And Finally…Learn to fail systematically
I know this sounds crazy, but the more you prepare for failure, the more successful you will eventually become. How? Well, it all starts with understanding that we live in an imperfect world and that things do fall apart. The best laid plans often do not pan out as we had expected. This is all par for the course. So do yourself a favour, expect setbacks. They will happen and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing that.
The good news is when the setbacks do happen, they do not have to be a disaster. You don’t have to backslide to where you started before you try to improve your discipline. You don’t have to quit and give up. How do you do this? Well, since you’re expecting a setback and you are preparing for it, you know what to do once it happens.
First, you don’t give in. If you suffer some sort of set back or fall back, don’t give yourself an excuse to just give up. A lot of people cheat this way.
For example, if you’re on a diet and you’re supposed to avoid starchy foods. Well, one day, you get hit by really insufferable cravings for mashed potatoes or fried rice. So, you give in and you have yourself a big heaping bowl of fried rice, mashed potatoes, pasta or any other food that you’re not supposed to eat. You tell yourself, “Well, there goes the diet for this day. So, I’m going to indulge myself by eating nothing but carbs for the rest of day, and I will get back on the program tomorrow.
What do you think happens next? That’s right, tomorrow never comes. Once you give in whatever discipline you’ve managed to build up prior to that point, starts to erode. Worst yet, it erodes very quickly.
So prepare for this and tell yourself it’s okay to fall off the wagon. That’s fine, but do not use this as an excuse to stay off the wagon. Focus on getting back to the program as soon as possible and reducing the time you take to snap back to where you were before things fell apart.
This enables you to develop a tremendous amount of tenacity, perseverance, and adaptability. Get used to snapping back until it becomes second nature. This way, even if you get hit with a really strong temptation and you can’t help but give in, the next thing you do is to go back to where you were before. This way, whatever damage you’re "cheating” or “failure” dealt, will be small or inconsequential in the big scheme of things.
It all boils down to getting used to snapping back. Get so used to it that you lose any negative emotional association with it. This is no time to beat yourself up, this is no time to play emotional games with yourself. Adopt these best practices and you will be able to handle setbacks like a disciplined pro.