Have you ever wanted to develop a habit, but each time you try it never seems to stick? Have you felt as though you were out of control? Do you wish you had more discipline? Is your determination depleted? Do you feel motivated some days and unmotivated in others? Are you wondering what it takes to experience things on a level many never achieve?
What I'm talking about is a life with no excuses. A life where you are in it for the long haul. I'm talking about a marathon and not a sprint. Being able to improve yourself by one percent each day without fail. Books can teach you one way. A mentor may teach you another. The harshest teacher of all is your own experience. It's the only teacher that gives you the lesson after you have taken the test. There is a method I've been using lately to help me achieve more. This method alone is a procrastination crusher.
This method will allow you to develop habits that endure for a lifetime. Habits that will bleed into other areas of your life. Each of your habits can allow you to be more disciplined, more focused, and centered. Or they can swallow you hole and spit you out years later, wondering where you are, and how you got there. Before we start to dive in, let me encourage you with a word. There is no limit to how far you can sink, so there is no limit to how high you can rise.
This method that I am referring to is called the "commit once method." It is also known as the "no matter what method." With proper execution it will solve many problems. With poor execution you will be back to where you started. I learned how to use it while watching Elliot Hulse. Elliot is a famous YouTuber and motivational speaker. In the video, he lays out this method and makes it easy to understand.
"Do the thing, and you shall have the power: but they who do not the thing have not the power." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Motivation vs Automation
"Once." He says, "All you have to do is commit once. You commit once to the thing you want to do, and then you do it again and again and again. You do the thing the next day, the next day and the day after that. That is it. That is the method. At a certain point, you will become a machine. You don't think about it. It just gets done because that is what you committed to doing. The key to this technique is that, no matter what, you continue to do the thing."
He gives an example of writing in a journal. If that's your thing, and you have committed, then every single day you write. Even if both of your arms were cut off in a freak accident, and you had to use your teeth to hold a pen, you write in your journal. You don't do it because you feel you need to. You do it because that is what you have committed to do. No other reason is required. Motivation is not needed. Even discipline is not needed. Your relentlessness will soon start to pay off. Once this happens, you will embed this habit within your programming. You will have carved a neural pathway in your mind. At this point, you don't worry about it getting done. It is as though you have automated yourself.
Half of the battle
Let's say you want to begin going to the gym. The first thing you can do is start beating yourself to the gym. What I mean is to already be driving to the gym before you get the impulse not to go. Be in the parking lot before being in denial. Be doing squats before you think weaker thoughts. The day will come where you won't even think of having to go to the gym. You won't even think of needing or wanting to go to the gym. You will rise up and be working out in the gym. Half of the battle is showing up. If you can knock out that half, you're well on your way.
"Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going." ~Sam Levenson
Show up like clockwork and see what happens. See how long it takes for you to etch in your new habit. Watch as it becomes ingrained in your nervous system. One day your brain will say "Okay, I get it. I'll work around YOUR schedule. I accept this new habit. I'll figure out a way to entertain the other cravings, and I won't distract you anymore. Obviously you aren't quitting, so I have to find a new hobby." Your mind must surrender to your new way of life.
A new engine
No one will have to make you go and get things done. No one will ever have to motivate you again. Now you are self-motivated. You are no longer running off of inspiration. Now you have installed a new engine. One built by blood, sweat, and tears of persistence. The beauty of this is that things start to change. If you can make a habit automatic, things automatically take place in your life.
Imagine a life where you don't have to try. You don't have to force yourself to change. Wasteful urges become a thing of the past. You stop spending time on the things that don't last. Realize that you are already capable. This powerful person is within you now. You've always had the ability to achieve. What you must do is tap in to what's yours.
Commit once, my friend. Commit. I promise the rest will take care of itself. You'll see that things will just get done. No matter the odds, they just get done. You'll rise up one day and smile at the clock. Knowing all of the work is already done.
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