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HOT TOPIC Dealing with procrastination when you're comfortable

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Seamster

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I have a self-reward system. Coffee really gives me a buzz and I enjoy going to sit, drink, and read in the doughnut shop. I do that for 1 hour then I have to go work for 3 hours. But, give yourself a LIMIT! Don't go out and try to work on your idea for 8 hours (because you probably are tired from your job).

Maybe once a week I'll work my 9-5 job, drive 90 minutes, and work 3 hours on a rental property. Yes, I get a coffee for the road before the drive. But, I use the LIMIT + reward. So, I get there at say 7 pm, I MUST quit by 10. Then I take a shower at the vacant property, drive 90 back home, and when I get near home, I'm REWARDED with Wild Wings and a beer, or some movie at home, etc (plus beer!).

Helps me anyway.
 

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WJK

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So last few months my procrastination has gotten really bad, I don't know what changed but I am just putting off doing stuff that I need for my business idea. The real truth is and I hate to admit it is that the situation isn't bad enough for me to change it, I am just too comfortable like I want the benefits but find it hard to push my self to do it. But for example last year I would have been in the same position, but wasn't as bad as it is now. I've even done stuff like cold showers to get out of my comfort zone and looking at some Google tips to try and fix this, but I feel like I am just looking for a quick solution and nothing is working.

Just wondering anyone who has been in this position how did you deal with it? I was in fact supposed to write this post over 2 hours ago, and start some work but the comfort is taking over.
So, your human. Give yourself a break!

Here are my thoughts...
1. Creativity takes downtime. When you're too busy, your mind can't work on new ideas. They take quiet and space to come bubbling to the surface. Respect the process.
Ask your mind for new ideas when you go to sleep. Keep that pad and pencil next to your bed to take notes on whatever comes up from the depths of your soul.
Take some quiet time just to exist. Take a walk. Sit in the hot tub. Flop yourself into a rocking chair on your front porch. Rock yourself as though you have nothing else to do with your time. Take the time to let yourself find that calm space where you can dream and think.

2. Write yourself a letter or journal about what you have been doing. Your inner self is telling you that something isn't working in your life. You've hit that wall, and you don't even know it. You've been too busy to notice. It's time to adjust your life. That doesn't mean throwing everything away. That means tweaking it a little bit at a time. Small changes can have huge results. Writing about how you feel about things and what you have been doing will give you a leg up on the changes that you need to make. Try some very small adjustments and see how they work out for you. Then try the next small fix. Not all will work, but they will tell you what doesn't work. Experiment.

3. Get opinions from other people -- at least 3 for every phase of your program. You don't have to do what they suggest. But, you must listen and understand their point of view. Even dumb people and kids have good ideas. I think about the story about the truck that was stuck under a low hanging bridge. The experts tried everything to free it. Then a kid came along and said, "Why don't you let some air out the truck's tires?" Sometimes we miss the most obvious answers.

4. Trust your inner self. Your soul is like a compass. It will direct you toward your "true north" IF you listen to it and let it guide you.
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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Then that's what you should do. Start a band if that's the ONE thing that drives you. What instrument(s) do you play? Do you sing? Do you write songs? What genre?

The people here who didn't like the process still ground it out as it wasn't the journey that motivated them but the destination. You have little desire to grind it out so maybe you should pursue your desires and come back to entrepreneurship if/when you feel that need.
Is it ok to do it for the destination rather than the "journey"?

Everyone says it's the journey, not the end goal but I feel like I'm the complete opposite. I'm sure OP feels the same.

For example, I'd like to buy a fixer-upper one day and rent it out. Whenever I'm working on a project I completely lose track of time because I am 100% focused and I look forward to the before/after.
 

MHP368

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Do the work.

I could recommend books on habit formation and goal setting but then you'd be action faking reading books instead of doing the work.

you're experiencing resistance, the counter to resistance is work. The resistance doesn't go away, ever. You just work through it.

