DAILY AUTOMATIC PROGRESS

I’m not going to lie…

I’m lazy by nature. Left unchecked, I would never get anything done. I always had trouble handing in assignments at school, and I always look for corners to cut.

In recent years I have become very ambitious, which mixes with my lazy attitude like oil and water. I’ve learned that most people are lazy to some extent. It is human nature to want to experience the most amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain.

I have often created vast plans for achieving my goals, but they would only work in a fantasy reality. I imagine myself turning into some sort of robot overnight that can work twenty-four hours a day without eating, sleeping, or needing to relax.
But these plans never stand the test of time.

Eventually I give up, and feel ashamed.

Does the progression towards your goals have to be this hard all the time?
No, and I think I’ve figured it out.

Daily Automatic Developmental Habits

This is something that fellow HelpfulGuy Leroy Milton and I discuss quite a lot with each other and with the new year starting, we want to really delve into how to internalize these habits and which habits to pursue.

A daily automatic developmental habit is something you do every day that guarantees you will get closer to your dreams.

Unlike baseline habits—sleep, diet and exercise—these automatic developmental habits focus more on accomplishing repetitive tasks that support you in accomplishing your goals.

I’ll use myself as an example.

My dream is to become an expert in the field of personal development. I want to write books, engage in the self help community, coach people one-on-one, give speeches and learn as much as I can in my field.

The daily automatic developmental habits that I enact to support this vision are:

  • Writing one page of content
  • Reading for a minimum of thirty minutes while taking notes
  • Engaging with someone in the community
  • Sharing a 2HelpfulGuys article
  • Coming up with ten ideas

Now, unless you have the memory of a goldfish you will be thinking to yourself “Wait, I thought he said he was lazy and took the easy way. That doesn’t sound easy to me.”

Well it can be, if you have the right approach.

Making Your Habits Automatic

In recent years the scientific community has discovered that your willpower is like a muscle, and you can only exert it so much before it needs time to recover.

When you first start trying to incorporate a new habit into your routine, it takes up a lot of your willpower.

After daily practice of your new habit for a period of time—some say twenty-one days, but I’ve also heard up to forty-five—your habit will cease to take up nearly as much willpower. This means that you won’t have to convince yourself to do it, it will just be natural.

This is where I always went wrong. This is why I found it so hard to get anything done.

I tried to incorporate too many habits at a time and didn’t internalize any of them.

Setting up your daily automatic developmental habits will be a long process, but I prefer long and stable over frustrating and short-lived.

No matter what you want to do with your life pick three daily habits that would guarantee you’d inch closer to your goals, and give yourself a month and a half to internalize each individually before incorporating the next.

After internalizing each habit they will become second nature to you, and you will be automatically progressing towards your goal every single day.

Live Like The Tortoise, Not The Hare

It is important that you become completely content with the idea of the long term, and taking it one step at a time. This is the only way to end up with automatic habits that transform your productivity.

Remember, I promised you automatic, not quick.

I love experimenting with different daily habits and seeing how they can improve my life.

It has taken me almost two years to get my habits in place and I’m still working on them, which is fine. Maybe I wouldn’t become a robot even if I could, because then I would cease to improve.

I’d rather be slow and stable, than to go Gung-ho and burn out before I get anywhere.

But this could all just be an excuse to take the long way around because, well…

am lazy.

walk slowly

How To: Cure the Block

I have writer’s block today. I almost never have writer’s block. My ideas and thoughts usually flow naturally. For the most part, writing an article just comes second nature.

But, today is different for some reason. I’m going to diagnose my problem, treat it (by finishing this article) and, hopefully, sleep well tonight, knowing that I wrote something half decent.

The-10-Common-Types-of-Writers-Block-and-How-to-Overcome-Them-Quickly

Here goes:

A) Increase Blood Flow

When I wrote that first part of the post, it was early in the morning. Now, as I am writing this, I feel more at ease. Why?

I just finished an intense workout routine. I feel all the blood flowing through my body. Exercise is effective at getting your blood moving through your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.

Even something moderate. For me it was intense, but something as simple as a walk outside will clear your head for those creative juices.

B) Surround Yourself with Different Surroundings

Leave your mundane writing environment and start somewhere new. In most cases, I write my articles in my room, most of the time in my underwear (that’s an unwanted image).

Sometimes, I feel like I have no inspiration to write. Similar to the previous point, walking outside helps with that. Surrounding yourself with fresh air and new environments will produce new ideas.

C) Use Stimulants

I’m not a fan of drugs, as most of you know. By stimulants, I mean something that perks you up. For me, I use tea.

Daily teas are part of my routine because it gives me a little peak of energy. Similarly, you can use coffee as a substitute.

I can’t do coffee anymore. I had a serious addiction and decided to quit cold turkey. Now, the smell of coffee makes me gag. In my opinion, tea is just as effective without the after-jitters.

D) Read

I think reading can solve most of your problems. For example, after reading this article, you will overcome your writer’s block. If I’m stuck, I will read one chapter from three different books.

I read one chapter from a self-help book, one from the fiction category and one from any science category (most of the time, it’s psychology).

Reading three different chapters from three topics allows my brain to have idea sex. I mix all three different thoughts together. You can always combine ideas from different topics.

This fresh perspective will give you something to write about.

E) Make an Outline

If you have different topics already in mind, write a rough sketch of it. Figure out your main topics and make points. Make these points as simple as possible.

Your goal here is to write as many points as possible. Don’t worry about good and bad points or expanding on anything. Write enough to jog your memory later. Once you’ve compiled a list, go back and revise.

Cut out all the fat.

F) Just Start

Stop thinking about the writer’s block and just start with something. It can be nonsensical garbage, but just start writing.

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop” – Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Sometimes all your brain needs is to put down some words. The more you get down, the easier it will be to continue.

G) Write Daily

Writer’s block doesn’t affect me as much as it first used to. I think the main reason is because I write everyday, even at a minimal capacity.

In the barest of bones, writing is a skill. Like any skill, the only way to improve is through dedicated practice (more on skills here). Dedicated practice hones my ability to write.

I looked at my first post (check it out here) and it pales in comparison to my recent works. I am improving, albeit slightly. These slight improvements continue to stack until writer’s block is basically nonexistent.

There you have it. I have completed my article. I feel like I can sleep well tonight. I think I’ve written a winner here.

Remember, don’t force anything. If you have insomnia, you can’t force yourself to sleep. If you are truly stuck, I implore you to try out the previous techniques. They have helped me in the past and even through this current block.

How do you overcome the dreaded block? Did any of these tips help you? Please comment below. My readers and I value your input. Thank you in advance.

Be bold, be free, and love on.