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By: Sam Instone

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April 6th, 2018

The science of your increased success (from the laws of physics to the psychology of achievement)

Financial Planning

According to scientific evidence, your increased success relies on just one thing…

Getting started.

So, why settle for average when you can be so much more?

How to get started: the 3 things this article will teach you: -

1. How to block procrastination using micro progress.

2. The science behind increasing motivation, productivity and progress.

3. How to transform habits with bright lines, and enjoy increased success.

1. Overcome procrastination - just get started – it’s easier than you think

For as long as humans have existed, we’ve struggled with delaying, avoiding, and procrastinating.

Entrepreneur James Clear explains why:

You cannot rely on long-term consequences and rewards to motivate the Present Self.”

He cites the concept of micro progress as most effective for overcoming procrastination – and just getting started.

Getting started

How micro progress works:

  • For any task you have to complete, break it down into the smallest possible units of progress;
  • Attack each one at a time;
  • Celebrate each achievement.

An example:

You want to build substantial wealth and retire at 55.

  • Optimise for the start line not the finish line…
  • Downscale your goal into the very first steps,
  • Keep slicing down into tiny, easily achievable micro-goals.

E.g.

As the following scientific evidence demonstrates, the micro progress you achieve will build upon itself until you reach your finish line. 

2. The science behind momentum, productivity and progress

Using physics and the laws of motion, James Clear explains how just getting started results in momentum, and how productivity naturally follows:

“Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.  When it comes to being productive, this means one thing: the most important thing is to find a way to get started… Motivation often comes after starting…Once you get started, it is much easier to stay in motion.”

Psychologist Ralph Ryback explains how productivity in turn drives continuous progress:

“The satisfaction of ticking off a small task is linked with a flood of dopamine.  Each time your brain gets a whiff of this rewarding neurotransmitter, it will want you to repeat the associated behaviour…The next time you want to accomplish a big goal, try to break it down into bite-sized, dopamine-friendly pieces.”

And Professor Teresa Amabile, from Harvard Business School, explains how positive progress transforms into positive habits:

“Inner work life drives performance; in turn, good performance, which depends on consistent progress, enhances inner work life.  We call this the progress loop; it reveals the potential for self-reinforcing benefits.”

The positive habits you adopt today have the power to transform your life.

  • Positive habits: the ultimate key to your increased success

Clear recently taught CBS about micro progress, he said:

“Habits compound over time – if you could get 1% better every day – you’d end up 37 times better by the end of one year.  It seems like nothing to make these choices in the moment – but over the span of our lifetime it’s what makes the difference between who you are and who you could be.”

So, it’s all about positive habits. 

Positive habits will give you the results you want, because each action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become.

  • Every time you work out - you are an athlete.
  • Every time you write – you are an author.
  • Every time you set money aside – you are

Clear further explained:

“Habits are the method through which you embody your identity and develop your sense of self.  We are what we repeatedly do.”

Therefore, the final key to your increased success comes down to...

3. Establishing bright lines to transform your habits…good and bad

“A bright-line rule refers to a clearly defined rule or standard.  It is a rule with clear interpretation and very little wiggle room.  It establishes a bright line for what the rule is saying and what it is not saying.  The Miranda ruling is one example.  If a police officer fails to inform a defendant in custody of their rights, then the suspect's statements are not admissible in court.  Plain and simple.  Clear and bright.”

What does increased success mean for you?

  • Save more for retirement?
  • Check emails less often?
  • Eat healthier?

Increased success could mean eating healthier

So therefore, a bright line rule may be:

  • I will save £5,000 a month into my Index Account™
  • I will only process emails between 11am and 2pm
  • I will eat 2 types of vegetables at lunch and dinner

These statements make action steps precise and obvious.

Then, break each down using the process of micro progress, and just get started:

The progress you make will be your best motivation – when you get each small win you will have a reason to keep working – and that dopamine will keep flowing.

The science of your increased success is to action quick simple micro tasks now.

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About Sam Instone

Sam Instone, Director at AES International, is passionate about positive change and ensuring international investors get better results.

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