People with a "strong work ethic" experience resistance, its just they've got the motor memory wired in so that they reach for a shovel instead of sitting on the couch and whipping out the smartphone.

The answer to defeating "not work" is "work"

I mean, i'm glad you have the insight to at least realize you're too comfortable to give a damn but I'd hope you'd extend that a step further and get back to work on your dreams instead of taking it at face value (an excuse for mediocrity)
 

jwhanke

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Generally, if you are procrastinating it is because your mind views something as unpleasant and is trying to do something more pleasant. The more you procrastinate it the more daunting the task seems and it begins to build up. No need to feel guilty everyone procrastinates. If they say they don't, they are either liars or have built systems to beat it! (unless you have Jocko Willink levels of self-discipline, which I certainly do not)

A good way to help mitigate it, using the pomodoro technique. Set a timer, work on whatever small thing you are working on for 25 minutes (get rid of your phone or go to airplane mode!). Timer is up you get a five minute break. Even if you do this once a day 25 minutes of work is better then 0 minutes of work. Process not results.

A lot of time when we procrastinate its because we have some idealized vision of all we get done. Setting the bar super low lets you get started and you will be surprised how often you'll work a lot longer then your initial low bar. I do this with everything gym (just have to drive there), my quarter goals (set a small task in the morning), when I studied for the PE (25 minutes of non distracted studying) earlier this year, etc.
Breaks are good anyway as it gives your subconscious a chance to help strengthen the neural connections of what your doing/learning.
I have some resources below that may be able help you beat procrastination:
 
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Monica Rose

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Not sure man. I mean i get the feeling that alot of people here didnt like the process they werent passionate,some were hungry for it. I dont feel that way wish i did though.

With passion that is something to me where u cant wake up to the next morning and do your work i dont have that drive,never really have. The only thing i think about day in and out is starting a band lol.
A few questions...

I don't know your current situation, are you currently employed or if not, how do you earn your income? What is the difference between where you are right now and where you would be with financial freedom? What, if anything, would you do differently every day having achieved financial freedom? How would you spend your time? How would you spend your money? If you're passionate about starting a band, why haven't you done so? Would having financial freedom change your ability or willingness to start one?

For me, the biggest motivator in wanting financial freedom was having total control over my time. Only having to work when I wanted to. It took a year or two, but I've pretty much done that, and now my motivation comes from wanting to increase my quality of life, which for me means being able to afford to purchase a home outright and I live in Hawaii so that is no small feat. To have fun toys (surfboards, paddle boards, mountain bikes) and lots of time to pursue my hobbies. To be able to travel with my husband (and eventually children) whenever I want, and to be able to help out our families who struggle financially.

Once you've figured out whether financial freedom would change your life enough to motivate you through all the work it will take, then you need to find a way to stay focused and on task especially if the process of building your business (money tree) is a lengthy one. May I ask what your business is or what you are working on? Is there anything about it that excites you? My business is selling textiles, which is not a particularly exciting arena, but I find satisfaction in serving our customers well (providing value) and from the income I receive through doing it. Additionally I find satisfaction in learning new ideas/skills that help me improve my business and allow me to offer more value to more people, and earn exponentially more while doing so.

Hope this helps! Also just go ahead and start your band... What have you got to lose?
 

Andy Bell

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This will probably be long…



Well you could first figure out what changed and use that as a starting point but it probably isn’t worth the exercise.

The problem is comfortable is a bad place to be as there is little incentive to move forward. It’s why many people spend their whole lives working in an average job doing average things when greatness was easily within their grasp. Much better to be broke or seriously in debt and about to lose everything. There is nothing like impending doom to create forward motion.



It’s because you are thinking of this as a sprint rather than a marathon. All these quick fixes work like a watch with a broken main spring. You can wind it up and it might run for 30 seconds but if the core mechanics that keep it running day after day are broken then you will tire of constantly having to turn that winder. You will eventually give up and so don’t stand a chance. So, you either fix the broken parts or you create a new set of mechanics that will replace the old broken ones.

