When approaching a difficult task—getting to the gym, writing an important presentation—you may chide yourself for lacking motivation to get it done. However, it’s often not a question of motivation, but follow through. You may want to do the task—you know it’s important—but your brain talks you out of it. You tell yourself you can do it tomorrow or you have more urgent things to do. Don’t let your mind sabotage your aspirations. Make a specific decision about what you want to do and don’t question it.

Tell yourself: I will work out tomorrow at 6 AM or I will finish the presentation by Tuesday at 1 PM. If your mind starts to argue with you, ignore it.

This tip was originally posted on the Harvard Business Review Management Tip Of The Day, 3/30/12, adapted from “Your Problem Isn’t Motivation” by Peter Bregman.

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