Small Actions - Deepstash
Small Actions

Small Actions

One of the most important things you can do to get better at self-discipline is to take small actions.

It can seem overwhelming to start big, intimidating projects. Instead, start with easy actions, things so small you can’t say no.

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MORE IDEAS FROM A Guide to Developing the Self-Discipline Habit : zen habits

Mindfulness with Urges

Develop mindfulness around those urges you have to quit doing something hard and see that you don’t have to follow them.

A good way to do that is to set a time for yourself where you can do nothing but X. For example, for the next 10 minutes, you can do nothing but write your book chapter (or exercise, meditate, etc.).

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Discomfort Training

One of the reasons we don’t have self-discipline is because we run from the hard, uncomfortable things. We would rather do the easy, familiar things, that distract us.

One small task at a time, push yourself into discomfort. See how it feels. See that it’s not the end of the world. 

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Success & Failure

Don't get discouraged when you mess up. Failure means you tried. So it’s a victory from the start.

And it also means you learned something: you now know that what you tried didn’t work. Next time, you can try something a bit different.

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Interval Training
  1. Set your intention to practice self-discipline and not hurt yourself anymore.
  2. Set a task to focus on.
  3. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Don’t go longer, until you get good at 10 minutes.
  4. Do nothing but sit there and watch your urges, or push into your discomfort by doing the task.
  5. When the timer goes off, give yourself a 5-minute break.
  6. Repeat.

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Other Types of Motivation
  • Wanting to help others: If you get better at not procrastinating on your life’s work, for example, you can help more people with that meaningful work.
  • Appreciating life: We have a short time on Earth, and the life we have is a gift. When we procrastinate and give in to endless distraction, and don’t make the most of our time, we are not fully appreciating the gift we have.

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Finding Motivation

... to develop self-discipline:

  • Start taking small actions to make things better
  • Do the things that hurt you less
  • Push yourself into discomfort a little bit, so you can get better at this over time
  • Get good at self-discipline with some practice.

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Self-Discipline AND Willpower

Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve tried to change your behavior through sheer willpower. And chances are, you also failed miserably. Don’t feel bad! This is what happens most of the time. 

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Jim Rohn

“Be a student, not a follower. Don’t just go do what someone says. Take interest in what someone says, then debate it, ponder it and consider it from all angles.”

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The elegant secret to discipline: valuing your future self as highly as you value your current self, at least long enough to get your Right Now Self to do the right thing.

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