How to Break the Cycle of Positive Waste and Achieve Your Goals

Are there people around you who:

Set a flag on weekends, get up early to study, set the alarm clock from 7:30 to 8:30, and sleep until 10:00 for the last sleep;

Obsessed with registering for classes, if you don’t register for fear of missing out, and don’t study after registering, all the materials will be ashes in your favorites;

Determined to lose weight, I vowed not to lose ten catties and not change my profile picture, but after exercising a few times, I chose to give up because I was too tired.

Afterwards, high-sugar and high-calorie foods such as cola and fried chicken can be eaten as usual.

For the above phenomenon, there is a special adjective: positive waste .

These people are eager to improve in mentality and frequently set goals for themselves, but they can never achieve them in action and often give up halfway.

So how should we get rid of the predicament of actively disabling people?

Today I share 3 methods, hoping to inspire you.

As mentioned in “Mastering Habits”, one of the best ways to establish actions and new habits is to first identify the habits you already have and then superimpose new behaviors on top of them.

Dr. Fogg, the “father of behavioral design” at Stanford University, told a true story:

One of his visitors, Elena, divorced her husband, and the reason was actually some trivial things in life.

One of them, and her husband’s most intolerable thing, was the mess Elena made on the kitchen counter after each meal, and the two often argued about it.

But in fact, Elena also wanted to develop the habit of cleaning the countertops, but every time she finished eating and put the bowls in the sink, she forgot.

After listening to their narration, Dr. Fogg asked:

“What do you do after you put the dishes in the sink?”

She replied: “Turn off the tap.”

After turning off the faucet, the sound of the water flow suddenly stopping can be used as a specific and perceptible reminder.

So Dr. Fogg suggested that she add a new action of “wiping the countertop” after turning off the water.

After Elena went home and followed suit, she really developed a regular habit of wiping the countertops, and the relationship between her and her husband was eased as a result.

If you also want to improve your mobility in something like Elena, you might as well try Habit Stacking.

That is to associate the behavior you want to develop with the things you have to do every day, so that old habits can trigger new behaviors.

For example, if you want to develop a good habit of exercising, put on your sportswear as soon as you get home, and then you will think:

Now that I’ve put it on, let’s exercise for a while!

The advantage of habit stacking is that the old habit, as a must-do and fixed thing, can continuously remind you to take new actions.

After more times, a “conditioned reflex” will be formed, making actions that were once extremely difficult, as natural as drinking water and eating.

As the psychological term “booster effect” puts it:

“Just a little guidance on a person’s behavior or thought patterns can have a disproportionately large impact on the outcome.”

“Harvard Business Review” wrote about a very interesting phenomenon.

Some large companies in the United States provide free fruit to their employees.

During the period, bananas were the first to be eaten up, while oranges were rarely picked up.

This phenomenon occurs not only in a few companies, but in hundreds of companies.

Is this because everyone likes bananas and dislikes oranges?

Not really.

The survey found that everyone felt that eating oranges was too troublesome. The skin was difficult to peel, and at the same time, it would dirty hands. Not only did they have to wash their hands after eating, but they also had to wipe the table.

Bananas, on the other hand, can be eaten with the skin off and are easier to dispose of after eating.

This phenomenon reveals a very important fact:

In contrast, things with less resistance have a greater chance of completion.

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman also believes that when people do things, they tend to choose the most trouble-free method.

Wu Bofan, a business critic, has a scholar friend. Although he has read a lot and thought a lot, he has had few works for a long time.

Until a friend sent a beautiful pottery bottle.

Before that, the scholar’s room was always messy and the desk was full of books.

In order to have a place to put the vase, he began to tidy up the house, and only put the vase, a pen and a piece of paper on the table.

Unexpectedly, such a simple act could gradually make his works more productive and high-quality.

Because whenever he has an inspiration, he can immediately put it on paper.

Otherwise, if you look for paper and pens everywhere like before, not only will the inspiration be fleeting, but it will also wear down your patience.

In the end, maybe I haven’t found the paper and pen yet, and I think “it’s too troublesome, so I don’t write at all”.

The same is true for other things in life. The seemingly small actions can also consume our energy and willpower.

And the more complicated and difficult things are, the more they will be consumed, which may lead to delays due to fear of difficulties.

Conversely, the simpler and easier it is to get going, the easier it is to get started.

Therefore, if you want to improve your mobility and avoid becoming a positive useless person, you must learn to create an environment suitable for doing things for yourself.

At the same time, reduce the resistance to doing things, and split the grand goals and events into small things that can be directly started without thinking.

Once there is less resistance, there will be less struggle and pain in the execution process, so we can travel light and continue to move.

Bill Wilson was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Although he has passed away for more than ten years, the association is still operating normally.

Every year, people come for help, and many people successfully quit alcohol.

Their approach to helping clients stop drinking is simple.

The first is to let the help-seeker admit that he is powerless to deal with alcohol.

And it is completely opposite to the ambitious goal of “one-time lifelong abstinence from alcohol” imagined by many people. It only requires members not to touch alcohol for 24 hours, and quit every day.

After that, gradually strengthen the small achievements.

Badge rewards will be issued on the 1st day, 10th day, 30th day, 100th day, anniversary and other special nodes of alcohol withdrawal.

In this way, they can gain a sense of accomplishment in stages and enhance their motivation to quit alcohol.

Through this method, the situation of the help-seekers who participated in the Alcoholics Anonymous Association basically improved.

Because this is a bit difficult, but small goals within reach can easily bring small victories.

Small victories, in turn, act as motivation to keep trying, triggering a cascade of positive behavioral changes.

Just like the “peach picking theory” in pedagogy:

Only by setting the goal at a place that can be obtained by jumping, which is the so-called “reaching out, jumping and getting”, can it have an incentive effect.

Otherwise, if the setting is too low, even if it is completed, there will be no sense of accomplishment.

If the setting is too high, it is easy to choose to give up because of the fear of difficulties or the delay in waiting for positive feedback.

Like a line says:

“You always let me go through wind and rain, but if you don’t let me see rainbows, then I won’t do it.”

Someone once asked Zhou Ling, the author of “Cognition Awakening”:

“I know the truth, but if I don’t do it, how should I deal with it?”‍

He said: “I really want to crack it, and there are methods, just one, just do it! ”

It is better to change a little than to know a hundred points; it is better to act once than to dream a thousand times.

Life is not a fantasy, no matter how good or perfect you think, if you don’t do it, you won’t automatically become stronger.

Only action can make all positive changes happen.

When we embark on a specific path of action, step by step, down-to-earth, the road to realizing our dreams will become clearer and clearer.

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