How to become successful EASILY?! (Commitment Devices)
How important is becoming successful to you?
If you remove the barricades of society and reality from around you, then what does success mean to you?
What does your dream life look like?
Answer or Contemplate about these questions for 1 or 2 minutes, then read ahead to know how to achieve the dream life you just envisioned.
Maybe even read our blog on how to know your purpose and passion in life to know what success actually is.
When you embark upon your journey of gradually creating your best life you will see how important it is to break your bad habits and build good habits.
If you dream of being a world class writer but don’t get into the habit of writing on regular intervals, then it is quite obvious that you won’t be able to achieve that.
The process of becoming successful includes you enjoying the journey, piece by piece creating the dream life.
Using the above example – the process would require you to start off by reading one page a day of the right books, then moving on to reading whole books quicklier, then to writing one page a day of your own book, then moving gradually ahead to writing a whole well-researched book.
The process might also include you making mistakes, failures, getting back up, moving ahead one day at a time and then finally you becoming a world class bestseller author.
But now imagine that you can’t get yourself to start off by reading that one page a day due to various reasons.
You really want to but somehow you keep on stalling the activity, lose interest midway, question your dream, wanting to give-up.
So now what should you do so that you stick to the path?
Here’s where the commitment devices come into play, the world is filled with examples of commitment devices leading to results so fast that it feels impossible and yet it’s true.
So what exactly are these “commitment devices”?
Commitment device is simply something that helps you commit to a habit.
Understand how a commitment device works through the following example –
Thomas Frank, an entrepreneur in Boulder, Colorado, wakes up at 5:55am each morning. And if he doesn’t, he has a tweet automatically scheduled that says, “It’s 6:10 and I’m not up because I’m lazy! Reply to this for $5 PayPal (limit 5), assuming my alarm didn’t malfunction”.
So here this scheduled tweet became the entrepreneur’s commitment device.
His brain will automatically get into the conscious and active mode as soon as he wakes up as it knows that if he doesn’t wake up something immediately bad might happen.
Commitment device is something that keeps you on track.
Some examples of commitment devices are as follows –
– If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today then I will have to pay my wife a $200;
– If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today then I will have to awkwardly call a person whom I hate out of nowhere and talk to them for no tangible reason making a complete fool of myself. If they don’t pick-up then I’ll have to call another person;
– If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today then I will have to order a gift worth $50 immediately for someone I am close to;
– If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today then I will have to DITCH EVERY SINGLE WORK/PLAN/DATE for the next few days and give ALL my time to reading the whole book in one go.
I hope that by now you’ve grasped the concept of Commitment Devices and how they work.
Take it up a notch –
You can do one more thing to make it even more effective, when you don’t perform an activity you’re setting a punishment in motion immediately – But when you do perform an activity, do also set a reward in motion immediately.
Now I know you can’t gift yourself something worth $50 every time you read a page – it does not have to be something this big. For rewards the smallest things can work.
Just give yourself a golden star the day you read a page.
So now on days that you don’t read – immediate punishment will be rolled out and it will prevent you from missing out on the task again. The fear of it might even make you miss the habit never ever again.
And on most days that you’re performing the habit – You’re giving yourself a little token of appreciation that motivates you to maintain the streak.
The Little rewards can be in the form of –
– A Heart against the date in the calendar;
– 2 jars, one filled with pebbles and one empty, keep shifting one pebble to the other jar whenever you complete the task;
Or in any other way that you can think of.
So now the statement of commitment would look something like this in your planner/journal –
“If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today then I will have to pay my wife a $200 and when I do read the page I will put a golden star sticker alongside the date in the calendar.”
Pointers to remember before executing it –
An added tip would be to have an accountability partner who knows about your commitment devices and who would make sure that you’re executing the punishment and not procrastinating the punishment itself.
If you find yourself not meting out the punishment aka cheating, then know that it’s perfectly common to do so, just think of a way that will prohibit you from cheating. An accountability partner works the best.
You can stack habits in one commitment device instead of creating different devices. For example – “If I don’t read a page of *name of the book* at 10pm today AND If I don’t workout at 6pm today then I will have to pay my wife a $200”.
Always start by only one habit at a time. Put only one commitment device on your life right now, practice that one habit for one or two weeks before adding another habit to the particular commitment device.
WRITE THE COMMITMENT STATEMENT DOWN!!!
Do not just keep the device in your and your accountability partner’s minds but also YOU’LL HAVE TO WRITE IT DOWN. In your planner, journal, phone wherever – just write it down in a place where you can see it to remind yourself of the task.
So this was it for today, checkout our other blogs for more tips like these.