In this short video, Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, boils down procrastination for us. He also mentions a self-mastery trick known as reward substitution, which he used to self-administer a painful, year-long-year treatment for Hepatitis C.
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens – and when it happens, it lasts.”
John Wooden, Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” — Calvin Coolidge
So you got off-track with your goal. It happens. Behavior change takes time and perseverance. Research on people who quit smoking, for example, shows that it takes several attempts before they finally quit for good. Beating yourself up over a short-term setback will only keep you stuck. Instead, forgive yourself, and use these five tips to start fresh today.
“George Bernard Shaw was right. He summed it all up when he said: ‘The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not.’ So don’t bother to think about it! Spit on your hands and get busy. Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start ticking — and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your body will drive worry from your mind. Get busy. Keep busy. It’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is on this earth — and one of the best.”
Dale Carnegie, From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living