Your brain is wired to avoid pain and seek rewards at all costs.
You can’t convince yourself to do things by thinking,
- “Next time, I’ll wake up early so I’ll have time to do X.” If you actually had the willpower to do it, you wouldn’t wait ‘til tomorrow in the first place!
- In my case, I always put off washing the dishes. If there are no more spoons, I’d use chopsticks. No more plates? I’ll use paper plates.
- See, my brain is an expert in convincing me to delay these chores.
- Your problem task might be different but your brain works the same way in helping you find creative loopholes and lopsided rationalizations.
- It is easier to build a habit if you reward yourself for doing it. So I use a modified if-then plan with a reward to get these pesky tasks done.
Here’s my if-then plan for dish washing:
If it’s Monday 11PM,
I’ll wash the dishes and pans I used to cook the previous night then I’ll reward myself by eating an ice cream.
This method works because the decision has already been made in advance.
So when the time comes to do it, there’s no deliberation or second guessing. It also minimizes the demands on your limited willpower.
But if that doesn’t work…? See the Solution in 2 days !
Oliver & Kim