What gets measured gets managed. In other words if you start tracking your progress you increase your likelihood of success as you focus additional energy and attention towards the new behaviour. The easiest way to do this for my money is to use the 'Way of Life' app. This simple program enables you to articulate your goals and then you indicate whether you have hit them each day. You get green or red lights for each day and graphs of your progress. It is amazing how motivating this can be as you try and beat previous week's totals.
It is a quirk of human nature that we can be much more likely to achieve something in order to prove someone else wrong or impress them than we might be if striving to reach a purely personal goal. Using this knowledge we can create accountability for ourselves that will ensure we maintain our motivation. The easiest way to do this is to create some kind of bet or wager with friends or family or you could create stakes for yourself where non-achievement of your goal results in some kind of negative consequence. Again it is worth noting that we are far more motivated to avoid losses than get wins so rather than setting a prize for achievement so adjust your consequences accordingly.
3. Upgrading your operating system
Imagine buying a new program for your laptop only to find that the embedded operating system isn't compatible with the requirements. You can try and find a way to make it work, maybe at lower resolution or with limited capacity, yet you will never get the full benefit of the new program. The same is true for ourselves, we may wish to start a shiny new habit but if this isn't congruent with our current mindset and existing behaviours then we will ultimately fail. If you want to start the new habit you have to change your mindset and behaviours so they are compatible. For example say that you want to quit drinking yet your entire social life is built around activites that involve drinking. You can try and use willpower to see your new habit through yet this will eventually run out. Instead you need to challenge your social circle to seek activites that don't involve opportunities to drink. Or maybe you need to explore whether there is a social anxiety that sits behind the need for yourself and others to drink and tackle this first.
4. Choosing to change
We often cast around for motivation to help us change, thinking that we need some great event to get us into action. This couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that change is a moment to moment process. The power to change is always within our grasp. Change is a simple choice that we can make whenever we wish. To quote Jocko Willink: "If you want to be mentally tougher it is simple - be tougher, don't meditate on it, do it". Make the decision to take the small action, this will generate momentum that will lead you towards your goal. Every large result starts as one tiny choice to do something differently. Make the choice that will matter to you.
And finally, if all of this seems like hard work then you are right, it is, and that is the point! As humans we are born to work, that doesn't just mean career work, it means all work. Everything we do is work, it us up to us to decide how well we do it. If you need a final push on this then spare 3mins to watch the video below. A narrated chapter lifted from Ryan Holidays 'Ego is the Enemy'...