Being self-motivated is a trait that very few can confidently say they have. This is largely because as humans, we often try to make massive change once we realize something isn't right. After you become aware of what needs to be changed, the mind has a way of overreacting and using the "cold turkey" approach . In actuality, this often leads to being overwhelmed and frustrated with the sheer magnitude of energy that it takes to accomplish these changes and we often fail as a result.
Think of your body as a source of energy to be directed elsewhere
As a living being, our body carries a great deal of energy and force that can be projected onto the world and used in instrumental ways. This energy is largely consumed by our brain and organs, in order to keep bodily processes moving and ensure we stay alive. However, if you have ever experienced the "fight or flight" response, you are familiar with the fact that we have an overwhelming amount of energy available to us at any given time. When you start to picture your body as an energy source, you realize that investing too much energy into one given task is a major misuse. Rather, it is consistent and incremental improvement that harnesses this energy in the correct way and allows you to take a calm and rational approach to changing your habits.
Focusing on change in increments is ideal because it consumes much less energy. Being consistent with daily improvement takes a small amount of daily energy. On the contrary, trying to make a massive change in one day will consume your body's energy entirely and leave little for the following days.
Consistent improvement encourages new habits
One example of this is when you try to start going to the gym on a regular basis. If you spend 2-3 hours in the gym the first day, you might even make it a few more days after that and you will be feeling great. However, since your body isn't used to using its energy on a such a physical task everyday, you will eventually experience burnout. Had you spent just one hour at the gym and taken a few planned days off during the week, you wouldn't feel nearly as drained and keeping that habit up would be considerably easier. Eventually, it could lead to 2-3 hour sessions at the gym if that is what you were striving for and it would be much easier to accomplish that because of consistent and incremental improvements.
Exercise is an easy example because it is physically demanding and it is obvious how this consumes energy. However, the concept is the same regardless of the task. As we know, our brain consumes the most energy in our bodies and the more we think and utilize our brain, the more energy it requires. This is why you have to eat lunch during the day or you won't have the glucose and ATP to properly provide your body's cells with energy. Whether you are doing physical exercise, working on a computer or striving for any other change, incremental planning and consistency will get you to form new habits in a rational way.
Everything boils down to consistency, balance and moderation
Negative habits only become extremely taxing on the body when they form into an addiction or misuse. This is true for video games, excessive television or anything else. If these habits where done in moderation, there wouldn't be as significant of a need to change them.
This holds true for positive habits as well. If you were balanced and consistent in your efforts to form positive habits, it would be much easier for you to accomplish your goals. By trying to make massive change, you are disrupting the balance in your life and that will make it harder to be consistent.
To be successful, think about the ways consistency, balance and moderation can be integrated to your life to promote meaningful change. The power of consistent incremental improvement over massive change is so significant that when you start focusing on this transformation, it will become apparent to you that this is the only way to move forward with your life and accomplish your goals.