How to Build Self Discipline By Martin Meadows - Audiobook

How to Build Self Discipline By Martin Meadows - Audiobook

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this is released for the sake of education this is a brief key insight about all the concepts of the book because we provide free audio books key insights summaries and brief study notes on the concepts of the books so make sure to subscribe and become a part of our family without wasting any second let's dive into the ocean of words how to build self-discipline resist temptations and reach your long-term goals written by martin meadows
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narrated by john geinpen download my other book for free i want to thank you for buying my book and offer you my other book just as long and valuable as this book it's called grit how to keep going when you want to give up completely free you can find it at www.profoundselfimprovement.com how to build self-discipline in grit i'll share with you how exactly to stick to your goals according to peak
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performers and science in addition to getting grit you'll also have an opportunity to get my new books for free enter giveaways and receive other valuable emails from me again here's the link to sign up www dot profound self improvement dot com slash how to build self discipline prologue life is easy when you live it the hard way the only choices that make the
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difference between mediocrity and success are the hard choices the choice to stop eating unhealthy food and change your eating patterns the choice to get rid of your television set and spend time educating yourself the choice to follow your dreams instead of conforming to the common idea of success that doesn't give you joy the choice to keep fighting when you can barely stand on your feet self-discipline is the key that will help you make these hard decisions
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instead of sticking with what's easy and comfortable people who focus on instant gratification things that are safe easy and comfortable rarely reach their long-term goals how do you build self-discipline in your life how do you resist short-term rewards in order to reach your long-term goals this book is the answer to these questions although i've been a self-disciplined person ever since i can remember thank you mom i always seek more information and advice about making myself more
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effective at resisting temptations i abstained from food for over 40 hours for two months i took two five-minute long ice cold showers every single day i went on a strict diet and lost over 30 pounds in 12 weeks on more than several occasions i ran in shorts in negative 4 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes i lifted heavy weights to the point i saw stars in my head i wrote over 100 000 words in a single
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month which amounts to a 400 page long novel why the hell do i do all these crazy things the answer is simpler than you think no i'm not a masochist i do them to test my boundaries and discover how far my self-control goes i have no doubt there's nothing more important to a successful life than to maintain a high level of self-discipline and keep growing on a daily basis hence i challenge myself i want to find out if i can resist the temptation to eat after fasting for
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almost two days or go home when the frigid air makes my legs go numb my experiments help me understand myself better and teach me useful things about self-discipline things that can be applied to everyone's life don't worry though you don't have to make yourself go through my crazy experiments although it wouldn't hurt you your willingness to understand how self-discipline works and applying this knowledge to your life is all you need to change yourself whether you want to learn how to stick
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to your new eating pattern or transform your entire life you'll find out how to do it in the following pages most of the advice shared in this book is based on scientific research referenced at the end of the book to help you get the most out of the book in the shortest possible time i decided not to go into details about each study instead of sharing with you the detailed why with confusing and boring descriptions of studies i will share with you the how chapter 1
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the fundamentals of self-discipline the 80 20 principle says that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the efforts in reality you often need to know just one thing to achieve extraordinary results self-discipline is no different it can also be simplified to one concept automating your behaviors you don't need any more self-discipline than you have now if you can learn how to establish new habits in your life default actions you take when tempted to
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lose sight of your long-term goals imagine you're on a diet and someone offers you a chocolate bar your long-term goal is to lose weight and become healthier but the temptation staring straight in your face a delicious bomb of sugar lures you in almost as if it meant your life if you didn't eat it you wriggle and squirm trying to draw from your willpower and say no two minutes later if not sooner the chocolate bar is gone after all what the hell one chocolate
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bar won't screw up your diet right the next time someone offers you a chocolate bar you won't be able to resist again soon you'll drop your diet and go back to your regular eating habits all because you haven't developed an automated reaction to someone offering you a chocolate bar now imagine your behavior is automated you followed the 80 20 principle and introduced a habit in your life at the side of a chocolate bar you become self-aware of your craving but
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instead of giving in you recognize the craving for what it is a detour that will take you away from your long-term goal you remind yourself you can eliminate the craving by eating a piece of fruit all of it happens in an instant it's as natural to you as brushing your teeth right after you wake up you don't need to exert your self-discipline to do it do you congratulations your automated behavior has prevented you from breaking your resolutions self-discipline starts with habits
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research shows it takes anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit on average it takes a little more than two months sixty six days to make a new behavior automatic each day you repeat the behavior you intend to automate you need less discipline to make it stick sixty six days later it takes little discipline to maintain the habit it becomes your automatic behavior charles duhigg the author of the power
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of habit why we do what we do in life and business breaks down a habit into three elements cue action and reward if your queue is the site of a chocolate bar in the store your action is eating it and your reward is the sweet taste of chocolate in your mouth your brain follows a simple plan when it sees the cue it makes you perform the action usually with little awareness in order to get the reward it craves fortunately we can use the exact same
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process to form positive habits and make our behaviors automated we can also make changes to our existing bad habits and transform them into good ones to take the example with the chocolate bar let's assume it's your craving for something sweet that drives you to eat it the next time you get a craving to eat a candy bar replace it with an apple the first time you'll modify your behavior will be the hardest that's when your self-discipline is needed the most you may need to put into use some of the
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tips i'm going to share later in the book once you repeat the same behavior several times it will get easier and easier to replace the bar with an apple several weeks later you will grab an apple at the side of a chocolate bar it will become your new default you won't even think twice about making a different choice developing new habits is the essence of self-discipline but there's a better way to introduce new habits than doing it one by one focus on keystone habits
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charles duhigg talks in his book about keystone habits patterns that lead to the transformation of several other areas of life unsurprisingly one of the most powerful habits that lead to changing other patterns is regular physical activity studies show that regular physical activity may lead to reduced overeating smoking alcohol consumption and risk taking consequently just one change in your daily routine can help you introduce
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numerous other healthy changes with little to no resistance positive things just happen and transform your life sign me up oh sorry i've already benefited from this phenomenon just like in the example in the cited research exercise has also made me a better person when i started weight lifting i went from a weak and overweight person with an unhealthy diet to a healthy strong and fit male today all the little unhealthy habits that
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were part of my life before i started exercising don't exist anymore it's even better than that i have a natural resistance to go back to an unhealthy diet or other bad habits that used to rule my life when someone offers me a bag of potato chips i don't need any discipline to say no it's just not a part of my new personality to eat it another keystone habit that can help you make changes in your life with much less discipline than tackling each of them separately is food journaling
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research shows that people who journal their intake of food ate less and made healthier choices besides the habit of writing down what they ate during the day none of the participants was encouraged to change any other habits the change as in the case of exercise happened naturally i also used food journaling to keep track of what i ate it helped me understand the amount of energy and nutrients each food provides and how to use it either to lose weight or to build muscle
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both exercising and food journaling are two keystone habits that can transform your life but what if you already have a healthy diet and exercise regularly keystone habits don't stop at just these two behaviors you can apply due higgs findings in any other area of your life and look for other keystone habits here are some potential keystone habits you can develop in your life and expect a positive chain reaction number one meditation
