“If you don’t wish to be a hot-head, don’t feed your habit. Try as a first step to remain calm and count the days you haven’t been angry. I used to be angry every day, now every other day, then every third or fourth … if you make it as far as 30 days, thank God! For habit is first weakened and then obliterated. When you can say ‘I didn’t lose my temper today, or the next day, or for three or four months, but kept my cool under provocation,’ you will know you are in better health.” -- Epictetus
What Epictetus is teaching us here is how to eliminate a bad habit, but you can also use his advice to build success one small step at a time.
Get a chain going, and then do your best not to break that chain. Gain momentum, and on the days where you really don't feel like doing what you should or must do, go deeper. Reinforce your personal protocols when things go sideways. This is how we grow strong.
We tend to give up everything that is good for us on days when something challenging happens. Don't do that. Chin up, chest out - trust yourself and get it done.
Of course, this is applicable on a personal level. Leaders need to go a step further and transcend that momentum, and inspire their teams not to break the chain, not to drop the ball, day in and day out, even - especially - when things go sideways.
I am writing this on the day of the UCL final, so I would be amiss if I didn't quote some wisdom from my favorite team (LFC). After 62 games in the season (not counting international games) you enter the last one on three legs. This is the time to focus deeper on the game plan. This is the time to focus more on the intensity of the protocols that have been rehearsed again and again. The legs will always follow the heart.