When I gave up smoking some 25 years ago, I did it “cold turkey” albeit after a lot of practice.

It was not easy, but probably not as hard as the industry supplying stop smoking aids would now have you believe.

The single strategy, which I applied with considerable focus was not that I had “given up” smoking, implying some sort of deprivation, but that I had “taken up” non smoking, a far more positive mind set.

The wider implication of this personal experience, is simply that focusing on what you will do, by when, and measuring the outcome, rather than on what you won’t do, is a far more effective way of getting results.

This is equally valid weather it is a personal task of losing a bit of weight (I will go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday before work) or managing the strategic implementation of a major corporation.

Willpower is a bit like a muscle, the more exercise it gets, the better it works.