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there are at least 20 scientifically proven benefits of meditation that carry over to all areas of life we'll talk about meditation in more detail in a later chapter number two waking up earlier even waking 15 minutes earlier can bring a huge change in your life by letting you start your day with less stress and in no hurry reduced tension in the morning can help you improve your relationships with other people and become more effective at work number three
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trying a new thing every single day stepping outside your comfort zone and doing things you have never done before will help you discover new hobbies meet new people and face your fears number four saving money no matter what you think about money and happiness a couple of months of savings can make only positive changes in your life leading to decreased stress and more financial safety that spills over to other aspects of your life
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number five expressing gratitude for things you're thankful for studies show that writing down three things that went well on a given day led to steady increases in happiness is willpower a resource several authors such as kelly mcgonigle and roy baumeister describe willpower in their books as a limited resource that needs to be managed their findings based mostly on baumeister's research seem interesting our willpower works
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like a muscle and we can both strengthen it and fatigue it their model suggests willpower depends on our blood glucose when it drops so does our self-control in other words hungry people were more likely to make bad decisions it didn't feel right to me i follow an unusual eating pattern by fasting for 16 to 20 hours every single day and eating in a short four to eight hour window yet i don't magically give in to
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temptations during my period of fasting if anything it gives me more clarity when researching information for this book i found evidence that their advice might indeed be wrong robert kurtzbaum and his colleagues believe that the hypothesis of willpower as a resource that can be resupplied with glucose is unlikely to be correct a german study confirms kurtz bonds beliefs some studies even show that the amount of your willpower depends on whether you
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believe it's limited or not and definitely not on your levels of blood sugar confusing huh when writing this book i decided to adapt both points of view without the controversial get some sugar to restore your self-control the second most important thing to learn how to live a more disciplined life is to understand how important self-awareness and motivation are and how they can help you stick to your resolutions low blood sugar level or not and that's what we're
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going to cover in the second chapter here's a quick recap of the fundamentals of self-discipline on average it takes 66 days to form a habit once you make a certain behavior automatic you won't have to rely on your self-discipline to keep doing it when presented with a specific cue you will automatically react to it just like you trained yourself to it's the simplest way to introduce more self-discipline in your life keystone habits give you the best bang
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for your buck if you haven't already done so introduce a habit to exercise on a regular basis if it's already part of your routine consider meditation waking up earlier expressing gratitude saving money or trying one new thing every day 2 what is your why the most basic definition of self-discipline is the ability to control your urges in order to meet your long-term goals
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the key word here is your long-term goals your reason why you say no to instant gratification the second best thing to stick to the promises you made to yourself is to have a strong why and remind yourself of it when faced with a temptation let's imagine your goal is to get healthy and lose weight that's a fine goal but it won't work when someone tempts you with a piece of chocolate this goal isn't specific enough and it doesn't elicit a powerful emotional
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response let's switch it to something more specific you want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year to fit into your sexy red dress or suit replace it with any other favorite piece of clothing that makes you feel good imagine how light and young you will feel when you wear it how happy and healthy you will be in control of your diet and your fitness now look at that piece of chocolate is it really worth it to give up this powerful vision for a short burst of sugar
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grab an apple instead and feel good knowing you're still on track there's one thing missing in this technique though pause and think about your why in full details think about what you hear what you smell what else you feel the goal is to give yourself at least a minute to take your mind off the craving when you slow down your body will restore its ability to resist a temptation if you make an impulse decision when faced with a craving your choice is
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rarely going to be aligned with your long-term goals that's the technique you can use when you're faced with a temptation it's not an effective way to motivate yourself on a daily basis though the common approach of visualizing your goal is more likely to get you off track than to help you get closer to your goal let's explore why the proper way to visualize ucla researchers liam b pham and shelly
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e taylor conducted an experiment that compared standard visualization imagining the moment you achieve the goal with sports visualization that focuses on visualizing the process used by the likes of michael phelps one of the top olympic swimming medalists their findings confirmed that visualizing the process in detail is more effective than imagining the goal a single event imagining the goal thanks to dopamine more on that in a later chapter lets you
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enjoy the feeling of reward without actually doing any work consequently you lose the drive to strive to reach your objectives how should you visualize your goals to become more disciplined then you envision in little details each action you need to take in order to achieve your goal if your goal is to become a healthy fit and strong person you envision lifting weights and sweat trickling down your forehead you think about cooking a healthy tasty meal
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you imagine yourself walking past the aisle with your favorite snacks and picking vegetables instead you see yourself putting on your running shoes instead of turning on your television better yet it should be gone from your house forever in other words you train your mind to prepare yourself for the challenges you're undoubtedly going to meet in the real world the more often you picture all the necessary steps you need to take to achieve your goal the easier it will be
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to make them an inherent non-negotiable part of your life when you switch your mind from event oriented to process oriented magic will happen be selective in your life research suggests that students tend to procrastinate more on tasks regarded as unpleasant and to a lesser extent on tasks requiring skills they didn't believe they possessed the solution become more selective in your life and focus on the essential
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tasks ideally tasks you find both pleasant and that play off your strengths people who want to become more disciplined often mistake self-disciplined with making themselves miserable that's not what self-discipline is all about the only use of increased self-discipline is to help you reach your goals you want to achieve in other words no amount of self-discipline will be enough to help you stick to doing things you hate here's where the issue of selectivity
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comes into play we all have 24 hours in a day and limited energy spreading yourself then by trying to accomplish too many things at once is sub-optimal at best and will work against you in the worst case that's why the first step to introduce more self-discipline into your life is to form keystone habits in many cases these simple behaviors will lead to huge changes that will lead to yet more transformation
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the second most important thing is to ask yourself how your new goals fit into your general plan for your life are you doing them because you generally believe they will enhance your life or because that's something you're supposed to do here's an anecdote for my personal life like millions of other kids when i finished high school i was encouraged by my parents to go to college without a degree you won't matter they said my love of entrepreneurship led me to pick
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business administration as my major month by month i cared less and less i found it harder and harder to attend classes and prepare for exams i doubt you could find a student who cared less than i did even though i'm a perfectionist by nature less than two years later i dropped out no amount of self-discipline could have helped me keep studying something that can only be taught in the real world as much as my parents encouraged me to keep going i couldn't force myself to
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spend several years studying things that couldn't even be applied in the real world i vowed to never again do things that clash with my personal goals and views it's a mismanagement of resources time and energy that could have been spent on something that would bring me closer to my goals constantly monitor yourself bad habits are difficult to overcome because they happen too quickly before we know it we shove a chocolate bar down our throat
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your why is of no use if your habits leave you unable to take action it's why it's so important to constantly monitor your thoughts and stay focused on the present moment with the amount of distractions available at hand in the modern world it's easy to forget about your resolutions you grab a chocolate bar while texting a friend and wash it down with a can of a sugary drink while you update your status studies show that distracted shoppers are more likely to sample food at the
