Every single skill, habit or goal you want to accomplish, requires one thing from you: Consistency. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to beat a videogame or start your own business, the truth is that if you are not consistent with the actions needed that will eventually allow you to achieve that goal, you just won’t get there. Today I’m going to talk about how the key to become a consistent, disciplined person that does not let procrastination get in their way.
I’ve spent the majority of my life procrastinating doing my work. It’s true, I absolutely hated going to school and working for hours on subjects that I didn’t liked nor understood. I just couldn’t see the point in doing all that. I have a strong feeling that most of you can relate to that sentiment, but while most people spent the time to explore new hobbies or passions, I just avoided doing my work by playing video games. At the time I just thought I was lazy and tried to justify my behaviors, but looking back I realize I was just trying to avoid facing my reality. I wasn’t achieving anything in real life but it didn’t matter because video games gave me a false sense of accomplishment, but at the end of the day, I felt miserable. I can say with confidence that I’m a more happy, disciplined person now but I don’t regret anything because video games also taught me one of the most important things a person can learn about achieving their goals; they taught me the power of small victories.
You see, a good video game is designed like this: First you start and you know nothing and you completely suck. You get faced with a challenge. Once you defeat it, you get a reward, whether that’s an in-game item or just a sense of achievement, and oh boy do we humans love getting rewarded. Video games are filled with these “small wins”, they gets us hooked to it by tapping into our personal desire of accomplishment and it ensures we keep playing and playing. This is what makes video games so addictive. I’m guessing you probably figured out by now where I’m going with this: to be consistent with a goal or habit, to make it addictive and enjoyable, you need to have small wins.
If you consider yourself a procrastinator just like I did, and you want to start a new habit, learn a new skill or accomplish any personal goal, you probably feel some resistance. This resistance hates the idea of you trying to leave your comfort zone so it makes you procrastinate until you forget about it. It makes “starting” very, very hard. If we apply our “small win” concept to this stage, the “beginning” stage, your small win should just be to start working… and that is it. You are not trying to complete a marathon, you are not trying to bench press 200 kg and you are not trying to get a 6 figure income, you are just trying to develop the habit of starting.Start with just 10 minutes every day, or resolve to do work on your goal for only a couple of hours per week. After a couple of months, you’ll develop the habit of just starting your work, you’ll eventually build momentum, obstacles will get easier and then you’ll have the capacity of achieving more. Don’t focus on the things you do, focus on doing, this will build discipline and commitment.
Over time, once you associate these small wins with starting your work, you’ll gain more experience and you’ll be more fit to complete bigger challenges, giving you even bigger wins, ultimately reaching your original goal and getting the ultimate win. To ensure you grow and learn in the best way possible, take it slow and enjoy the process, focus on the present, have fun just like you would with a video game. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself because you’ll only learn to hate doing your work. This is exactly what schools did to most of us, so avoid that trap. I know this might seem like a very slow and tedious process, but I can guarantee that anyone willing to go through it will become a more disciplined person capable of achieving anything they put their mind into. So, figure out how you can get these small wins from that goal you are trying to achieve, make it very simple at the beginning just to ensure you develop the habit and build your way to the top. Don’t let procrastination steal anymore time and happiness from you, the time to start and put in the work is right now, so stop letting your mind create any more excuses, make the commitment and get ready to beat procrastination down. You’ve got this.
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