To move forward you need some form of incentive. You need to figure out if that incentive needs to be in the form of a push or a pull (or both). A push for example is having a peer group around you that are focused and doing great things. People who will inspire you and push you forward. Accountability partners, people who are a couple of years ahead of where you want to be. People who won’t accept excuses and will give you some tough love.

Pull comes in the form of what rewards will come from your efforts. A new home, a better life, travel, more free time, less stress, (fast cars, loose women). ;)

Whatever you see as a strong, positive motivator.

Both the push or pull (or combination) need to be in the real world. The internet is great but it’s just a screen at the end of the day. Turn it off and it’s gone. Out of sight, out of mind. So your peer group should predominantly exist in the real world. People you can meet up with once, twice or three times a week. Spend time with and help motivate each other.

For a pull buy yourself a cork board, stick it somewhere you will see it every morning and fill it with pictures of the things you desire or motivate you. Create a bread crumb list. Get to A give yourself a reward. Get to B get a bigger reward and work your way up.



What did you do instead during those two hours?

Understand that to move forward successfully you need to plan successfully. ALWAYS make a ToDo list the day/night before. Plan your day from start to finish.

Think about your most important task and what you are going to do to fulfil it before going to sleep then get up and attack it first thing whilst your willpower and motivation is high. If you screw up and do nothing else towards your goals for the rest of the day you have still achieved something solid. But don’t forget to do your list again that evening. Rinse and repeat.

If you are still struggling, then change your environment. This is the #1 issue most of the time but often gets overlooked. If you are not productive in your current environment it is very difficult to force yourself into productivity no matter how hard you try or how many tricks you employ.

I’m just getting back to the grind myself after having to concentrate on other matters. On days I want to work on my business I get up and drive 12 miles to a local town, sit in a café and work until noon. Then I go to the library and work from there until they close. No distractions save for breaks when the clock says its time (Pomodoro).

I could write chapters on this subject. The most important thing for you is creating a consistent habit of productivity rather than procrastination (which is your current habit).

You can’t rely solely on motivation, and willpower is totally overrated. Willpower depletes like sand in an hour glass. Make the most of it first thing in the morning and then rely on strong processes to see you through the rest of the day. Environment is everything. If you are in a productive environment that will carry you forward. A non-productive environment (the one you currently procrastinate in) will pretty much guarantee failure.

So plan your whole day out in advance. Tweak where needed. Once you get into a daily routine that works don’t deviate from it, keep doing exactly the same thing day in day out until it becomes a habit. The first week is the hardest but stick with it. Get three weeks under your belt and there will be no stopping you.
This post is money, theres a great series of videos out there called productivity unleased. Heres a few notes I took on one of the 4 modules

24950
 
OP
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LiveEntrepreneur

LiveEntrepreneur

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A few questions...

I don't know your current situation, are you currently employed or if not, how do you earn your income? What is the difference between where you are right now and where you would be with financial freedom? What, if anything, would you do differently every day having achieved financial freedom? How would you spend your time? How would you spend your money? If you're passionate about starting a band, why haven't you done so? Would having financial freedom change your ability or willingness to start one?

For me, the biggest motivator in wanting financial freedom was having total control over my time. Only having to work when I wanted to. It took a year or two, but I've pretty much done that, and now my motivation comes from wanting to increase my quality of life, which for me means being able to afford to purchase a home outright and I live in Hawaii so that is no small feat. To have fun toys (surfboards, paddle boards, mountain bikes) and lots of time to pursue my hobbies. To be able to travel with my husband (and eventually children) whenever I want, and to be able to help out our families who struggle financially.

Once you've figured out whether financial freedom would change your life enough to motivate you through all the work it will take, then you need to find a way to stay focused and on task especially if the process of building your business (money tree) is a lengthy one. May I ask what your business is or what you are working on? Is there anything about it that excites you? My business is selling textiles, which is not a particularly exciting arena, but I find satisfaction in serving our customers well (providing value) and from the income I receive through doing it. Additionally I find satisfaction in learning new ideas/skills that help me improve my business and allow me to offer more value to more people, and earn exponentially more while doing so.