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sampling station in the supermarket consequently they go home with more items than they originally wanted to buy usually the total opposite of what they should have been eating you can apply the findings from this study in your own life if we're more likely to give in when we're distracted it's important to pay attention to our thoughts and de-clutter our minds i find meditation a useful tool to learn how to bring your focus to the present moment but virtually every other type of
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practicing mindfulness will do the trick the fewer distractions that cloud your judgment the easier it will be to remind yourself of your why and stick to your resolutions to make yourself more focused on the present moment consider reducing the amount of time you spend on social media i never check social media on my phone and check my email only on rare occasions when i'm waiting for an important reply with fewer distractions i'm able to better focus on the now and avoid
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mindless actions that would threaten my long-term goals let's recap what is your why the reason you want to achieve a particular goal can make or break your resolutions with a powerful why you'll have a much easier time resisting temptations when faced with a craving pause and remind yourself of the reason why you want to resist it giving in to cravings is an impulse if you give yourself a minute or two to
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think your self-control mechanism will kick in and help you avoid ruining your progress visualization sets you for success but only if you visualize like the sports pros do by envisioning every single step on your journey toward the goal when you prepare yourself for all the actions you need to take you will be more likely to stick to your resolutions than when you envision reaching the goal alone be selective with the goals you want to
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achieve if your goal doesn't fire you up no amount of self-discipline will help you achieve it live in the present moment reduce the number of distractions around you and become more mindful of your surroundings especially when shopping chapter 3 dopamine your enemy and your friend dopamine is a mind-numbing complex neurotransmitter whose role in our bodies i leave to real scientists to
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explain what should interest you the most about dopamine is one of its pathways known as the mesolimbic pathway relax i'm not going to describe the structure of the brain this pathway starts in the cells deep in the middle of the brain and travels to the nucleus accumbens if you want to understand the how it doesn't really matter where the hell the nucleus accumbens is a dopamine release that occurs this way leads to what most people consider the
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only role of dopamine a spike that feels like motivation or pleasure drugs sex and exercise all lead to a surge in dopamine which gives us a feel-good sensation in reality though dopamine has little to do with happiness its release happens each time you're presented with a cue you associated with a reward the mere sight of a cue say a cigarette will increase the level of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens it produces a
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craving that if not met will lead to a decrease in dopamine as all of us can attest an unmet craving and subsequent drop in dopamine doesn't feel good that's one of the reasons why it's so hard to resist to temptation your brain works against you making you fixated on obtaining the reward signaled by the q what you get when you give in and satisfy the urge isn't even happiness it's just relief from the anxiety of not
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getting what your brain wanted what can we do to have a fair chance against dopamine the most important technique is to be aware of a dopamine rush and cues that cause it self-awareness will help you mitigate the clouding effect of dopamine on your decision-making process dopamine responds to thought sight smell and taste it's an impulse that encourages you to satisfy a craving right here right now the effect of a dopamine rush is the
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strongest when the reward is right in front of you the less available the reward is the more chances you'll have of resisting it if you always cave to temptation when you see a chocolate bar on your desk get it out of your sight the mere act of opening a drawer can be enough to help you exert your self-control better yet get the chocolate bar out of your house and reward yourself only when you schedule it if you're shopping avoid wandering into the aisles with
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foods that will trigger your reward center for increased self-discipline eat before you go shopping to be less sensitive to the scents and sights of food dopamine seeks instant gratification which is rarely aligned with your long-term goals fortunately the mechanism that makes the temptation so irresistible gets weaker with time waiting on a craving for say 10 minutes will either make it go away completely or reduce its intensity
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how do you deal with a dopamine rush when a thought about a cue appears in your mind it all comes back to your big why acknowledge your craving and let the feeling wander through your body then switch your attention to the reason why you're resisting it if possible come up with a short-term reward that signals getting closer to your big goal for instance looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing a change in your appearance no matter what you do don't obsess about letting go of the thought of the
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temptation just like saying don't think about a pink elephant will make you think about one so will don't think about this tasty sweet piece of cake keep you thinking about what you want to forget dopamine can be your friend too although dopamine can work against you it's not an evil neurotransmitter just waiting to find yet another temptation and break your long term goals insert maniacal laughter its mechanism can also help you modify
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your bad behaviors and turn them into good ones it can also help you develop new habits and make them automated thus rendering the level of your self-discipline irrelevant since the behavior will happen with no resistance dopamine motivates you to give in to a temptation because it expects a reward it responds to a cue that your brain associated with a specific outcome like the rush of sugar bad rewards aren't the only rewards your
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reward center craves though if you train your brain to react with a dopamine rush at the side of your running shoes because of the reward coming right after it say a smoothie you'll find yourself craving to get outside and jog and the best part is that you don't even have to exert your self-control it's your dopamine that motivates you to perform the task the key to dopamine is that it produces the most powerful rush when the reward is in sight if you want to form a habit to jog three
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times a week you can associate it with drinking a smoothie when you go back home or reading a book for an hour or an afternoon nap when your brain starts associating the cue putting on running shoes with the reward a smoothie afterward it will work to help get you off the couch if you're separated from your goal by several weeks or several months break it down into smaller actions and reward yourself for each one motivation will build up as you achieve
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small wins a smoothie delivered right after the workout will motivate you much better than the vision of getting fit several weeks or months from now even something as simple as listening to your favorite music while running can be enough to help you stick to a new habit how can you motivate yourself by using the promise of reward what gets you going and can make an unpleasant chore easier to perform here are several rewards you can test to introduce new routines into your life
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with less resistance number one food obviously if you're trying to lose weight you should reward yourself with healthy low calorie snacks fruits nuts vegetables number two experience experiences give us more lasting happiness than things consequently it's better to motivate yourself with the promise of going out with your friends than buying a new piece of clothing or a new gadget especially if you're trying to develop a
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habit to save money number three music studies show that music reduces the perception of effort at low to moderate intensity of exercises by approximately 10 percent the perspective of listening to your favorite tracks while jogging will reduce the resistance to get your body moving number four a break a common time management technique the pomodoro technique helps with procrastination because it breaks down
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every task in a 25 minute block after 25 minutes you get a 5 minute break scheduling such breaks helps you get to work the promise of a break produces a burst of dopamine and reduces distractions number five a nap motivate yourself to perform a task by promising yourself a short nap afterwards a short 15-minute nap will increase your alertness and help you focus on other tasks for the day
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number six plan something pleasant since the vision of holidays is too far off in the future a better alternative is to reward yourself with browsing through travel magazines or websites and researching potential destinations planning is half the fun and works like a charm to motivate yourself to finish a project number seven relieve the tension get a massage cuddle with your partner
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meditate go to a sauna or take a walk if you know there's a stress relieving reward waiting for you right after finishing a given task you'll have an easier time doing it number eight novelty dopamine responds to novelty if you have a hard time leaving home for the gym come up with a new exercise you're going to try try a climbing wall instead of running on a treadmill or attending a different fitness class or changing your workout
