In this post I’m going to be talking about the five common mistakes when creating new habits and how you can start following through with those habits and not have to deal with failing over and over again.
Have you failed to create a habit before?
I want you to think of a habit that you really want to create in your life but you failed to make it happen.
Whatever that habit is, we’re going to work on that today and talk about the mistakes you might have made when it came to setting that specific habit.
The 1st mistake is you’re making too big of a change, too quickly.
If I think of people who make New Year’s resolutions goals and habits…
“I want to lose 50 pounds in a month.”
They set such a big goal or habit for themselves in just a short period of time because they have a lot of motivation or social pressure but they end up falling flat on their face and not doing it at all.
Or the type of person who you know they have not gone to the gym for the last four years and then all of a sudden they’re saying “I want to create a habit of going to the gym 7 days a week.”
And even if they go from never going to the gym to then three days a week, they’re still disappointed because they didn’t do the full 7 days.
The point is, you don’t want to set your habits too big, too fast. And the best thing to do is if you have the motivation to set that big habit, go for it.
But, if you see that you’re failing over and over to make it happen. Start smaller. Start with going to the gym one day a week.
And starting with something smaller that you know you can do and create consistency with. This will allow you to get the motivation to want to do more.
Let’s say you want to start the habit of journaling every single day. Start by setting the habit of journaling one minute a day and start there.
See how easy that can be for you?
And the fact that it’s so easy that you can do it, you’re going to start doing it consistently. That consistency will motivate you.
Also, once you start journaling, you usually want to do it more once you’re in the flow. Therefore, one minute might turn into 5-10 minutes.
These are also known as micro habits. They’re so powerful!
I used micro habits when it came to my myself because I was that person who didn’t go to the gym for a few years.
I was so focused on my business and working all the time, being a workaholic. And that really affected me on an energy level because I wasn’t getting the activity and it caused me to burn out.
I needed to start moving my body so I began by playing handball because it was something that I enjoyed. Once I got my body moving and made progress physically and energetically, I started going to the gym.
Now, I’m going to the gym 3 days a week consistently and my goal is to move up to 7 days a week.
Now, I want you to think about your life.
Have you made this mistake before?
Setting too big of a habit for yourself that you failed to do.
The 2nd mistake is that you’re making the process too complicated.
If you’re the type of person who wants to do something but you don’t set yourself up for success…
That’s a big problem.
If it comes to going to the gym.
Preparing your gym clothes in advance, the night before and setting yourself up to make it an easy transition for you to go.
So, think about what habits you’re making too complicated.
Then think, how can I keep it simple?
Simplify the process to make it easier for yourself to create the habit.
Same thing goes with your mind.
Instead of thinking…
- “This is hard to do.”
- “I don’t want to do it.”
- “I hate doing XYZ.”
Think about how…
- “This habit is easy.”
- “I love doing this because XYZ.”
- “This will support my vision and goals.”
Putting it into perspective can really change your desire to do that habit.
If you don’t set two or three minutes aside to floss your teeth then how do you plan on achieving the big goals you have for yourself? Or be able to impact a million people? Or create your dream life?
Once you set yourself up for success (physically and mentally) it becomes far easier to take action on.
The 3rd mistake is that you’re focused too much on the short term.
You’re not focused on your vision and goal, and what you want to create in the long term.
Rather, you’re likely focusing on how it’s uncomfortable, or not enjoyable right now. There’s no instant gratification for a lot of really important habits.
Lacking the instant gratification causes many people to fail and make this huge habit mistake in their life.
You need to focus on the long term and see yourself…
- Being really fit and healthy.
- Building that business that you want to build.
- See yourself impacting the people you want to impact.
- Having the relationship of your dreams.
- Living a fulfilling and energized life.
Also, what supports me is focusing out, and not just on myself.
This supported me with the habit of going to the gym because now when I think about going, I don’t just think about myself.
Instead, I think about what example am I setting for the people around me.
The people that I want to lead. How do I want to show up for them?
Focusing on others and the vision of being able to inspire them to want to be fit, healthy and live the best life that they can.
Focusing on the long term is the solution.
The 4th habit mistake is that you’re not scared of the consequences.
I’ve seen too many people do this, and I’ve done it many times too. But, you’re not thinking about the consequences of your bad habits.
If you don’t go to the gym, if you don’t eat healthy, if you are always choosing comfort over growth, etc.
Prioritizing the bad habit and waiting too long to make a change…
For example, if the person is a smoker and they wait until their doctor finally tells them that they have lung cancer and it’s irreversible or will cause them to have huge problems in their life.
In this case, the person prioritized short term gratification of smoking but in the long term they will have so many more problems or worst of all, they die because of their poor choices.
If you don’t stop or make a shift now, you will pay the price in the future.
I want you to think about:
- What is the consequence of not taking action on this bad habit that I have?
- Have you been ignoring your current or potential consequences in your life?
Because a lot of times we want to ignore and pretend like we don’t know. We don’t know that if we smoke we’re going to get lung cancer. We ignore it.
We think everything’s fine. I feel good. I’m eating this McDonald’s cheeseburger. Everything’s OK.
In the short term, you might have that instant gratification or you might feel OK.
But, think about the consequences. Think about the consequences for yourself and also for others.
If you’re a smoker. Think about the consequences that it’s going to create for your family, for your kids, for your loved ones.
If you get lung cancer, and you won’t be able to support your family anymore.
How will that impact them?
The best thing you can do is to prevent the consequences right away, as soon as you see problems starting or even before you see any problem at all.
The price you pay for preventing the consequences is far smaller than the price you will pay for the results from your bad habits.
Ultimately, it’s your choice what price you would like to pay.
The 5th mistake is that you need to shift your perspective around the habit your want to create.
Since, I’ve been talking about the gym a lot.
When I wasn’t going to the gym at all because I was a workaholic, my mindset around the gym was that I hated it. It was boring. It was unproductive because I’m taking time away from my business and that I felt tired every time I went.
So, that was my mindset around the gym.
Imagine that, if you have this mindset of all the reasons why you hate doing your new habit.
What is the likeliness that you’re going to do it?
Probably very unlikely.
I would say you want to shift your mindset around it… FAST.
You want to start to think about all the positives of going to the gym or doing that habit.
What are the positives of the new habit your want to create?
You want to have more positives than negatives. Believe me, it’s possible!
Better yet, if you can shift all the negatives into positives (which is even more effective) you won’t have any negatives to focus on.
NOW, how can you shift your perspective of your new habit?
Think about it…
Like I said earlier, if you can make it positive in your mind and put it into perspective compared to the things that other people have to do, it will be so much easier.
Do you have any questions in regards to the 5 big habit mistakes?
Comment below or share this with a friend who would find this valuable!