Hope this helps! Also just go ahead and start your band... What have you got to lose?
I have two jobs currently and I am trying to work on a business. If I had financial freedom my life would be the exact same, I'd stay at home and work on my music and dedicate all my time to that. Of course some traveling as well, I'd buy my dream car and I would be happy with that. I wouldn't really spend much of my money, I'm not a big spender just the car and house would need my own in the future and some musical equipment.

Why haven't I started a band? I don't know I guess it's a dilemma between the fastlane and starting a band. With the business I just started dropshipping as I gave up on my previous business idea.
 
OP
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Is it ok to do it for the destination rather than the "journey"?

Everyone says it's the journey, not the end goal but I feel like I'm the complete opposite. I'm sure OP feels the same.

For example, I'd like to buy a fixer-upper one day and rent it out. Whenever I'm working on a project I completely lose track of time because I am 100% focused and I look forward to the before/after.
I don't think it's a journey, journeys are fun lol.
 

B. Cole

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So last few months my procrastination has gotten really bad, I don't know what changed but I am just putting off doing stuff that I need for my business idea. The real truth is and I hate to admit it is that the situation isn't bad enough for me to change it, I am just too comfortable like I want the benefits but find it hard to push my self to do it. But for example last year I would have been in the same position, but wasn't as bad as it is now. I've even done stuff like cold showers to get out of my comfort zone and looking at some Google tips to try and fix this, but I feel like I am just looking for a quick solution and nothing is working.

Just wondering anyone who has been in this position how did you deal with it? I was in fact supposed to write this post over 2 hours ago, and start some work but the comfort is taking over.
One thing that’s helpful for me is to have folks that I feel obligated to answer to - that expect to hear from me and see progress, and will slightly kick my a$$ if I come across as unproductive. Do you any have such relationships? Anybody that is waiting to hear an update?

Beyond many other small motivators, this is self-shaming for me if I can’t deliver some good news, or at least a ton of effort in the right direction. We can live with our own shame, but having others disappointed at us hurts a lot more. Mentors, other entrepreneurs - real process/progress minded folks that can call bs on you.
 

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Monica Rose

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I have two jobs currently and I am trying to work on a business. If I had financial freedom my life would be the exact same, I'd stay at home and work on my music and dedicate all my time to that. Of course some traveling as well, I'd buy my dream car and I would be happy with that. I wouldn't really spend much of my money, I'm not a big spender just the car and house would need my own in the future and some musical equipment.

Why haven't I started a band? I don't know I guess it's a dilemma between the fastlane and starting a band. With the business I just started dropshipping as I gave up on my previous business idea.
It's possible that you may need some further motivation and I wonder... would you be able to get by financially, even just, with only working one of your two jobs? If you're making enough income currently to be comfortable, then it might help you to get a little uncomfortable in order to motivate you (and it would also free up some time).

My husband quit his job with only a month or two of savings in the bank and was forced to make the business he'd started work at least well enough to pay the bills. I joined him two years later and even though it wasnt bringing in enough income to fully replace my salary yet, that made it more motivating to get out there and make it work. It's now bringing in enough to support both of us in a pretty good lifestyle, but we want more (everything I listed above) which is why we keep going. And over the last five years there have certainly been points where we got comfortable and complacent and the business stagnated, although the cool thing about the right business is that it grows and does work for you even when you're not thinking about it. Also, sometimes your efforts years in the past will come back with a big win after you'd long forgot about it.

To me, having to work for someone else, and trading 5 for 2, was a huge motivator to start my own thing. What I wanted even more than a consistent income was control over my time, and I had to let go of the security of my job to get that. The income came later and now I make more than I did before, with probably a 1 for five ratio (instead of 5 for 2).

