If you tend to procrastinate, for example, instead of saying: “From this day forth, I will never procrastinate again, ever!”
Try scaling it back a bit to more realistic expectations such as: “I will not procrastinate on any tasks for the next two hours.”
Consider the difference between both statements.
While the first may seem courageous, bold, and right, the truth is that you did not become a procrastinator overnight. Any habit takes time to develop until it becomes ingrained.
Just as it took time to become set in such a habit, therefore, so it will take time to undo it.
If you become too ambitious, old habits will pop up, as it is human nature to desire routine. As a result, you may feel discouraged when you fall off that too high a horse that you have set up for yourself. Your mind rebels at too great a change, and will sabotage your efforts. Again, this is your doing, as you have let it control you instead of the other way around.
The solution is to go slow, to trick your mind into accepting a new habit, slowly, persistently, but surely.
Once you realize that in this case, avoiding putting off things for a mere two hours wasn’t too bad, you can add another two hours to that the next day.
By making slow but sure changes that you can comfortably stick to, albeit with some effort on your part, you begin to find that change does not have to be something traumatic. Your mind accepts this, and in time, becomes more cooperative with you when you make more positive changes in your life.
As you gain more confidence over your own ability to improve yourself, over your growing control over your own mind, and your own inner voice, you can then go on to bigger things.
This confidence will eventually spill over toward mastery over your own life.