You set a goal or routine, you’re into it for the first few weeks. Things are going well for a while. However, things begin to slip. You skip a workout, you eat like shit, you don’t put in the hours you “promised” you would put into study daily.
It’s not long till you ask yourself, what the fuck happened?
What happened was you gave in to your “thinking”, aka your rationalization, aka that voice in your head throwing you all sorts of reasons why you should go back to a more comfortable existence and stop efforts toward raising your consciousness through achievement of meaningful goals.
Understand one thing, that voice in your head is not you but your Smaller “Self” – the infamous ego. It’s sole purpose is survival. Maximize pleasure, minimize pain.
That’s a very brief explanation, but what can be done to combat it?
Here’s a strategy you can implement in your goal setting to combat the ego effectively. This process will work best with goals you can measure. Take no more than 10 minutes. Don’t over analyze this.
- Write down your goals, select the top three.
- Write down what routines you will need to implement to achieve those goals.
- Write down what you must cut from your life to achieve those goals. What are the vices standing in the way between what you are currently and what you consider your “best self”.
- Write down ALL the rationalizations your mind will toss up, the bullshit excuses you’ll tell yourself in the moment.
- Write down, and really emphasize this, that you’d rather fucking die grinding out your goals than live a mediocre meaningless life constantly giving into short term gratification. Living the life OTHER PEOPLE and society have effectively prescribed for you. Fuck them.
- Make a promise to yourself, that no amount of pain, discomfort or boredom will stop you from doing what you set out to do for that day.
- Write down the time-frame you wish these goals to be accomplished by.
- Stick this piece of paper somewhere where you can see it daily.
This process will enhance your life and assist in achieving your goals and living the life you actually want to live.
Re-read step 6. If you take anything from this post, it should be this:
You must do the things you set out to do whether you feel like doing them this very moment or not.
All that matters is the present moment. Learn from the past, but do not dwell on it. More importantly, redirect your focus and energy from anxiety about the future to the present moment and what you can be doing right now to be achieving your goals you set out for yourself.
When faced with a choice, particularly between short-term gratification and being productive, ask; “In this moment, what would my best self do in this situation?” – and do that. Make an unconscious habit of doing that.
Final note, remember, it’s not the goal that counts, it is the person you become in the process of achieving the goal that counts. Become process orientated instead of outcome orientated. Ground yourself in the present moment, do not rush yourself.
You’re always going to be fighting. With habit, the fight will be significantly easier but, never relax. Keep slaying your demons.
To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself is to know the way. -Lao Tzu