Overwhelm, anxiety, stress, and frustration seem to be staples of our fast-moving always-on culture. Maybe it has always been that way, but it seems worse now than ever with technological advances and the sheer number of options available.

These feelings often creep into our psyche when we are trying to change and improve something. We get overwhelmed by where we currently are in relation to where we want to be. We become discouraged when the going gets tough, sometimes as early as day one or two of the process. We end up frustrated and often quit.

Here are a few tools to use when going to work on yourself that will help.

Limit Choices
According to Dr. Heidi Reeder author of Commit to Win and expert blogger for Psychology Today the more we limit our choices the higher our commitment level. Heidi recommends we limit how often we look for other concrete options, reduce the frequency of indulging in imagining other options, and focus on making good choices rather than maximizing choice.

Think Big and Start Small
Make your goals as large as possible, this gives you plenty of room to make progress. Then start small and get to work. BJ Fogg’s newest book Tiny Habits is the best book on starting small and making meaningful forward progress. The bottom line is you start with a habit that you can easily do. A change that does not take much if any willpower and one that you would feel silly for not doing because it is so easy. You master that one and then build upon it in habit stacking fashion. Don’t try to eat the elephant in one bit.

Make forward Progress Every Day and Never Quit
No matter what do something every day that gets you closer to your goals. Progress not end-goal achievement is what we thrive on. It is cool to achieve something, but achievement is short-lived and does not give us the same ongoing fulfillment that progress does. Progress is where you want to focus your attention and effort. Yet another reason we want to think big and start small so that we can continue to progress for years to come. Those that quit will never make it, quitting is the one guaranteed route to failure.

Brett “Progress My Dear Watson” Denton