolution starts with being clear about what you want, and what you don’t want in your life.
And I admit I don’t have much desire to beat up senior citizens. However, I’m clear that
- I can want many things.
- However, I will always want some things more than others.
- To stick to a resolution, I have to want something more, and want competing things less.
Sounds simple? I’m a simple man, what can I say…. See my self-improvement BS in action!
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE
I’ve always wanted to start a gym routine, but somehow “cannot find the time”, or “feel lazy”.
Is it because I don’t want to work out? Of course I do. But at any given moment, I always wanted to work / sleep / be comfortable on my bed much more than I wanted to hit the gym.
Well, I made a decision 2 months ago to start a gym routine, and I’ve been quite consistent. Here’s how I did it:
- Increase how much I want to work out
- Decrease how much I want to do other stuff
How did I magically “want to work out more”? And double-magically “want to do other stuff less”?
I used this magic crystal staff I picked up during my Viking raids.
Apart from that, I associated other things I really want with working out, like having a sexy body and having a sharper, clearer mind. Lumping many desirable items together with logic makes me want to work out more.
Then, I associated many things I don’t want with the alternatives… I usually skip the gym due to “I have something to work on”, or seeking the comfort of home. So, I tied “feeling fat”, “feeling lethargic” and “cannot think straight” with skipping a session at the gym.
I keep these things in mind, and eventually it gets internalized and I never have to think twice.
Once I’m clear about what I really want in my life, the decisions are a no-brainer. All the decisions I listed above didn’t take me much effort.
If it’s a tough decision to make, and an even tougher one to stick by, I would question what I want, and how badly I want it.
And in many cases, the question is… Do I want change? Or do I want to stick to my comfort zone a bit more?
If this is useful to you, let me know. If this somehow gets you killed, just forget about it.