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How to Build Better Habits With 3 Practical Steps



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While it’s in our nature to want to improve and achieve our goals, what often stops us from getting there, is a lack of understanding of how we operate as individuals. Luckily for us, thanks to the latest discoveries in neuroscience (the science that studies the brain), we can learn how to train our brain more effectively to live healthier, more productive, and inspired lives.

Part of that training resides in the creation of better habits which is nothing more than a systematic repetition of desired actions. The problem with picking up good habits is that we often experience a gap between our desired intentions and actual outcomes and this is mainly due to a lack of alignment in our brain. Our brain is divided into 3 main parts (the rational, emotional, and instinctive) and while they all serve their function, they often disagree with each other creating an internal tension that leads us to poor results. 

The good news is we can learn how habits are formed and with the right mindset, knowledge, and patience, we can let go of bad ones and build good ones.

According to behavioral expert BJ Fogg, habits are formed around three elements: cue, routine, and reward, the so-called “habit loop”.

Cue – This refers to the initial trigger motivating our desired behavior, and it can either come from our external environment (ex. phone notification) or from our internal environment (ex the desire to plan our day). 

Routine – This refers to the action required to perform our desired habit, whether that is deciding to read more or stop mindlessly scrolling on social media.

Reward – This is the most enjoyable part and is what motivates our brain to perform the behavior. As human beings, we are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain and so when we align our desired behavior with a great reward, we are much more likely to pursue it. Rewards can be tangible (receiving money), or intangible (getting recognized by a friend) but what matters most, is to choose ones aligned to our wellbeing and personal growth. Rewarding yourself with 2 slices of cheesecake every time you succeed in going to the gym, is a clear step in the wrong direction.

The key to building healthier habits is in playing around with the routine and reward to find the combination that works best. There are several studies trying to demonstrate how long it takes to build a habit, and while there is no exact number, the one thing needed is a continuous repetition of effort.

“Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived.” – James Clear

Putting the habit loop into practice

Let’s say you want to read Addicted 2 Success 5 times a week. Now that you are clear on the outcome, it’s time to understand the nature of the reward. To make the most of this step, you must dig deep to explore the WHY of you wanting to read Addicted 2 Success. Other than a desire to be well informed, you could be driven by a fear of missing out or by the aspiration of starting a blog. While there is no right answer, the more reasons you can come up with, the more your brain will put a value on this activity and identify it as a motivating experience. 

Willpower is undoubtedly important, but so is setting up your environment for success. If you are planning on reading from a browser, closing all other tabs or putting your phone away are simple techniques to resist any form of temptation and distraction.

Next, identify the cue. What could be the trigger driving you to consider this new habit? Maybe it’s whenever you are having a low moment, but if you want to “win easily”, try directly time-boxing it in your calendar. As you can imagine, the second approach which is more proactive, will significantly increase your chances of completion. Learn more about timeboxing technique here:

And if you want to take it to the next level, focus on practicing the so-called “if-then technique”.

In this case, you could say “if it’s 7 pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday then I will read Addicted 2 Success”. By taking this approach, not only are you avoiding tapping into your precious willpower but also creating a stronger connection between the situation(if) and the action I want to take (then). 

Want to know how this simple trick can increase your chances of success? In one study, 91% of people who used an if-then plan stuck to an exercise program versus 39% of non-planners!

“Practice isn’t the thing that you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Now it’s time to play around with the reward. My suggestion is to focus on intrinsic rewards such as tracking the number of articles or time you spent reading as when we rely solely on extrinsic rewards that bring us immediate gratification (ex. validation, unhealthy food),we might succeed in forming the habit but not in growing as people.

As with all great things in life, growth only happens at the end of our comfort zone, but with the right knowledge, you can accelerate that process.

Passionate entrepreneur on a quest to help people live more empowering and expansive lives, Filippo di Lenardo is the Co-Founder of 3SSENTIA, the SMART personal management system that helps professionals fulfil their personal and professional goals more effectively. Filippo is also a coach and co-founder of Leap2yourbest, a personalised 2-day program designed to help entrepreneurs accelerate their personal and business growth.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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