“There is no question that the objects that surround us impact our experience of the world.” ― Katherine Center
A lot of personal development sources focus on the importance of self-discipline when it comes to achieving goals. We are supposed to avoid the temptations that stop us from achieving our goals in order to reach success. While self-discipline is important, constantly avoiding temptations can be difficult. How do we make these temptations easier to deal with, in order to make it easier for us to achieve our goals?
We change our environment. We tend to enjoy taking the path of least resistance. That’s what makes fast food, online shopping, and using smartphone apps so addicting because they are all so convenient. It’s so simple that we don’t even give it much attention because we can do it automatically. Let’s see how we can shift this convenient and automatic behavior to work for the goals we want to achieve.
Many people struggle with exercise because they find it difficult or inconvenient. Try making exercise as simple as possible. Instead of getting an expensive gym membership, try starting out with bodyweight exercises for five to ten minutes in the comfort of your own home. If you want to run more frequently in the mornings, get the workout outfit ready the night before and keep it somewhere you will see it. The next morning when you wake up, you will see your exercise clothes and be more inclined to go for a run or do the workout. For example, I walk a lot more when I am at school because my environment supports the activity. It’s an easier way to get around, and it’s the convenient option. Instead of having to go on a daily walk, it’s incorporated into my routine when I am going from class to class. This makes taking daily walks an activity that is automatically incorporated into my schedule instead of one I have to plan and be intentional about. See if you can incorporate exercise, or whatever goal you may have, into your daily life.
Junk food is already tempting to eat when we are out of the house, so why deal with this temptation when we are home? If healthy eating is the goal, get rid of the junk food. Have convenient healthy snacks that you like available to grab when you are in a hurry. Cooking food ahead of time or finding quick recipes is also a great option. When we can have healthy food that we enjoy and find convenient, it provides fewer excuses to go out and spend money on fast food.
Smartphones can be a great resource and a great distraction. Because you don’t have to sign into most apps every time you use them, you can just click the icon and automatically start using the app without much thought involved. Identify which apps you are wasting most of your time on. Log out of the application, and place it in on a different page or a location that you look at less frequently on your smartphone. Better yet, make a longer and more complicated password for the application that is so random that you have to refer to a piece of paper every time you want to log in. The more steps you have to take in order to log on, the more you have to think about what you are doing and the less likely you will want to go on the application.
Waking up on time
If you tend to press the snooze button or stay in bed after turning off the alarm clock, move the alarm clock. Put it on the other side of the room so you have to get up and walk to your alarm clock to turn it off. Once you are there, don’t go back to bed. Proceed with your day. Turn on the lights and splash water on your face to make sure you are awake.
When we change our environment to help us, we are more likely to achieve our goals. We avoid temptation and build healthy habits that we want to cultivate in our life. We have enough on our minds as it is, take the pressure off by changing your environment and make accomplishing your goal a little more automatic. It doesn’t have to be a big change, sometimes a little change is all it takes. Try it today.
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