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if you struggle with sticking to your new eating habits eat something new but still healthy number nine variation variation works similar to novelty mix things up perform fewer reps and more sets choose a different route for your daily jog add new spices to your staple meals small changes can be more than enough to encourage you to stick to your goals let's recap dopamine your enemy and your
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friend dopamine makes you anxious to get a reward triggered by a specific cue identify what makes you crave things you want to give up and wait until your craving fades away don't obsess about getting rid of the thoughts of your desires from your head it will be counterproductive and make you even more prone to give in accept all thoughts that come up in your head and let them go naturally without tension use dopamine to get you anxious to
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perform actions that will bring you closer to your goals associate a specific cue like putting on your workout shoes with the hope of a reward like a healthy and tasty smoothie afterward chapter four five practical ways to train your discipline you can also introduce more discipline in your life if you make an effort to train yourself to control your urges and emotions there are several main techniques to
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increase your self-control and become better at resisting instant gratification in this chapter we'll cover some of the most effective ways to do so meditation meditation trains your mind to focus on one thing your breath it takes a lot of willpower to fight distractions and sit still even just for a couple of minutes studies show that meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate which leads to improved
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self-control if you've always struggled with meditating because your mind constantly jumped from one thought to another don't despair it's a normal thing that happens to everyone even if you meditate for just five minutes a day and your mind constantly wanders the mere practice of bringing your thoughts back to your breath will train your mind soon you'll be able to keep your focus for longer than just 20 seconds or so if you want to introduce meditation in
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your life start small in the beginning i don't recommend sessions that are longer than five minutes it sounds like nothing but when you sit with your eyes closed and try to focus on your breath it feels like an eternity how do you exactly meditate while you can read a book or two about different types of meditation it's not necessary for self-discipline purposes the key in meditation is to focus on the present moment and sensations traveling
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through your body while you sit still here's a simple step-by-step explanation of how to do it number one sit still in a comfortable position don't stand up don't lie down sit in an upright posture forget about the cross-legged lotus position you know from movies unless you're super flexible the three most common positions for beginners are sitting at the edge of the chair with your back straight yes it can be as
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simple as that no need for exotic positions sitting cross leg it's easy and common among beginners but i find it too straining for my back hence i prefer the third option says position fold your legs underneath your thighs and rest your buttocks on your heels for more comfort you can put a pillow under your rear you can use a simple app to limit your session to five minutes or set an alarm on your phone
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just don't use an obnoxious loud alarm that will give you a heart attack number two close your eyes and focus on your breath simple counting one inhale two exhale one inhale two exhale works best you can also count each breath until you reach 100 at first don't expect to reach more than 20 before you lose your concentration once you get better you can stop
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counting your breaths and focus on the general feeling in your body number three focus on the sensation in your body as you inhale and exhale start from your feet and go upward trying to relax every little muscle you'll be surprised how much tension you store in certain parts of your body including tension in places you weren't aware of before such as your chin if you lose focus bring it back to your breath and the sensations in your body
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you're not doing anything wrong if you lose your focus it's a part of the process repeat the practice every single day morning works best for most people but it doesn't matter when you do it as long as you keep it as part of your routine don't make your sessions longer until you become comfortable sitting for five minutes it's better to add an additional minute every other week or so rather than get discouraged when you transition to 15 minutes and find yourself unable to focus
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cold showers what i'm not a sadist i swear taking cold showers is an optional idea for people who are willing to try things outside the box why would cold showers improve your self-discipline take one and you'll discover why that's not enough to persuade you okay here's a longer explanation taking cold showers forces you to endure a painful feeling for long-term benefits which are well documented it takes a lot of willpower not to jump out of the
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shower or turn the knob back to the hot water i took five-minute ice-cold showers for two months and they helped me explore how my self-control works the first time i took a cold shower my entire body was numb afterward a couple showers later i discovered that it was the first one or two minutes that felt the worst once i endured the first 60 to 120 seconds i could handle the remaining time with little pain and sometimes even with enjoyment
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once i discovered that it's the first two minutes that are the hardest i noticed a similar reaction while trying to resist the temptation it's a reassuring thought that things get easier once you endure the first 120 seconds i don't necessarily believe you have to keep taking cold showers for the rest of your life after all we don't build self-discipline to make our lives miserable however it's a good idea to take cold showers for a week or two as a short-term experiment it will teach you
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a lot about your limits you'll understand when you cross the line from i'm going to freeze to i can stand it two it's not that bad soon you'll be able to apply your findings in other areas of life most notably during strenuous physical exercise fasting every ninth month of the islamic lunar calendar millions of adult muslims fast from the break of dawn until sunset one of the reasons of this form of worship is the desire to practice
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self-control and train oneself to become a better person abstaining from food works in a similar way as taking cold showers although it helps you build long-term self-discipline a cold shower takes five minutes while fasting takes at least 14 to 16 hours to benefit from it the temptation to break the fast and eat is always there up to the moment you get used to the new way of eating it's not something that fits everyone but it won't hurt to try it as an experiment
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and see how it affects your willpower studies show that intermittent fasting has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems and is a potential eating pattern for successful brain aging it is also a powerful practice to develop your self-discipline as with cold showers you don't necessarily have to make fasting an inherent part of your life even fasting just once a week for instance you can stop eating at six pm one day and resume
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at six pm the next day will help you practice your self-discipline an additional benefit of fasting is that you will develop a healthier relationship with food and possibly lose some weight you don't need to eat five meals a day to lose fat or stave off hunger neither does fasting reduce your cognitive performance sleep or mood i fast for 16 to 20 hours every single day and if anything it has only improved my life i no longer feel extreme hunger i
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always find it funny when my friends die from hunger a couple of hours after eating a meal and eating no longer controls my schedule sometimes i don't eat until late evening i recommend fasting at least occasionally you can skip a meal or two stop eating for a full day or temporarily change your eating pattern you can always go back to your usual patterns if you find it's not for you control small things and monitor yourself just like meditation can help you become
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more disciplined by focusing on the act of breathing so can little challenges in your everyday life help you become better at self-control for instance many people have a tendency to slouch it might be you right now make it a challenge to keep your back straight throughout the day do you have a habit of swearing when you're stuck in a traffic jam resist the temptation and switch your mind to something more positive additional self-control will help you manage your anger better
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do you leave your bed unmade when you wake up resist the temptation to leave it unmade and spend two minutes making it as perfect as if you expected someone to come over do you always want to prove other people wrong exert your self-control to put an end to this behavior and keep your tongue behind your teeth you can also use various online tools and apps to track the small things in your life your spending habits time spent browsing through entertainment sites time spent
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watching tv self monitoring will help you pick new challenges that will help you improve your self-control start with one little thing and get better at controlling it increase the difficulty by picking a thing that is a bit harder to control keep challenging yourself to gain more control over the little things in your life you usually do mindlessly go beyond the first feeling of fatigue sir roger bannister who was the first
