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Avoid These 8 Mistakes to Help Your New Habit Stick

8 Mistakes to Avoid to Help Your New Habit Stick

I've started a new habit this year. It's called "Note to My Next Day Self." I'm learning about it from my friend Tracy Winchell, and it is transforming my life. But can we be real for a sec? Starting a new habit isn't easy to do. If you're starting a new habit, keep reading to learn 8 common mistakes to avoid.

The world is just beginning to understand the influence of habits on success and failure. There are so many things you do (or fail to do) each day that shape the quality of your life. Whether it’s flossing your teeth, contacting potential clients, doing push-ups, or saving money, it might not matter today or even six months from now. However, it can matter in a significant way down the road. 

If you're starting a new habit, keep reading to learn 8 common mistakes to avoid. #tinychanges @rebootspodcast @iamsteveaustin

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Imagine the difference between 2 identical people over 10 years: 

  • One saves 10% of his paycheck. The other saves nothing.
  • One brushes his teeth every day. The other isn’t very consistent.
  • One reads something useful each day for 20 minutes. The other doesn’t.
  • One exercises for 30 minutes each day. The other prefers to watch TV.
  • One practices the piano for 30 minutes each day. The other doesn’t.

What would the differences be in 10 years? The first person will have a healthy savings account, have all of his teeth, gained the knowledge from 100s of books, be in great shape, and know how to play the piano. The other won’t have any of those things. 

You can rely on positive habits to change your future for the better! #tinychanges

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Building a new habit is much easier when you avoid the common pitfalls that can derail your efforts. Avoid these mistakes when trying to develop new habits:

1. Trying to build too many habits at once.

Changing a little at a time is the key to ultimately evolving a lot. We feel uncomfortable when trying to change too much at once. How many habits can you build at one time? That depends on the habits you’re considering, but a good rule of thumb is no more than three.

2.A lack of patience.

Habits can take a while to take hold. You might have heard that it takes 21 days to build a new practice, but that’s been found to be the minimum. The most comprehensive study on habit development found that it can take nearly 300 days to form a habit in some cases. The average is 66 days.

3. Failing to prepare for the obstacles.

Think about the challenges you’ll face and plan for ways to deal with them. For instance, if you want to go to the gym after work, but the gym is too far away, or the traffic is horrible at that time, it’s going to be very difficult to be successful. Plan for going at a time that will be easier for you or pick a gym that’s closer to your home or work.

4. Choosing a habit that won’t have a significant impact on your life.

Since you can only create a couple of habits at a time, pick something that will have far-reaching effects. For example, meditation can impact your life in many ways.

5. Trying to change too quickly.

Instead, build up to the habit you want to acquire. If you're going to develop the habit of flossing your teeth, start with one tooth. Do one push-up. Take an evening walk for one minute. Get in the habit of doing the action and then increase the duration. Make it so easy that you can’t possibly fail to do it.

6. Believing that slow progress isn’t relevant.

It can be hard to believe that doing one push-up will ever matter. But one leads to two. Two becomes five. Five eventually becomes 25 or more. How much progress have you made in the last year? Maybe going from one to 25 push-ups in a few months might not be so bad after all.

7. Focusing too much on the benefit of the habit.

Results can take a while to appear. For example, if you adopt a walking habit to lose weight, you’re not going to jump on the scale after your first walk and see any weight loss. Focus on the development of the habit. Be excited about growing your new habit.

8. Failing to control your environment.

Your environment matters. It’s a lot harder to get yourself to play the guitar each day if you keep it in the closet rather than setting it out where you can just pick it up. It’s harder to stick to a low-carb diet plan if your house is full of bread, donuts, chips, and pasta.

Give yourself the best chance of success. Avoid underestimating the usefulness of positive habits and the negative impact of poor practices. We don’t think about our habits, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Creating effective habits will lead you to a life you enjoy!

Creating effective habits will lead you to a life you enjoy! #tinychanges @rebootspodcast @iamsteveaustin

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WEBINAR: TINY CHANGES

On Friday, January 18th at 11 am CST, I'd love for you to join my friend, Tracy Winchell and me for a free webinar. We’re gearing up for a workshop to show you exactly how this works. It’s called TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled. It’s Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:00.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here.

  • You’re not alone if your New Year’s resolve has fizzled.
  • You’re not alone if you expect way too much from yourself.
  • You’re not alone in unnecessarily beating yourself up.

My friend Tracy and I will teach you how to unfollow the annoying voices in your head and learn to follow the voices who will tell you the truth about yourself - compassionately and with love and grace.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up.

Click here to join us in the LIVE workshop - where we’ll show you how.

TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve Has Fizzled is Friday, January 18th at 11am CST.

Click here to grab your seat.

If you’re already beating yourself up because the New Year is a lot less shiny and bright, please join us.

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Encouragement for When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled

Tiny Changes: What to do When Your New Year's Resolve has Fizzled

"92% of people won’t make it to February with their 2019 goals. Don’t be 92% of people."

~ Jon Acuff

Depressing, isn’t it?

We, humans, create grand expectations for a brand new year and for ourselves, but so often we’re busted before we even get used to writing the new date.

It’s even worse than we think it is because for every wrecked resolution, every habit that never fully hatches, and every promise to paint a healthier, happier, harmonious portrait of our lives, we - in the words of author James Clear - “…lose sight of who we are and what we can become.”

When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. What we say we will do is pretty often an unrealistic expectation.

When we don’t do what we say we will do, we lose a little more hope. #tinychanges

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Jon Acuff in FINISH: Give Yourself the Gift of Done tackles perfectionism.

