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10 Wrong Moves That Stop You From Finishing What You’ve Started

10 Wrong Moves That Stop You From Finishing What You’ve Started

Procrastination is the easiest thing to do because you’re not doing anything! Get proactive and get to work! Start marking things off your To Do list when you read these 10 wrong moves that stop you from finishing what you’ve started.

1. You’re choosing the wrong starting point.

You have a daunting project looming over you, but you haven’t started yet. You just don’t know how to tackle it! You’re probably intimidated by the project because you’re choosing the wrong starting point. Look at your project from different viewpoints, and see if there might be a new way to approach it. You just might find a creative way that inspires you to get started, and you’ll finish your task in no time!

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    2. You’re striving for perfection.

    You want your project to be great, and that’s an understandable goal. But don’t strive for perfection. Do the best job you can do, of course, but if you want everything to be perfect, you might start worrying that it won’t be perfect. And that might keep you from starting in the first place. Devote yourself to the project and work as hard as you can, and you’ll get results you can be proud of.

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    3. You have a fear of failure.

    If you’re striving for perfection, then you probably have a fear of failure. You’re worried that your project won’t be good enough and you’ll be punished or ridiculed. Don’t even think about failure! The only way you can fail is to not do the project at all. Tackle your task and do the best job you can, and there’s no way you will fail.

    4. You underestimate the task.

    When you get your project, sit down and brainstorm. Think about different approaches and different goals. Think of how long it will take you to complete, and be realistic. Don’t underestimate the task! Don’t think you can complete it at the last minute. Break the task into smaller projects and set deadlines for yourself. Make sure you’re meeting each mini-deadline so you won’t miss your final due date.

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    5. You set multidirectional goals.

    You’ve studied your tasks and set deadlines and goals, but are your goals straightforward? Don’t set multidirectional goals that might lead you astray. It’s good to try different approaches to your project, but don’t explore a different path that will keep you from reaching your goals.

    6. You’re not making decisions.

    Be proactive with your project! Don’t get stuck on something just because you can’t decide what to do. Spending too much time pondering the possibilities and the outcomes will make your project stall, and your inspiration will fade right along with it. Be decisive! Make decisions so your project will keep moving forward.

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    7. You’re not allocating time.

    Talk about procrastination! Not devoting time to your project is just like procrastinating. Make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to complete the tasks you’ve assigned yourself until you finish. You’ll have plenty of time to relax and pat yourself on the back when you finish the project, so don’t waste time doing nothing now.

    8. You’re not moving forward.

    All of these steps will help you move forward. Make decisions, set goals, be realistic about what you want to achieve and what you can achieve. This will give you inspiration and drive to complete your project, and have fun along the way!

    9. You’re not focusing.

    Your project is in the works, but you’re not making any progress. You’re devoting time, you’re making decisions, you have goals, but nothing is working. Are you focusing on your project? You might not be devoting your entire self to the purpose. Make sure you focus on your project so it will go smoother and you’ll feel more connected to the whole thing.

    10. You don’t have an end in sight.

    You have a task to complete but you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. That’s OK at the start, but make sure you envision the end goal. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel! You need to have a general idea of how your project is going to turn out so you know what you’re striving for.

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    Last Updated on November 15, 2019

    How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

    How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

    Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

    However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

    Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

    Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

    Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

    What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

    To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

    The Biology

    Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

    Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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    The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

    A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

    Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

    So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

    Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

    Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

    Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

    Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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    The Psychology

    Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

    Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

    Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

    Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

    What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

    Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

    Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

    1. Identify Your Habits

    As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

    2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

    Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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    It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

    3. Apply Logic

    You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

    Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

    4. Choose an Alternative

    As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

    Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

    5. Remove Triggers

    Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

    Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

    6. Visualize Change

    Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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    For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

    7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

    Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

    Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

    Final Thoughts

    Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

    Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

    More About Changing Habits

    Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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