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man to run the mile in less than four minutes in 1954 said in 2000 it's the brain not the heart or lungs that is the critical organ it's the brain studies show that the first feeling of fatigue is an emotion not the signal that your body is spent and can't go on any longer consequently you can learn how to exert more self-discipline when you decide to go past the first feeling of fatigue and see how much further you can push yourself
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obviously the easiest area where you can introduce this finding is exercise if you go to the gym don't be afraid to go past your original limits and see if you can push a little bit more make it a priority to do it in a safe way though with the proper form and a spotter to help you i do it from time to time at the gym and it helps me explore my true limits and discover that frequently it's only my mind that limits me from achieving more if you run long distances push yourself
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to beat your personal record and finish your usual distance in a shorter period of time or run farther as with weight lifting don't hurt yourself in the process don't push so far that you injure yourself going beyond the first feeling of fatigue will help you move your limits and increase your capabilities to control yourself under overwhelming pressure after all if you can push through extreme exhaustion and complete yet one more rep with a heavy bar on your back
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you can also resist the temptation to eat a chocolate bar right let's recap five practical ways to train your discipline meditation helps you train your self-discipline by forcing you to focus only on your breath it also teaches you how to resist distractions and live in the present moment if you want to begin meditating start small with five minute long sessions cold showers although extremely painful during the first minute or two can help
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you deal with challenges better consequently you'll be more in control when faced with an overwhelming temptation to give in fasting even infrequent will help you better control your urges it's especially useful for people who want to change their relationship with food and become better at controlling cravings learning to control small things can help you control bigger things treat it like a workout and start from monitoring simple things then go on to harder
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things test your boundaries the first feeling of fatigue is your body's reaction under stress but it doesn't mean you can't go on any longer push your limits to see how much more self-control you can squeeze out of yourself chapter five self-discipline or its lack thereof is contagious ross hammond conducted a review of research on the role of social influence in the obesity epidemic his findings
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confirmed that social influence is a significant factor in obesity in other words our friends and family can infect us with obesity if they can make us prone to gaining weight they surely can influence other areas of our lives too motivational speaker jim rohn once famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with although his saying wasn't based on any scientific proof it's hard to argue with him family and friends influence all aspects
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of our lives we copy their sayings behaviors habits and opinions self-discipline isn't different if all your friends spend hours in front of the television and their muscles haven't experienced any real exercise for years it's likely you're similar to them if they have problems with obesity chances are you have them too and have a habit of eating out at fast food joints together if you want to introduce more self discipline in your life consider surrounding yourself with the energy
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conducive to a positive change it doesn't mean you have to drop all your friends though while your friends and family have a huge influence over who you are you can use books and the internet to surround yourself with a different kind of energy for example none of my friends is particularly crazy about exercise in fact i'm the only person who's been religiously going to the gym three times a week for a long time the habits of my friends might have influenced me but they didn't
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it happened for a simple reason i surround myself with a lot of success-oriented people through various online forums and groups although i don't know any of these people better than my close friends the mindset of these online friends is contagious and motivates me to strive for more the challenges other people set for themselves and share online inspire me to work on my own self-discipline and push my boundaries too i'm sure that if it wasn't for the internet i would have had a much harder
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time resisting the temptation to do things the easy comfortable way that leads to instant gratification but little beyond it i have a childhood friend who started hanging out with less than ambitious individuals a couple of months later his everyday life was pretty much the copy of the lives of these people playing computer games hanging out in the neighborhood doing nothing and consuming unhealthy substances on a daily basis only when he cut ties with these people a couple years later did his life
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advance he got back on track to make positive changes in his life and his self-discipline improved so much that he was able to get rid of most of the bad habits contracted from these people as they say who keeps company with the wolves will learn to howl have quality friends the 80 20 principle mentioned in the first chapter can be applied to our relationships too twenty percent of your friends bring eighty percent of the social enjoyment
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if you think about your social network you can surely pinpoint in a few seconds who gives you the greatest joy if you're reading this book it's probably people who share your growth oriented mindset on the other side of the spectrum are the people who have a negative influence on your life oftentimes you don't even like these individuals that much but you keep meeting with them out of a bad habit you know who i'm talking about people who constantly complain people who blame others for everything
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people who criticize you for trying to reach your goals if you'd like to become more self-disciplined reduce the amount of time you spend with people who lack discipline their behavior even if you don't condone it can easily affect you to give you a simple example if you see a huge portion of french fries on your friend's plate it might make you think you're doing quite well with your new diet it can tempt you to make an exception and grab some fast food too to your friend's joy and to your detriment
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on the other hand if you hang out with people whose habits you'd like to introduce in your life they will make it easier to achieve this goal if all of your friends attend a gym it's much easier to form a similar habit have a self-disciplined role model some people are lucky to have a mentor in their lives others have to find their own role model usually through books in both cases though you can have a person whose habits and qualities you'd like to have
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for instance one of my role models is richard koch british multi-millionaire famous for his books about the 80 20 principle every time i'm tempted to complicate my life and focus on volume instead of quality i remind myself of what he would do he's just one of my mentors who unknowingly helps me stick to my resolutions and keep traveling the path leading to the destination i set for myself who is your self-discipline role model whose values habits and qualities would
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you like to possess it doesn't have to be anyone famous your family members can be great role models too now what would this person do when tempted to break her resolution what would she say if she saw you eating that chocolate bar instead of sticking to your new eating habits have a self-disciplined partner if you're trying to form a new habit one of your friends also wants to introduce into her life partner up with her to keep each other motivated and
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accountable your self-discipline combined with the self-discipline of your friend will result in a synergic effect that will keep you going even during days when you'd like to give in ignore haters every time you set out to accomplish something in your life you'll use your self-discipline to help you say no to instant gratification and keep the big picture in your head unfortunately with accomplishments come haters people who dislike you because
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they're jealous of your success these individuals don't even have to be some anonymous people from the internet it might as well be a member of your own family or one of your friends instead of making it blatantly obvious they may hide their contempt with jests while tempting to respond to these people it's a good self-discipline exercise to focus on your goals and pay no attention to such distractions the time and energy you would spend trying to straighten haters out not going to happen
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is better spent on bettering yourself i like to say there's always something good in everything bad that happens to us haters are no different i use the disbelief or jealousy of other people as motivation to stick to my long-term goals to give you an example if someone would tell you with viciousness you're looking today like you looked a couple of months ago despite your regular workouts you could use it as fuel for your workouts you could strive to prove this person wrong but not with the intention of
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shoving it interface quite the contrary you would find the joy in accomplishing your goals despite others like they say the best revenge is living well if there's anybody in your life who's driving you crazy with her nasty remarks channel your energy toward your goals as an additional exercise you'll learn how to resist the temptation to argue with someone nothing good ever comes out of arguing let's recap self-discipline or its lack
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thereof is contagious people around you can affect your self-discipline if you hang around people who exhibit negative habits you're more likely to develop them in yourself if you spend time with growth-oriented people you're more likely to grow along with them find a self-disciplined role model or get a self-discipline partner each time you're tempted to give in remind yourself of how disappointed your role model or partner would be if she
