How many times has this happened to you? You make a firm decision, whether it’s eating healthy or going to the gym, going back to school, starting that business, or even something as simple as reading pages in a book every day. You make the decision, but you don’t follow through.
Eating healthy, not eating healthy, gym, no gym, reading, no reading – life will be full of decisions. You will eventually find yourself on one road or the other. The point is you have to stick to one road – be consistent – and not keep changing lanes frequently.
Why don’t we live with our decisions?
If you are like me, you get super excited when you make new plans and decide to take action. For the first few days, and sometimes even weeks, you’re all in.
You plan, you buy everything that you need, you spend hours researching and scouring the Internet to weigh all of your options. You’re off to a running start. And you may even do very well for a short while. But then something strange happens. The excitement starts to dwindle, and before you know it, it’s completely gone.
That drive and passion you felt just weeks ago are nowhere to be found. You’re out of gas, out of steam, and before long, that decision has fallen by the wayside.
Call it wishy-washy or just a lack of willpower, you struggle with following through on your decisions. I too have struggled with follow through, even when it came to making important decisions about my health or my business.
We often know what needs to be done, but we still struggle with making it happen, even when it’s for our own benefit.
Here are four ways to strengthen your willpower and boost your mental commitment so that you can stick with your decisions and finally accomplish your goals.
#1 Build Your Self-Discipline
Building self-discipline is the same as building any other skill. It’s learned behavior and it requires practice and repetition. The great thing about this skill is that practicing self-discipline in one area tends to increase your overall self-discipline.
Just recently I completed a 21-Day Juice Fast where I lost 23 pounds in 21 days. While I was interested in the weight loss, I was more excited about the self-discipline that I developed through the process.
Trust me, I have never stuck to any diet or eating plan for 21 days. After years of yo-yo dieting and trying everything under the sun – from the cabbage soup diet to the boiled egg diet – I couldn’t stick to any one thing. I would make it 2-3 days before I threw my hands up and quit.
By sticking to the juice fast for 21 days, I was enlightened by the fact that I could make a decision and stick with it! This new-found confidence in my self-discipline and willpower spilled over into other areas of my life. I became more decisive, and it became easier to stick to my decisions because I had proven to myself that I could do it.
Where I once thought self-discipline was hard, I now know that I can make a decision to do anything and commit to following-through.
#2 Remember your ‘WHY’
There is always some compelling reason you made the decision in the first place- that is your WHY. Always remember that.
I have to be honest, the Juice Fast started out simply as a path to weight loss. But when I realized the health benefits and how taking back control of what I put in my body could extend my time on this earth, my WHY evolved and expanded. I started to realise how much my desire to be around my children and my grandchildren (when I have them) means to me.
We all need to care for ourselves to live the best days of our lives in good shape. When things became tough during my fast, and I no longer felt motivated, I remembered my WHYs to help push me through.
# 3 Drill down, get to the root
Ask yourself: What’s really stopping you from accomplishing your goals?
And then, deal with those issues. During my fast, I started exercising and walking every day. Before that, I had several reasons or excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise.
My drill down went a little like this:
Why can’t I exercise? Because I don’t have time, and when I do have free time, I’m too tired.
Why am I tired? Because I stay up late.
Why do I have to stay up late? Because I’m a night owl and I have trouble sleeping.
And on and on until I discovered that I needed to adhere to a tighter schedule that allowed me to go to bed earlier so that I could get up earlier.
So, you need to keep digging and going deeper until you find the root cause and you solve that problem. By going to bed earlier, I was able to get up earlier and add a 4-mile morning walk to my routine which doesn’t interfere with my work or my daily schedule.
So, ask yourself the why questions and dig deeper.
#4 Become actively involved in your goal
“Your decision is also a GOAL.”
If you decide that you want to become a runner, you should become a diligent student of the goal you want to realize. Learn more about running techniques, workouts and local running events. You might also want to become a member of a community of runners, or become engaged online with various blogs and forums on the topic.
When you do these things, you slowly begin to identify yourself as a runner, and when that happens you will want to run and do so gladly. In essence, you become the person you want to be, even before you really are.
While the tips I shared can help you with your follow-through and give you the mental boost you need to stick to your decisions, it’s also important to make sure that your choices are worth sticking to. Make good choices and decisions that support you, your goals and the person you want to be.
Also, let me know if there is a specific topic you would like for me to cover. I love getting your feedback and suggestions.
Remember, with the right Balance, Support, Determination and Action, every dream is possible. Your Dream is possible!
I would love to hear from you. Comment below to let me know how you put these strategies to use in your life.
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