my distilled version from Yogi times magazine jan/feb 2008, pg's 19-23, article: "manifest your intentions" by doug miller "create new habits and your habits create a new you" (4 steps/strategies):
1. start microscopically small - "You want to start with a resolution so microscopically small that you will guarantee yourself success."
2. create a good constraint - 'People hate making decisions so much so, that they will take action on automatic thoughts, and only later use their deliberate rational thinking.' With good constraints grounded in time of day, the day of the week, and duration or quality we can reduce our decision making in the forming of a new habit (e.g. We can decide ahead of time to only eat desserts on the weekend. This reduces decision questions to: "What day is it?", when you want to eat dessert).
3. focus on the behavior, not the result - This is a similar maxim I use in my Zen practice: "Focus on the action, not the result." It works great in my tennis warm-ups for example. I'm focussing on perfecting my technique, making it better every time I'm aware there's an opportunity to do so. So, I do this exercise instead of worrying whether the ball goes in, out, or into the net. By focussing on my action based on proper tennis fundamentals, the ball tends to go in at least 97% of the time because this is what happens when you focus on building and continually improving your technique vs. focussing on the result of such activity.
4. rely on your environment - Will power is conditional and not constant. It is on when you turn it on, and off the rest of the time. "If you want to achieve and sustain results, the answer is in your environment." ... "The idea is to create an environment that inspires and holds you accountable for the intentions you set. ...by crafting one where you no longer have to spend any time actually thinking about your intention, you'll be better poised to make a good decision for yourself, making you more likely to succeed." 2 important areas to craft your environment for success: area 1. relationships - surround yourself with people who already have the "thing" or intention you're committing to. The best athletes hang out with the best athletes to be at the top of their game mentally, physically, and spiritually on and off the court.
area 2. your physical environment - e.g. - If you want to eat less, use smaller plates. Again this reduces your decision making. Eventually, as you adapt to the new plate size and are no longer thinking about it, you're dieting without dieting, so to speak.
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