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saw you losing to your urges ignore people who'd like you to fail because it would prove they are failures if it gets you going use their negative energy to motivate yourself to achieve your goal chapter six seven traps that challenge your self-discipline there are many traps that can challenge your decision to become more self-disciplined and resist certain temptations in this chapter we'll cover some of the most common dangers for your self-control
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your future you isn't as different as you think studies show that due to a phenomenon known as temporal discounting people value immediate gains over future rewards moreover they consider their future selves as strangers as a result you may fail to save money for the future after all why save money for a stranger and introduce other changes that would benefit you in the future the rate at which people trade current
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dollars for future dollars is known as the personal discount rate a high personal discount rate is positively correlated with impulsiveness research shows that heroin addicts have higher discount rates for delayed rewards than non-drug users for a more common everyday example non-drug users with a high discount rate would rather get one chocolate bar now than two in an hour a study performed on the real world data
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from the military drawdown program of the early 1990s showed that people faced with a choice to get an annuity and a lump smaller sum now chose the latter option even though they would receive at least 17 percent less money by choosing instant studies conducted by elky you weber and colleagues suggest a solution to this problem instead of thinking about the reasons why you should choose instant gratification
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think about the future reward first this weird trick switches the order in your mind making you choose between future reward and accelerating consumption when it's easier to resist the reward you can get now because you don't want to lose the vision instead of instant gratification and delaying consumption when it's harder to resist the temptation since you don't want to lose the instant reward for instance when you see a chocolate bar on your desk think about the future
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reward first a healthy body and mind and then compare it to the present reward a brief burst of energy your mind will consider the second choice less attractive than if you switched the order and treated delayed gratification as the loss of the chocolate bar envisioning your future self whether you motivate yourself by imagining you're feared for or hoped for future self is another helpful technique to increase your self-control scientists at mcmaster university
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conducted an experiment that proved the effectiveness of this technique people who imagined their future selves either feared for or hoped for reported they exercised more another study confirms the effectiveness of thinking about your future self to delay gratification try both approaches spend a minute or two thinking about the best version of yourself the kind of person you want to become then imagine the worst kind of person you never want to become
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which image motivates you to stick to your goals and say no to instant gratification keep in mind this exercise isn't about visualizing your success it's just about bringing your future you closer to the current day to encourage you to take care of your future i'll wait until i feel like doing it are you making excuses or making changes i'll wait until i feel like doing it in other words it means never if you find you're assuring yourself
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you'll start as soon as you feel like doing it revisit your goals self-discipline depends on your motivation with no motivation there's little to no self-control no matter how disciplined you otherwise are remember my story with the college i should have listened to myself before i enrolled all of us sometimes make the wrong decisions and set the wrong goals if you find yourself constantly procrastinating chances are it's not the right goal for you
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what if you catch yourself making such excuses with important keystone habits then it's time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more powerful why let's say your original reason to lose weight was to make others jealous of your new body if you find yourself constantly postponing the day of introducing new eating habits perhaps it was the wrong reason in general a powerful encouraging goal is based on an internal motivation you'll get much more drive from your
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internal need to become a better person than from trying to please someone make someone jealous or enjoy other trivial external benefits of reaching your goal men working out to attract women women losing weight to seduce men while there's nothing wrong with making a trivial motivation a part of your why your main reason for change should come from within you your own desire to become healthier stronger richer etc research conducted in an academic
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context of motivation suggests that intrinsic personal goals health personal growth affiliation community contribution increase both the short-term and long-term persistence of learning that intrinsic personal goals fame physical appearance financial success come up with a strong why that will keep you going when the first rush of motivation goes away replaced by the hard reality where success requires stick-to-itiveness
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even when it rains even when you don't feel like doing it even when you'd rather stick to your old habits and give in to your temptations false hope syndrome false hope syndrome refers to a behavior of setting unrealistic expectations about the speed amount ease and consequences of the changes you'll make in your life it's sort of like a vicious cycle people who fall victim to this syndrome make frequent attempts to change themselves
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yet fail each time because they set impossible goals the first part of the change making the decision to make a change and setting an unrealistic goal gives you a powerful boost of hope that makes you feel good it's typical instant gratification you haven't achieved anything but you already feel like you're on top of the world or just an inch from reaching it false hope syndrome makes you come up with unrealistic goals because you're over excited about reaching them
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people say i can lose an average two to three pounds a week to hell with it let's make it ten pounds i'll be slim and sexy in three weeks no entrepreneur succeeded with their first business idea yeah right i'll be a multi-millionaire in a year there's a limit on how much muscle my body can take on in a week nah that's some nonsense i'll gain 30 pounds in six weeks like this guy from the ad each of these examples sets the person up for failure once they start making
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actual changes with a cold mind they will notice how difficult their goal is and how unlikely it is to achieve it the delusion quickly turns to resignation which leads to breaking their resolutions and just like that they're back to square one while trying again and again is worth applauding it's a foolish thing to keep giving in due to the same cause the next time you're setting your goals and especially if they're related to something that you have little idea about
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set your mind on the action steps you need to take to reach your goal and although dreaming big is an admirable quality find out what average people achieve and adjust your goals accordingly thanks to this simple change in your attitude you won't get discouraged by not reaching your unrealistic expectations decision fatigue a study conducted on judges uncovered a disturbing finding when judges were tired of making repeated rulings they
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tended to stick to the status quo more specifically the percentage of favorable rulings dropped gradually from 65 percent to nearly zero within each decision session and returned to 65 percent after a short break a study on making choices and self-control demonstrated that making several choices led to reduced self-control exhibited among others by reduced persistence and increased procrastination
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president obama once said in an interview you'll see i wear only gray or blue suits i'm trying to pair down decisions i don't want to make decisions about what i'm eating or wearing because i have too many other decisions to make his decision to reduce the number of decisions he's making every single day helps him make better decisions when faced with more important matters than the color of his suit dean spears of princeton university argues in his paper that decision
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fatigue is one of the reasons why the poor stay poor since they have less money to spend each financial trade-off leaves them with less and less self-control than the people who have more disposable income by the time the poor are at the cash register they can't resist buying a snack or other products displayed there thus spending more money than they intended studies also showed that decision fatigue can lead to decision avoidance in the presence of too many choices
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people tend to stick with the status quo if you're trying to make a positive change in your life it can mean choosing the unhealthy food you've been eating instead of picking one of the healthy alternatives you can also learn from these findings and reduce the effect of decision fatigue on your self-discipline it all comes down to simplification first and foremost reduce the number of trivial decisions you make in your life for instance spend less time and energy
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choosing what to wear in the morning according to the 80 20 principle 80 percent of the time you wear 20 of your clothes reduce the number of unessential decisions by cleaning your closet and donating things you no longer wear the easiest way to get rid of clothes you no longer wear is to ask yourself a simple question if i don't own it how much would i pay to get it if you wouldn't be willing to pay for it or you would pay very little why keep it
