It is so damn easy to know exactly what we really want, yet why very few people are enjoying and living their best life?
Well definitely, it has to do with Resistance.
What is Resistance?
I’ve learned this term from one of my fave authors on the creative process, Steven Pressfield.
According to Pressfield, Resistance is the internal force that keeps us from showing our best selves from doing our best work, from taking risks to making mistakes in pursuit of something greater. It comes in different names like Procrastination, Self Sabotage, Self Loathing, Monsters in our heads, Doubts, Fears, Little Distractions, and many more. Where there is a Dream, there is Resistance.
In 2002 Steven Pressfield wrote in The War of Art
“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. … If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
In my experience, regardless of how simple a goal is, Procrastination (ie. Resistance) almost always sabotages my progress. Those little distractions (yep those cute doggy videos on FB) took away precious time from my higher priorities (ie. writing this blog). Without realizing it, I’d wasted my creative energy on petty stuff. By the time I sit in front of my laptop, I’m already sleepy and rather take a nap.
How I wish I can wake up the next day on full autopilot mode, without having to think twice, as I go through my day doing the set of things that will lead me closer to my goals. WOW! Just wow!
Is it possible? Absolutely yes!
That’s what I call “HABITS”. Creating systems. Hacking yourself to increase your productivity! To be successful, do more in life, and have a sense of fulfillment, you need good habits. Creating a set of good habits can be quite challenging especially if you want to stick with them for the long term.
So how do we develop these “systems”?
Create a habit that is so easy you can’t say no.
I got this concept from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. The author emphasized that the most important part of building a good habit is staying consistent. It doesn’t matter how well you perform on any individual day. Continuous effort is what makes the real difference.
You have to commit to showing up even on days you don’t feel like doing – no excuses, no complaints.
Like when I finally decided I wanted to lose weight (hello to my previous 65kgs self) and be able to wear cute dresses, I made that commitment to drinking a glass of water before and after a meal. It was so easy I can’t say NO. HAHAHA!
It was a sustained effort at first that became automatic. And up until now, I never have to worry about my weight coming back because I don’t overeat like I used to. I drink tons of water which makes me feel full most of the time. Plus, I work out and keeping a healthy lifestyle.
When you start a new habit it should be so easy that you can’t say no to it.
Want to build an exercise habit? Your goal is to exercise for 1 minute today. You don’t like to exercise? Fine, then just walk for 1 minute. Want to start a reading habit? Your goal is to read at least 1 paragraph for today. Want to learn forex trading? Your goal is to watch a 6-min video tutorial a day. Do you want to create a healthy eating habit? Your goal is to prepare at least one healthy meal in a day.
Consistency is therefore all about repetition. It’s about repeating the same actions (habits and rituals) over and over again; until it becomes automatic to you.
I have friends who lost their motivation to continue on a healthy lifestyle just after 2 weeks. They keep telling me how hard it is to resist food, that they felt so depressed and deprived, and/or they are just too lazy to workout, etc.
Come on, guys! Life doesn’t have to be complicated! You don’t have to overdo it. Start small and be consistent. Stick to something so small for at least 30 days. I guarantee you will see the result you want!
Working out for 2 hours, skipping breakfast, and/or depriving yourself of a delicious meal isn’t going to matter if you never stick with it for the long run. It will just make you tired, moody, and hungrier – which will almost always result in stress-eating. We think we need to put in a lot of effort to make a difference. But successful people don’t necessarily put in more work. They are just more consistent than others.
Stick to a pace that you can sustain. Once the ball starts rolling and is consistent, that’s the only time you can gradually add some adjustments. You can read more about my blog on the Power of Tiny Gains here.
Use habits to your advantage
MIT research founds that when a rat was initially introduced to a maze, the rat’s brains had to work in full power to find the food. But after several repetitions in the same maze, the rats rushed through the maze faster every time. The rats had to think very little for they are already familiar with how to go through the maze. For the rats, navigating the maze had become a habit.
If you learn how to create/change a habit and use it to your advantage, the easier for you to reach your goals. You will go through the maze of life and reach your desired goals without stressing too much about it. Habits eliminate your reliance on willpower to do the important things in life, and with that, your dreams will manifest effortlessly.
For example, if you have the habit of exercising as soon as you wake up, each day for (let’s say) at least 30 minutes and you are not relying on motivation or willpower to do it, you are less likely to get sick and thus feel good with your body. You are in great shape, you have the confidence, plus, any outfit will definitely look good on you! You being healthy and glowy just comes on and feels automatic!
Who doesn’t want that?
Where To Go From Here
Try this simple hack and apply this to the things you want to improve in your life. Always remember that consistency is the key! You may find yourself slipping up, but don’t worry! It doesn’t make you a failure. It just makes you normal!!! TRUST ME! What separates top performers from everyone else is that they get back on track quickly.
If you slip, forgive yourself, and get back on track! ♥
Let me know in the comment section, the habits that you are trying to create, the challenges you faced, and the strategies you DO to make your habits stick.
That’s it! Thanks again for reading. Til next time!