I recently found out that in order to stay more consistent with a new habit, to work on your personal projects daily and be more productive, you can simply take a minute or two to assess the situation.
Realizing the benefits of taking the action right away, and comparing them to the costs of not doing it today, gives you a motivation boost and you’re much more likely to be consistent in the long term.
Here’s my example:
Going to the gym is one of my priorities, I want to do it as much as I can as I’m seeing results, it affects many other areas in my life in a positive way, and the day will be more meaningful if I do it.
But I also don’t feel like going. And can think of way too many excuses as to why it will be easier to skip the workout and just make up for it tomorrow.
So I decided to make an assessment and see what I’ll win if I go, and what I’ll lose if I don’t go to the gym today.
The benefits of going to the gym now
• I’ll do my cardio for the day, which is often the only chance to be active;
• I’ll drink a liter of water during the workout (it’s one of the little changes I’ve made that work well for me), and – together with a few more glasses throughout the day – I won’t need to worry about my water intake;
• I’ll train one or two muscle groups and in the long term this will help me be fit and look better;
• I’ll spend an hour and a half being in an environment that only makes me more motivated to stay consistent;
• the workout will boost my metabolism and thus help me get leaner;
• I can eat my largest meal for the day right after that and almost all of it will be burnt as the body needs food to repair tissues;
• after the gym session I won’t be exhausted, but will have even more energy;
• I’ll feel super productive and will get other things done;
• I’ll feel proud of myself in the end of the day.
Strong arguments, right?
But in order to realize even more how this single workout can affect my goals and self-improvement, I’ll also list the costs of not doing it:
The costs of not going to the gym now
• I’ll be disappointed in myself;
• I’ll feel lazy because of the lack of movement;
• I’ll feel like it’s okay to skip workouts every now and then, and may do it tomorrow too;
• I’ll have to make an effort to drink enough water for the day;
• I will have eaten more calories than the amount of them I’ll have burnt;
• I won’t increase my energy and productivity;
• I’ll know I’ve chosen the easier option and decided not to take action.
And now that we compare these, it’s obvious that getting myself there is a must.
PS, Half an hour later I went to the gym and completed my workout.
What’s your way of dealing with such decisions?
How do you convince yourself to choose the harder, but better option?