“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”
Charles C. Noble
We all have habits we want to change. You’re probably wondering what I could possibly tell you about changing habits you don’t already know.
“I have a habit I want to change it, so I just need to change it. It’s that simple.”
Well, not to sound rude, but if it were that simple….then why are you reading this post?
Changing habits isn’t as easy as it looks. Not as easy as ABC, 123 or as simple as do-re-mi. (No matter what you say Tito!) What makes it even harder is that people tend to keep repeating the same mistakes, mistakes I know I’ve made once or twice in my life, over and over again.
I’m going to describe a habit change scenario, and I want you to tell me if it sounds familiar.
- I realize I have a crap habit (i.e. snacking non-stop, smoking cigarettes, watching too much tv, or spending more money than I make etc.)
- I get motivated to change the habit.
- I tell myself, “That’s it! Tomorrow I’m going to kick this habit once and for all!”
- I feel motivated for a while, and keep up my habit change for, maybe, a week or two before I slide right back into my old habits.
- I get frustrated and give up.
- Maybe I eventually find the desire to change the habit again, but then I go and make the same mistake that caused me to fail the first time!
If this scenario all sounds way too familiar, keep reading! (This post is for you.)
What if I told you that living with your bad habit isn’t your only option? That changing habits is possible?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m telling you! Today I want to share 5 mistakes you need to avoid to successfully change your habit (and your life) forever:
5 MOST COMMON HABIT MISTAKES
1. Doing Too Much at Once
Trying to get rid of all your bad habits at the same time is probably the single most common mistake you can make. Doing this will, almost certainly, to lead to failure and disappointment. On top of that you’ll suck on all your willpower and maybe make things worse by worsening a bad habit or adding one or two more bad habits.
Don’t get tempted by your enthusiasm to improve yourself. Instead, focus on one habit.
Pick one habit and let it be the only thing you focus – leave everything else behind.Sometimes going slow is the fastest way to achieve your goal. Click To Tweet
2. Thinking Too Much About It
Don’t overthink your habit change, and turn it into a big deal. You need to take the first step and get started.
Just Do It!
This can be difficult and scary to think about changing your life. To help with this, breakdown your habit and start small.
Focus on your small step, and take action on it. Do the same thing tomorrow until your confident you can take on more.Every small step in the right direction counts. Click To Tweet
3. Changing in a Vacuum
Don’t caught up in the idea that you won’t need some help and support along the way. You can’t do everything alone, and trying to be a lone wolf will just lead to failure.
Have a support system.
Think of the people in your life who supports your habit change (like me for example). Be vulnerable and tell them you’ll need their help to hold you accountable and to support you. If they’re not interested, then EFF THEM!
Support doesn’t have to come from friends or family. You can go onto online forums or join communities like Chillpill or groups on Facebook. Get creative.
There are going to be hard days, and you need a wolfpack!
4. Shooting for Perfection
Don’t think things need to be perfect. Striving for perfection is just you setting an unreachable goal. Go into this with the right expectations and aim for excellence.
Instead of trying to have everything feel just “right,” your goal is to just to do your new habit. Don’t worry about the results. Focus on the action. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little too hot or a little too cold. It doesn’t need to be just right. (You heard me, Goldilocks!)
“Just right” is performing the action.
Nobody is perfect. This mentality will lead you to feel like everything you’re doing isn’t good enough. And that will only hurt you.
5. Having a Vague Goal
When you’re trying to change habits, you need to have a clear goal in mind. Don’t just tell yourself you’re going to get healthy or eat healthy. This leaves way too much up for interpretation. And where there’s an opportunity, there’s a way for your mind to convince you to not follow through or to take shortcuts.
You want to make your habit goal as specific as possible.
Specificity is your best friend when it comes to changing your habits.The more specific you are, the higher your chance of success.
So be specific.
- Focus on One Thing Instead of Doing Too Much
- Take Action Instead of Just Thinking About It
- Get Support and Don’t be a Loner
- Strive to Act, Not Perfection
- Have Specific Goals Instead of Vague Ones
“Once it’s a mistake. Twice it’s a habit.”
There you have it – 5 of the most common mistakes.
Maybe you’re guilty of one or two of these mistakes. Maybe you’re guilty of them all. Hopefully reading them gave you a serious AHA moment.
Just knowing about potential mistakes doesn’t automatically prevent them from happening.
Mistakes are bound to happen. When they do, take it easy on yourself.
Making mistakes can be a GOOD thing…(Yes, I meant to write that.) Don’t let mistakes or the fear of failure stop you from achieving your goal. It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.
Just promise me you won’t be making the same habit change mistake over and over, and allowing it to become a BAD habit.
Knowing what you know now, avoiding that mistake SHOULD be as easy as ABC…
Thanks for reading!
What kind of friend would you be if you let your friends fall for these mistakes? Share this article with a friend! 😀