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another way to avoid decision fatigue is to reduce the number of choices for instance if you're in a restaurant and you have a hard time picking your meal choose the first two meals that caught your attention and decide between them better yet ask the waitress to choose for you and have more self-control to resist the dessert last but not least put to use the findings of the study with judges if you want to make the right decision do it after a break not before it and to stay on the safe
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side do it in the morning when you've yet to make hundreds of little decisions stress have you ever given in to a temptation you vowed to resist because you were angry or stressed out well the better question to ask would be who hasn't an australian study on students shows that stress depletes willpower students who were stressed because of exams reported an increase in smoking and caffeine consumption their diet and
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sleep deteriorated they struggled with controlling their emotions exercised less paid less attention to household chores and self-care habits they also cared less about commitments and spending the moment your mood goes sour your brain starts searching for a solution to make you feel better usually it means looking for an easy way to get a reward and so you turn to the very thing you want to avoid dopamine releasing activities such as
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eating drinking smoking shopping surfing the internet playing video games and so on most people underestimate the effect of stress on their lives everything goes well until it doesn't your body breaks down and you're left with no power to face daily tasks let alone exert self-control to better yourself since physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the level of stress it should be the first keystone habit to introduce in your life
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if you already exercise on a regular basis here are a few more ways to reduce your stress number one read a book reading a book in silence is a simple way to forget about the world around you and restore your energy number two go for a walk especially in nature studies show that exercise in green spaces such as forests and parks promotes well-being and recovery from stress
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number three meditate we already discussed how powerful it is number four get a massage some people consider it awkward to get a massage from a stranger even though it has been proven to be a powerful way to alleviate stress number five spend time with friends and family enjoying the company of people close to you will help you forget about your troubles and once you focus on your
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problems again they will be easier to solve number six cuddle or have sex physical intimacy even a simple hug results in the release of oxytocin and serotonin two powerful stress relieving hormones number seven listen to music music helps relieve stress and improves mood studies have also found it has a small pain relieving effect
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the key to reduce stress effectively is to focus on techniques that provide a longer stress relieving response not a quick release of tension dunning-kruger effect the restraint bias and the empathy gap in 1995 in pittsburgh pennsylvania a man named macarthur wheeler decided to rob a bank instead of wearing a ski mask like any other robber he smeared lemon juice on his face packed his gun
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and left his home his logic lemon juice can be used as invisible ink that becomes visible only when you hold the piece of paper close to a heat source hence he concluded security cameras wouldn't see him i can hear you laughing it was broad daylight when he entered the first savings bank and demanded money with a gun in his hand and no mask on his face he had the magic lemon juice remember then he proceeded to rob another bank a
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few hours later the police watched the surveillance tapes from the banks and decided to show the robber's face on the evening news an hour later an informant identified macarthur wheeler when he saw the police on his doorstep a surprised wheeler said but i wore the juice seriously you can't make this stuff up wheeler's genius robbery inspired two scientists from cornell university david dunning and justin krueger to research incompetence and inflated
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self-assessments the result of their study was what we now call the dunning-kruger effect a cognitive bias in which unskilled people overestimate their abilities while highly skilled individuals underestimate them the only way for the incompetent to realize the limitations of their abilities is to improve the very same skills they believe they possess a later study showed that people overestimate their ability to control impulses like hunger
01:15:20
drug craving and sexual arousal it's called the restraint bias when you have an inflated belief about the ability to control your impulses you are more prone to over expose yourself to temptations a related bias is a hot cold empathy gap wherein people who are in a cold state for instance they aren't hungry tend to underestimate the power of impulses when in a hot state for instance when they are hungry these three biases can affect your
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self-control too the solution to avoid them is to assume your self-control skills aren't as good as you think if you assume you're not as smart as you think you will spend more time making sure you're right and thus avoid stupid mistakes if you assume you have little self-control and temptations can easily break you you will do a better job avoiding temptations status quo bias and related non-rational cognitive processes
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status quo bias is a preference to keep things as they are any change from the current state of things is perceived as a loss as a result making positive changes in your life can be much harder than you think simply because you will perceive them as losses even if the current state of things is no longer optimal for you there are several biases that interact with the status quo bias such as loss aversion tendency to strongly prefer
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avoiding loss to acquiring gains and endowment effect tendency to ascribe more value to things merely because you own them let's say you want to go on a diet but there's still a lot of unhealthy food in your house because of the status quo bias instead of making the more optimal decision donating the food you will keep it at home and then thanks to your restraint bias you'll be more likely to eat it
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the resistance to get rid of food is also related to the loss aversion you'd rather not lose the food you spent money on than make your house free of temptations here are several ways you can battle the status quo bias number one remind yourself of your goals and ask yourself if the status quo serves these objectives does storing tempting food in your house help you lose weight number two asking yourself whether you would pick
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the status quo if it wasn't already the current state of things would you still want to have junk food in your house if it was free of it number three coming up with several alternatives to the status quo instead of seeing things in black and white come up with more ideas you can donate the food but you can also give it to your friend to keep it for you number four not succumbing to the status quo simply because you have a hard time
01:18:27
choosing between alternatives if you're unsure whether you should donate the food or give it to your friend don't resort to the easy choice of not doing anything pick between donating and giving it to your friend toss a coin if you have no idea what to do let's recap the seven traps that challenge your self-discipline grow closer with your future self people who prefer to get less now instead of more in the future are more likely to
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give in to temptations and fail at achieving their long-term goals when faced with the possibility of an instant gratification think about the reward from your long-term goal first it tricks your mind making it easier to stay disciplined if you want to wait until you feel like doing something reconsider your motivation come up with a goal fueled by inner motivation health personal growth affiliation community contribution then external
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motivation fame physical appearance financial success when setting new goals be aware of the false hope syndrome don't set unrealistic goals you're unlikely to meet as they will discourage you and make you fall off the wagon sooner rather than later the more decisions you have to make the worse the quality of your decisions will be spend your decision-making energy wisely reduce the number of decisions you take each day to reduce the effect of
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decision fatigue in your life make important decisions after a break or early in the day stress kills your self-control make it a priority in your life to keep your stress levels in check if you need to relax choose activities that will promote long-term well-being rather than techniques that will result in a short burst of relief people with little self-control tend to overestimate their ability to control their urges assume you're not as good as
01:20:33
you think to avoid over exposing yourself to temptations avoid the status quo bias by asking yourself if the status quo serves your goals asking yourself if you would still choose it if it wasn't in place coming up with more choices and not choosing the status quo because it's difficult to make a decision chapter seven seven additional tips and tricks to stay disciplined
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in the last chapter of the book we'll discuss some additional tips and tricks that will help you stay disciplined the ideas presented below will increase your chances of forming a new habit and changing your default actions when you combine them with all the things you've learned so far you'll become much more successful at saying no to temptations make yourself accountable and set stakes my friend who's a successful entrepreneur writes his close friend
