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Last Updated on July 4, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Become Persistent

6 Effective Ways to Become Persistent

Persistence is probably one of the most admirable characters a person can possess.  It’s the ability to be determined to do or achieve something regardless of any setbacks.

No great achievement is possible without persistent work. –  Bertrand Russell

A distinguishing attributes of those who succeed in life against those who don’t is persistence.

Many has the capacity to set goals and plans toward success, yet only few succeeds, because only few stick to work on their goals and plans until it is accomplished.

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Majority stops before they even start or they quit in the middle of their journey. Oftentimes, the reason for quitting is hardships, discomfort and uncertainty. They let their fears and doubts paralyze them from moving persistently toward their goals. Or perhaps, their motivation isn’t firm enough to drive them to work on it.

Developing persistence is a master skill to success. It is easier to relax and do nothing, or just live in our comfort zone, rather than face the uncertainty and discomfort of sailing thru our goals.  Plus, the idea of failure and hardship is unbearable.

But if you want to create change in your life and achieve success, now is the time to develop and master persistence. Here are 6 ways to help you develop persistence:

1. Identify Your Wants and Desires

If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.  – Lawrence J. Peter

Before you can develop persistence and eventually achieve success, you need to first identify your wants or desires. You can do this by simply writing down specifically all the things you want to have or accomplish. List down all your desires and wants, no matter how impossible they are to achieve in the moment.

2. Determine Your Motivation

Motivation comes from a deep reason why we want to achieve or have something. If you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it gives you more energy to keep moving.

For an instance, you want to publish a book. Creating a book takes time and patience. If you don’t have enough motivation, a reason why you need to publish the book, you probably can never finish it. But if you’re motivated by the thought of influencing and teaching millions of readers thru your words, only then will you keep pushing yourself to work on finishing the book.

3. Outline Your Definite Action Step

Identifying your wants or desires speaks of what you want to achieve. Determining your motivation shows the reasons why you want to achieve what you want.  Outlining your definite action step is necessary to know how you will be able to achieve what you want.

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When you know how to get what you want, it makes it easier to achieve it. To know how, it pays to do some research and planning of what needs to be done on your part. Be specific on each step you need to take. Identify at least 2 ways and plans on how you can achieve your goals.

4. Keep a Positive Mental Attitude

The road to success is not easy, in fact, it’s challenging, this is why only few succeeds. There will be countless times you will be face with defeat and failures that if you are weak, you’ll be succumbing to negative thoughts of fears and doubts.

In order to develop persistence and eventually succeed in your endeavor, always maintain a positive mental attitude, regardless of situation. Keep your thoughts focused on taking action towards your goals. Avoid negative thoughts and feelings for it will ruin your concentration and persistence.

5.  Build Your Mastermind Group

Mastermind Group composes of people who can help you succeed towards your goal. Choose carefully who you will trust as part of your mastermind group. If possible, include only those who can give you unbiased judgments and who has positive mental attitude.

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You can’t afford wasting your time listening to cynical advices and pessimist people. These types of people won’t help you succeed; instead, they will drown your energy that can eventually lead to failure.

6.  Develop Discipline and Habit

All your goal-setting and planning will go to waste if you won’t be able to develop discipline and good habit.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. – Jim Rohn

There will be a lot of hindrances that will stop you from moving towards your goal, and without proper discipline, it will be easy for you to sail away. Upholding discipline and good habits can help you stay in the course, even despite difficulties.

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Learn How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop to obtain success.

Featured photo credit: Brad Barmore via unsplash.com

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Lou Macabasco

Lou Macabasco aspires to spread positive motivation.

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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