As mentioned in my last article which can be found here I was going to give you some brain hacks I use to exploit as greatly as possible the finiteness of willpower.
Here are some brain hacks I use to overcome our genetics and develop my mental muscles further.
1. Use the smaller action steps as positive reinforcement
As suggested previously breaking down things into action steps has benefits but achieving those action steps one by one gets the ball rolling and allows you to look back on what you have achieved so far. By successfully completing small tasks you will become more inclinded to keep doing so like a snowball effect. This helps replenish your willpower.
Ever heard of success breeds success. This is why and exploits it as much as possible.
2. Set Short Arbitrary Deadlines
By saying you want to reach said goal by some time in the future, for example
I want to pack on 40lbs of muscle for beach season
Too much room is given in terms of time for failure and non action. Time can creep up and action will like by taken closer to the distant deadline meaning in average results. A perfect example of this is having an exam and studying for it last minute, due to thinking there’s an abundance of time to revise except it’s only done last minute when there’s a sudden realisation that the exam is just around the corner.
To overcome this, set arbitrary short deadlines that will provoke a reaction and build upon each action step, making sure to understand that if you fail to complete an action step that you will be more and more behind and further away from achieving your goal.
3. Make Yourself Accountable
By realising that you are the only person that is going to be putting in the work required to achieve your goals and accepting that if you don’t reach a goal it is completely on you, complete responsibility will force you to take action even when things may previously have seemed out of your control, you will face them head on and deal with the problem. To further exploit this you can make your goals public and post them on facebook and tell everyone that you’re doing this.
4. Create Fear of Loss
Having a fear of loss will greater motivate to take each action step. An example of this would be to give a gym partner something of high value and tell them not to give it back if you don’t attend the gym with them every single session for a month e.g £500 or another sum of money
5. Create Psychological Wagers
By using psychological wagers you can essentially trick yourself into doing something you dont want to do in the moment but know you should by distracting yourself from the actual process. An example of this would be not wanting to wake up early but know you should and saying to yourself
I will just get up for 15 minutes and check my e-mail and if I still feel tired I’ll go back to sleep
In the moment it’s more reasonable than saying get up now to check e-mails and do some work.
6. Back Yourself Into a Corner
In the army discipline isn’t an issue. There is no yes or no process you have to act as there is no other option for you. Something I’ve learned from this is that if you remove any other options you will leave yourself with no choice but to succeed. An example of this would be selling everything you own and buying a one way ticket to another country and use all availiable resources to set up a business. You can’t go back home as you no means to and all your focus will be succeeding. I do this all the time and it is highly effective especially when getting things started.
One last thing to take away is that it takes minimum 4 weeks to develop a habit so stick with your action steps, be unforgiving and have a relentless work ethic.