Your desires dont have to be rich to want financial independence. If you could make enough money to support yourself through a business, you could stay at home and work on your music whenever you want. There will be some hard work required to get there, but it's well within your reach if you want it. If that's motivating enough to you then get going :)
 

Monica Rose

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Also, I have to be straight, "trying" to work on your business is bullshit and wont get you anywhere. You're either doing it or you're not. As Yoda says, "there is no try, there is only do, or do not" :)
 

JohnCee

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Sorry you didn't get much out of it.

What I got out of it and what many clients do, is that procrastination is actually something we can look forward to.

We all procrastinate. Everyone does this, not a single person in the world doesn't procrastinate.

What makes a difference is us being honest about where we are procrastinating. Being truthful to ourselves.

And usually, the specific action that we're procrastinating on will bring the greatest result to your business. It's the thing that will grow you the most. You procrastinate because you're afraid, it's too big, OR it doesn't excite you to do that. In that case, delegate it.

Procrastination is a great indicator of the NEXT STEP. If you start your day asking yourself "What am I procrastinating on?" and do it, you'll greatly speed up the growth of your business.

I love procrastination. To me, it works as a compass pointing me in the right direction.
Excellent advice, Tiago.
Thanks for sharing the video & providing your take. I'm going to jump off the forum now, and get some work done :)
 

Bhanu

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Here is an excerpt from one of favorite books . It really helped me staving off the habit of procrastination.
Simple solution is : Make a Habit of Doing It Now
We have all procrastinated at some time in our lives. I know I have, only to have regretted it later. Procrastination leads to a negative attitude. The habit of procrastination fatigues you more than the effort it takes to do it. A completed task is fulfilling and energizing; an incomplete task drains energy like a leak from a tank. If you want to build and maintain a positive attitude, get into the habit of living in the present and doing it now.

He slept beneath the moon
He basked beneath the sun
He lived a life of going to do
and died with nothing done.
--James Albery

When I Become a Big Boy
This is like the little boy who says when I become a big boy, I will do this and this and I will be happy. And when he becomes a big boy he says, when I finish college and do this and this and I will be happy. And when he finishes college he says when I get my first job and do this and this I will be happy. And when he gets his first job he says when I get married and do this and this and then I will be happy. And when he gets married he says when the kids get out of school and I do this and this I will be I happy. And when the kids get out of school, he says when I retire and do this and this, I will be happy. And when he retires what does he see? He sees life has just gone by in front of his eyes.

Some people practice procrastination by hiding behind high sounding words, saying "I'm analyzing" and six months later they are still analyzing. What they don't realize is that they are suffering from a disease called, "Paralysis of Analysis" and they will never succeed.
Then there is another breed of people who procrastinate by saying "I'm getting ready" and a month later they are still getting ready and six months later they are still getting ready. What they don't realize is they are suffering from a disease called "Excusitis." They keep making excuses.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. I don't care what philosophy you believe in--we have got only one shot at this game called life. The stakes are too high. The stakes are the future generations


What time is it and where are we? The answer is now and we are here. Let's make the best of now and utilize the present to the fullest. The message is not that we don't need to plan for the future. The message is that we do need to plan for the future. If we utilize our present to its fullest, we are sowing the seeds for a better future automatically, aren't we?
If you want to build a positive attitude, learn the phrase, "do it now" and stop the habit of procrastination.
The saddest words in life are:
♦"It might have been."
♦"I should have."
♦"I could have."
♦"I wish I had."
♦"If only I had given a little extra."


Never leave till tomorrow which you can do today.
--Benjamin Franklin

I am sure all winners wanted to be procrastinators but never got around to it.When people say, "I will do it one of these days," you can be sure it means none of these days.Some people keep waiting for all lights to turn green before they leave home. That will never happen and they fail even before they start. That is sad. Stop procrastinating: Isn't it time that we put off putting things off?
JUST MAKE A COMMITMENT TO THE WORK NOW SIMPLY START
 
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It's possible that you may need some further motivation and I wonder... would you be able to get by financially, even just, with only working one of your two jobs? If you're making enough income currently to be comfortable, then it might help you to get a little uncomfortable in order to motivate you (and it would also free up some time).