One person described it this way: “I start with the belief that I could do something. Then I get all excited and start dreaming. At first, I feel confident and like I know what I am doing. Then my dreams get big. Then I want perfection. Then all of a sudden I feel inadequate to do the job because I don’t know how to do it at that level. Then the dreams die, and the goal is forgotten. The best part is most of the time all that I mentioned above is mental. I never actually started anything.”

Y’all…

This has been me, but I’m changing my tune.

How? Lots of ways. Mostly, though, I’m learning how to set reasonable expectations for myself and other people.

You know what? It doesn’t happen overnight - just because I “decided” to live life differently. Don’t get me wrong, the decision to be different and to do life differently is important. But lasting change comes as a result of a series of daily choices.

You know, habits.

The RIGHT habits! Not like the ones a lot of us have already messed up on this early in the new year. But simple ones. Practices that don’t require us to be perfect and only take a couple of minutes to do. (Keep reading to learn more about some new tiny habits that are WRECKING me for good.)

But first, let me ask you a question...

What’s the number one frustration you have with yourself? The thing you tell yourself the most?

  • Is it that you’re a failure?
  • That you’re not smart?
  • That you’re a quitter?
  • That you’re weak?

One more question…

What could happen if you learned to stop beating yourself up?

What could happen if you learned to stop beating yourself up? #tinychanges

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James Clear is a habits guru who wrote the book Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.

Clear explains how our identities and habits are intertwined:

This vicious cycle of beating ourselves up spirals and spirals and we no longer know how to be kind to ourselves. We no longer know how to set reasonable expectations and achievable objectives with weight loss, fitness, career goals, family objectives, and standards for behavior. We lose sight of who we are and what we can become.

Clear talks about building tiny habits that change the way we see ourselves, giving us the confidence to stack habits and routines onto our first habits, and ultimately improving our lives for the better.

A few weeks ago my friend Tracy Winchell of the Reboots Podcast told me about one of her favorite journaling habits. Every few days she writes a note to her next day self (maybe you’ve seen me practicing this on Instagram and Facebook). Tracy tells me this singular habit has helped her change the way she sees herself.

Through this exercise, Tracy has learned to encourage her next day self, and to set expectations for her attitude toward herself and others. She shared one of her notes with me, and I was blown away! No really, I freakin’ LOVE this exercise (almost as much as I love my friend, Tracy.)

I knew right then that my people HAD to learn how to do this.

Because if James Clear and Jon Acuff are right and that our identities are wrapped up in our habits, then building a habit designed to change the tapes we play in our heads ABOUT OURSELVES is a freakishly powerful method for creating clarity!

For some of us, mid-January means a return to the same old same old: a return to bad habits, and giving up new ones we said would bring us a better 2019.

But we can choose a better way by making a decision to stop the negative self-talk. And then setting up a ridiculously simple method - that takes no more than 10 minutes a day - to change the tapes in our head.

Oh, yeah. And the method still works if we only do it 10 to 15 times in any given 30-day period.

It’s my friend Tracy’s “note to next day self” journaling technique, and it’s helped her send the lying jerks in her head back to wherever the hell they came from. And it can do the same for you and me.

On Friday, January 18th at 11 am CST, I'd love for you to join my friend, Tracy Winchell and me for a free webinar. We’re gearing up for a workshop to show you exactly how this works. It’s called TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve has Fizzled. It’s Friday, January 18, 2019, at 11:00.

If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here.

  • You’re not alone if your New Year’s resolve has fizzled.
  • You’re not alone if you expect way too much from yourself.
  • You’re not alone in unnecessarily beating yourself up.

My friend Tracy found freedom from the negative self-talk during a time of massive change in her life. She was walking through the hell of losing a job, selling her house, moving in with her mom, and dealing with the loss of a close friend. And we’re going to show you a ridiculously simple method (that will take less than 10 minutes, a few days a month) that will help you kick your negative self-talk to the cub.

"My soul sometimes feels like a Twitter feed where I’m following a million of the most annoying people ever, and I can’t find the Unfollow button."

-Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox

Is this you?

It’s no way to live, is it?

If you're ready to take a bold step toward choosing NOT to FEEL THIS WAY ANYMORE, sign up for our free webinar.

My friend Tracy and I will teach you how to unfollow the annoying voices in your head and learn to follow the voices who will tell you the truth about yourself - compassionately and with love and grace.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up.

If you're feeling like this year is a lot more of the same old stuff: procrastinating on building new habits, failing to give up old habits you don’t want anymore, and beating the crap out of yourself, you’ll want to hang with us for this webinar.

  • If you’re ready to stop beating yourself up because you want to change but can’t quite make it happen…
  • If you’re ready to set some reasonable expectations for yourself and get past the fear of failure - or success…
  • If you’re ready to FINISH something excellent in 2019
  • If you’re ready to change the relentless tapes in your head that say you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve a reasonably happy life…
  • If you’re ready to tell yourself the truth - the good, the bad, and the ugly - about who you are and who you want to become in 2019…

Click here to join us in the LIVE workshop - where we’ll show you how.

TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year’s Resolve Has Fizzled is Friday, January 18th at 11am CST.

Click here to grab your seat.

If you’re already beating yourself up because the New Year is a lot less shiny and bright, please join us.

For now, though, rest easy. Don’t worry about it if your New Year’s resolve has already fizzled. You’re normal!!! And it’ll be okay. I promise.

If 2019 feels a lot like 2018 all over again, sign up for this free webinar, "TINY CHANGES: What to do When Your New Year's Resolve has Fizzled." with @iamsteveaustin & @rebootspodcast #tinychanges

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