Most of us have an ingrained habit of discouraging ourselves — we missed a day of a habit, and we feel terrible about it. There’s a long way to go with our goal, and so we feel like it’s too hard. It’s possible that no one will read the book we’re writing, and so we feel like it’s meaningless.

It’s normal to feel this kind of discouragement. But don’t let it stop you.

Instead, cultivate the habit of encouraging yourself. When you’re feeling discouraged, have some ideas in mind for how to shift that to encouragement.

Some ideas:

  • If you missed a day, encourage yourself to start again and not miss a second day. “Long-term consistency is more important than one missed day.”
  • If you mess up or something isn’t perfect, encourage yourself to keep going and keep learning. “Progress not perfection.”
  • When something is challenging, think of it as a lesson in getting better at something. “Everything is your teacher.”
  • When you have a long way to go, encourage yourself to focus on this current step, and not lose focus. “Keep your eye on the ball.”

There are lots of common sayings or cliches that can be enlisted in your encouragement scheme. What have you found to be helpful?