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checks to hold him accountable if he doesn't accomplish the goal he shared with his friend his friend can cash the check and use the money as he wishes setting stakes is one of the most powerful ways to keep yourself disciplined after all if there's no punishment if you give in except for self-guilt it's more tempting to succumb to a craving than if you knew you were going to suffer grave consequences for the best results stakes should be high if you're going to give your friend a
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check it has to be for a substantial amount of money not a small sum you don't care about instead of giving your friend a check you can use stick k.com it's a website that allows you to commit to a specific goal then you can set stakes if you don't reach it or appoint someone the referee who will keep you accountable the site offers four options for setting stakes you can either choose a friend or a foe
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who will get your money if you fail at your goal you can also choose a charity or an anti-charity an organization you don't steaks support a powerful motivator let's say you will penalize yourself fifty dollars every time you eat a chocolate bar for how long would you keep eating chocolate if it essentially cost you 50 bucks is any chocolate bar even worth this kind of money and what if you not only lost fifty dollars but it would also go to an organization you hate
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a special kind of setting stakes is buying a gym membership for a year up front or paying front or anything else that will help you achieve your long-term goal sometimes all you need to stick to your resolutions is the perspective of losing a considerable amount of money make sure to achieve small wins studies show that people who lose the most weight in the initial weeks of their diet lose more weight in the long term
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even if they follow an extreme diet other studies discovered that among middle-aged obese women those who lost weight most rapidly were the most likely to keep it off after one and a half years it sounds like it goes against the best practices of losing weight after all it's the tortoise who should win right yet science says otherwise when you think about it in the context of self-discipline the reason why it works this way is simple people who lose the most weight in the
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first two to three weeks of dieting are encouraged by their initial success to keep going the string of small wins helps them stick to their resolution even when the effect of initial rapid weight loss wears off you can apply these findings into every area of your life that needs more discipline want to save enough money to cover your living costs for three months set a goal to reach one hundred dollars in savings first then 250 then 500
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want to lose weight and change your eating habits consider a diet that brings quick results in the short term but can be maintained for a long period of time want to stop worrying so much set a goal to stop worrying for just one day then try two days in a row then three or try to stop worrying about just one specific thing in your life then two then three the first small wins will encourage you to keep going and boost your motivation
01:25:18
to make permanent changes in your life put roadblocks we cave into temptations because of an impulse one second we see a chocolate bar the next second it's in our mouth we see a discounted item we don't need and then we find ourselves paying for it at the cash register if you're an impulsive person put roadblocks that will serve the role of your self-discipline for instance if you have a habit of buying discounted things just because
01:25:50
they're discounted don't carry a credit card with you replace it with a small amount of cash if you always go to your favorite fast food restaurant after work set up a meeting right after your job so you can't repeat your behavior if you want to stop mindlessly surfing the internet while working turn off your wi-fi card or use an application that will block access to the internet or the sites that distract you make choices before they become emotional
01:26:22
prevention is the best medicine and so is planning for your temptations if you're always hungry at 3 pm pack a healthy lunch instead of grabbing your spare cash and getting a chocolate bar from a vending machine if you want to stop arguing with other people and know a person who always drives you crazy come up with a plan to avoid this person when you plan for situations that can challenge your self-discipline too much you reduce the risk of giving in to a temptation
01:26:53
consequently you prevent cravings instead of fighting against them schedule indulgences tim ferriss is the author of the wildly popular fitness book the four hour body in the book he describes the slow carb diet a diet that focuses on eating foods with a low glycemic index entire groups of food are restricted but it isn't what makes the diet easy to stick to and so effective this diet with the addition of some extreme
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modifications helped me lose over 30 pounds in 12 weeks what makes it so powerful is the cheat day a scheduled day on which you're allowed to eat anything you want as much as you want tim ferriss says no delusions people give in to cravings especially when they're dieting and there's little he can do about it consequently he decided to allow the dieters to indulge themselves one day a week in addition to making people stick to
01:27:55
the diet better a cheat day actually helps you lose weight instead of slowing down your progress just like it's easier to work for 25 minutes if you know there's a five-minute break coming soon so is dieting more bearable when you know that in six days you'll be allowed to stuff yourself with whatever you want you can adopt the idea of a cheat day to your other habits too for instance if you want to exercise more schedule one day per week that you
01:28:26
can spend at home with zero physical activity you don't necessarily have to follow through but it will be a powerful boost to know that you can if you want to start a new business and work on it every single day before and after work set one day per week that is free of any kind of work no matter what your habit is you can find a way to give yourself a short break that won't ruin your progress in most cases the result will be the total opposite you will be more
01:28:58
motivated to keep going tie habits together as we already explored in the first chapter habits will help you automate your behaviors and introduce changes in your life without exerting huge amounts of self-control what i didn't mention in the first chapter though is the idea that you can combine your existing habits with new good ones for instance if you always brush your teeth right after you wake up associate the act of brushing your teeth with a short meditation session afterward
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once you establish a new pattern brushing your teeth will remind you of the meditation when you establish the habit of meditating after brushing your teeth you can add another good habit on top of these two habits say writing down three things you're grateful for stacking habits on top of the existing ones is easier than coming up with completely new cues and routines and will help you form habits with more ease just get it going
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best-selling author jack canfield once said you don't have to get it perfect you just have to get it going when you feel overwhelmed and ready to give up tell yourself you'll try something for just five minutes and then you can stop when you start and five minutes pass more often than not you'll want to keep going what's hard is starting not continuing once you get it going for instance if you introduce a habit to exercise for 30 minutes three times per week tell
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yourself you'll put on your running shoes and go for a quick five minute jog around the block if you can't force yourself to go to the gym tell yourself you will only perform one exercise and then you can go home if you have a hard time meditating tell yourself you'll only meditate for one minute make the act of starting as painless as possible once you overcome the initial resistance you should find it much easier to keep going
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let's recap seven additional tips and tricks to stay disciplined making yourself accountable and setting stakes are two powerful ways to get external motivation to stick to your goals come up with a punishment for breaking your resolutions and you'll think twice before giving up small wins will encourage you to keep going during the first usually hardest part of forming a habit or making any other changes in your life make sure your process is small when
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friendly by setting many goals that can be achieved with relative ease instead of testing your self-discipline put roadblocks and make choices before you're forced to react to an impulse think when your self-control is going to be tested and prepare for it either by making the threat disappear altogether avoiding a specific situation or to make it easier to bear reward yourself with days of indulgence from time to time
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all of us give in to temptations on occasion instead of making yourself feel guilty about an occasional slip up plan when you're going to do it and enjoy it associate new habits with the existing ones to make it easier to introduce a new routine in your life avoid procrastination by telling yourself you'll only perform a certain task for five minutes chances are that once you start you'll want to keep going epilogue
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everyone can introduce more self-discipline in his or her life i hope that what you've just read will help you introduce new changes in your life and stick to your resolutions even when faced with temptations the most important thing to remember from this book is that self-discipline relies heavily on your motivation and habits if you have a powerful reason for all of your initial struggling you'll want to keep going even when life will test you with temptations around every corner
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set goals that fire you up but aren't impossible to reach beware the false hope syndrome form good habits and use the tips and tricks mentioned throughout this book to say no to instant gratification and reach your long-term goals positive permanent changes in your life are more than worth it

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