Life can be harsh at times, and unfortunately most of us will experience at least one instance during the course of our lives when our habits are all wrong, our self-discipline seems absent, and we find it difficult to see a clear path ahead to productivity and happiness.
This state of affairs is bad enough in any event, but it can be absolutely catastrophic if we have young children or other people directly depending on us to have our act together and perform our duties in the world to the best of our ability.
Maybe your goal for the near future is getting a family vehicle from a new car range, or maybe it’s something more fundamental, like finding a job and letting go of a propensity to procrastinate.
In any case, here are some tips for getting it together when you have people relying on you.
Realise that willpower is needed to instil new habits, but only for a while
What puts a lot of people off driving through with positive life change, is that they fear they will forever be forced to exert superhuman amounts of willpower in order to stay on track, and doubt that they have the ability to do so.
The reality, however, is that willpower is needed to instil new habits, but once those habits are established and have shaped the neural connections in our brains, they will become far more automatic, and will require far less willpower to perform.
Willpower isn’t something you have to live on day-by-day, it’s the investment you have to make to build yourself a new character, automate the right habits, and dissolve the wrong ones.
Have a clear idea of how good life could be if you did everything right, and how bad it could be if you did everything wrong
One of the best ways of keeping yourself on the right track in life, is to have a very clearly visualised sense of how good things could be if you did everything right, versus how bad things could be if you did everything wrong.
Sit down for a moment and imagine the worst possible future you could imagine resulting from your bad habits, if they remained unchecked.
Then, imagine the best possible future, if you dropped the bad habits and adopted the right ones.
Reflect on these visions often. They will form the “push” and “pull” mechanisms to keep you on track.
Realise that life is all about priorities
There is a virtually unlimited number of things you can do with your time in any given instance. The thing is, you don’t have the time or energy to focus on more than a couple of those things.
Life is all about priorities, and when it comes to how we use our time, it’s a zero-sum game.
If we choose to watch YouTube videos instead of working, our careers suffer. If we choose to go out drinking instead of playing with our kids, we miss out on those precious moments.
Realise that life is about priorities. Prioritise properly.