My husband quit his job with only a month or two of savings in the bank and was forced to make the business he'd started work at least well enough to pay the bills. I joined him two years later and even though it wasnt bringing in enough income to fully replace my salary yet, that made it more motivating to get out there and make it work. It's now bringing in enough to support both of us in a pretty good lifestyle, but we want more (everything I listed above) which is why we keep going. And over the last five years there have certainly been points where we got comfortable and complacent and the business stagnated, although the cool thing about the right business is that it grows and does work for you even when you're not thinking about it. Also, sometimes your efforts years in the past will come back with a big win after you'd long forgot about it.

To me, having to work for someone else, and trading 5 for 2, was a huge motivator to start my own thing. What I wanted even more than a consistent income was control over my time, and I had to let go of the security of my job to get that. The income came later and now I make more than I did before, with probably a 1 for five ratio (instead of 5 for 2).

Your desires dont have to be rich to want financial independence. If you could make enough money to support yourself through a business, you could stay at home and work on your music whenever you want. There will be some hard work required to get there, but it's well within your reach if you want it. If that's motivating enough to you then get going :)
Well with my 2 jobs I only work one shift with my other job, I have a 9-5 job Monday to Friday and weekend usually just a Saturday but sometimes Sunday, I could easily get pass on one job the pay is pretty good but I am keeping my other job because I really enjoy and don't want to give it up.
 
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One thing that’s helpful for me is to have folks that I feel obligated to answer to - that expect to hear from me and see progress, and will slightly kick my a$$ if I come across as unproductive. Do you any have such relationships? Anybody that is waiting to hear an update?

Beyond many other small motivators, this is self-shaming for me if I can’t deliver some good news, or at least a ton of effort in the right direction. We can live with our own shame, but having others disappointed at us hurts a lot more. Mentors, other entrepreneurs - real process/progress minded folks that can call bs on you.
No don't have those type of relationships.
 

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Suzanne Bazemore

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@LiveEntrepreneur , this is a great topic, and I understand where you are coming from because I can tend to do that, too - become comfortable and so lack the motivation to break out into something else. Some steps that I have taken are:
1. I quit my job, and we are not in any financial stress, but I like to make money, so I will.
2. I want to help my son, and we will learn together.
3. I am depriving myself of things that would make me more comfortable, such as a new vehicle. I am driving a 14-year-old van, and I am not allowing myself to get a new one (or something cooler, lol) until my business income can pay for it.

I could recommend books on habit formation and goal setting but then you'd be action faking reading books instead of doing the work.
you're experiencing resistance, the counter to resistance is work. The resistance doesn't go away, ever. You just work through it.

People with a "strong work ethic" experience resistance, its just they've got the motor memory wired in so that they reach for a shovel instead of sitting on the couch and whipping out the smartphone.

The answer to defeating "not work" is "work"
@MHP368 I think this is so true. I just quit my job (Thursday was my last day), I took the weekend off, and I plan to just take action, and I will put as much effort into my entrepreneural endeavors as I did my job, and perhaps I will work longer and be glad of it. One thing I am not allowing myself to do is to read more books, because I love to read, so have to deprive myself of doing this because I can easily slip into action-faking. If I wouldn't do it at a job, then I'm not going to interrupt my own endeavors with it.

Make the most of it first thing in the morning and then rely on strong processes to see you through the rest of the day.
So plan your whole day out in advance. Tweak where needed. Once you get into a daily routine that works don’t deviate from it, keep doing exactly the same thing day in day out until it becomes a habit. The first week is the hardest but stick with it. Get three weeks under your belt and there will be no stopping you.
@RazorCut - I like these ideas, spelled out. I am going to use the daily planning sheets that I bought from @MJ DeMarco to set my goals, and to stick with them. Your reminder to make goals the process will help me stick to the path that I set up.

So, @LiveEntrepreneur, I appreciate you starting this thread, because it was very timely for me, too.
 

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