I’m one of those people that finally decides that she is done screwing around and instantly creates a new schedule for myself. Then I turn around and I’m shocked in a matter of a few days when the whole thing collapses. Why can’t I keep on a schedule? It doesn’t make sense. I will whimper to the people around me.
It isn’t the lack of being able to stay on a schedule that is the problem. Rather it is the things in which I fill the said schedule with that causes it. After all, if you are putting things on the schedule in which you do already everyday and you are only changing the times in which you do them, the chances are fairly good that you will be able to remain on the schedule.
For someone like me, however, that simply isn’t the case. I hit a point where I’m tired of laying at the bottom of the barrel staring up at the skin on the outside. I’m done. I’m finished. It is time to dig myself out of this. I will proclaim to anyone that will listen and even some that don’t really want to.
At that point, I sit down and write up a new schedule. If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve seen countless posts about me getting myself back on a schedule only to see posts a few days later or even the next that it didn’t work and I feel lower than ever.
Why don’t they work? Lack of self discipline actually. Sure, I start out with what I believe is an infinite amount of self discipline. I just have to push through until it all becomes a habit, I say to myself.
The problem with this is simple, willpower is not infinite. There is a finite amount of it that your brain will produce per day, so what happens is the things on the beginning of your list get accomplished easily, but by the midday to the end of the day you’re feeling far too fried to continue on.
That is when you will find all of the excuses once more. It is inevitable. So, that being said, the question is how do people change their lives for the better. You know it happens. You’ve seen others around you do it.
Like most things, it is all about the work that happens behind the scenes. The stuff that most people don’t even talk about. That is where things change.
Here, let me break it down for you. With your body only producing a certain amount of willpower per day, you have to take that into consideration. Sure, you may want to pick up yoga to help you body or meditation. You may want to eat healthier, go on more walks. Learn to cook healthier meals. Get your work done, especially if you are your own boss, this is more common.
The list goes on and on and we believe that as soon as we decide that these are our goals, we pile all of it on top of ourselves and expect to get it accomplished. If that isn’t enough, our minds are blown on why we quit the new schedule shortly in or the same day we created it.
We are weak. Other people are doing it and we can’t. Clearly, they were destined for great things and we are destined to watch from the sidelines. Our brains will conjure up these abusive statements and we will shortly find ourselves back at the bottom of that barrel looking up.
That simply isn’t the case. The real problem was the way we went about things. While we may want all of those things, the process in which we reach for it was skewed. Therefore, when we fail at doing it we usually land back where we started feeling worse than ever or even further down.
As a society we are programmed to want things and want them right now. In reality, how it works is that you have to put in the work day in and day out before you accomplish it. That sounds simple enough, but that isn’t even the full thing.
So, let’s combine the things in which we now know. We have limited willpower to accomplish our things throughout the day. If something is not a habit, it takes a lot of willpower, especially if it is completely new to our lives.
The more that something is a habit, the less willpower it takes to do that thing each day. This opened my eyes wide when I realized that while watching a video. It made way more sense on why I was able to sit down and write every day to finish Poisonous Revenge on time.
Part of me, a large part of me, believe that the reason why my writing life took such a hit was due to the fact I had picked up babysitting for my daughter. To a point, I can see how I came to that conclusion, however, it wasn’t accurate.
It wasn’t that at all. Granted they both happened at the same time, they weren’t as closely related. In fact, it went more like this.
My daughter asked me to pick up babysitting once more for her so that she could work to support her boys. I agreed to do that and we set a work schedule. Period. That was it. I informed her that I couldn’t babysit before a certain time because I still needed time to get my work done.
That was it. It had nothing to do with my writing as you could see. During that same time I had finished writing Poisonous Revenge, got it edited and it was release. That closed off my latest project and left me fumbling for the next one.
I should have been prepping my next project while the other was finalizing as it had a lot of time where I didn’t do anything. There was a lot of back and forth with my editor as she ran through it quite a few times. During the times while she had it, I did nothing to do with writing. Once the book release, again, there was no writing.
All this time off depleted the self discipline and habit that I had so carefully built during the beginning of writing that novel. As writing every day became less of a habit and I no longer needed that self discipline withered and died out. It left me with a whole lot of willpower but I wasn’t creating new habits with it.
Rather, ‘I was taking a brief break because I deserved it after working so hard’. That break would turn into a massive one because I broke my habit and it cost me my self discipline in the long run.
I did realize that I would have to build that habit back up once more when I was ready to sit own and write once more. The part I didn’t realize is how that same method works on every aspect of my life.
So, how this works is, you use your willpower to build up a task until it becomes a habit. After that, it won’t take as much willpower to accomplish it. Once that happens, you can add on another task to build up, while up keeping the other one until it too becomes a habit.
Slowly but surely, you will manage to gain your ‘new schedule’ or healthier habits. However, it isn’t instant. It takes time, a fair amount of it to build these things up so they don’t take all of your willpower in one go.
Remember, at the end of the day willpower is limited and anything you do that isn’t a habit, take a whole lot of willpower to accomplish. Not only that, but you’d be so surprised the things that need that willpower.
It is why often after a vacation people say they need a vacation from their vacation. More often than not, on that front it is because their habits have broken. They weren’t getting up at a certain time any longer. They weren’t attending work. They weren’t doing all of these things that had become a habit.
Now, they were back at the beginning and left trying to figure out how to use their willpower to get back to where they were. I’m not saying that vacations are terrible. I’m simply pointing out what it takes to get back on track.
So, try to remember these things when you are ready to change things in your life. Focus on one task at a time until it becomes easier to do it. If you ‘automatically’ do that task then chances are good you can pick up another to use your willpower on until it becomes a habit.
Until next time, Readers. Remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.