Like, it doesn't matter how hard you work, you don't get much closer?
If you're like most people, when you're not getting the results you want, you increase your efforts. Unfortunately, this approach rarely works. More often than not, you're left feeling powerless over the outcomes of your life. Willpower is a broken concept.
Jason Moore's transformation
Jason Moore, a transformation coach who helps middle-aged fathers in the key areas of their lives, has himself struggled with his own health for 20 years.
He has experimented with numberless diets. His lack of progress hasn't been due to laziness. His biggest problem was that he relied too heavily on his own willpower--trying to control his dieting and workouts.
However, last year, he implemented something that has radically altered his results in his health, and by extension, all other areas of his life.
Commitment, not control, is the key to success
Rather than focusing on the process or the outcome of his goals, Jason took a different approach. He focused on personal commitment.
According to Jason, over the years he had developed a weak relationship with commitment. He became afraid of committing to anything. He knew this was the root of his problem.
Having failed at many short-term commitments in the past, he knew he needed something big and audacious--way outside his comfort zone.
So he signed up for an Iron-Man Triathlon one year out. He publicly declared his commitment with shirtless "before" pictures of himself on Facebook. He hired a coach to keep him highly accountable.
In his own words, "I called my results into being by the conditions I created. My results became inevitable because of how I set things up."
The effects of real commitment
According to productivity expert, Eben Pagan, focusing on will-power and outcomes is an out-dated and broken model for goal-setting. It leaves too much room for error. Most people don't get the results their looking for.
Instead, Pagan recommends creating "conditions" that make it impossible for you not to achieve your goals, what he calls "Inevitability thinking." This is how Jason Moore has overcome the health hurtles he's been dealing with for decades.
According to Pagan, "Inevitability Thinking is thinking and acting as if what you are doing is a forgone conclusion because you set up the conditions for it to happen."
In your mind, the outcome you're seeking is already a reality. You're that committed to it. All you need to do now is put the pieces in place to ensure it happens, what psychologists call "implementation intentions" or fail plans.
When you create conditions that reinforce your results, you don't need to focus on willpower. Your behaviors become automatic, allowing you to build confidence and momentum.
Applying inevitability thinking to your own life
How you set things up determines everything you will achieve in your life. Most people fail to commit big, and thus fail to achieve big. Additionally, most people's external circumstances are in direct opposition to their goals. They're constantly treading upstream. They're burning themselves out and getting nowhere.
How can you set up conditions in your life to make the outcomes you want inevitable?
Like Jason Moore, are you willing to fully commit to something? Are you willing to put yourself way out there, publicizing what you're going to do? Are you willing to build accountability around yourself to ensure you don't go off-course?
Your success in life is more about the conditions your create around yourself than your internal resolve. As has been found in loads of research, willpower only goes so far. More often than not, it lets people down. Depending on your own "strength" is a fool's game.
When you set things up consciously, you win before you ever begin playing. Your results are inevitable. Success becomes automatic.
Commit to something big. Then create the conditions around yourself that make failing impossible.
Conditions--not process or outcomes--is the next evolution of goal-setting.