You want to change your life, but you can’t seem to change one habit. You endlessly browsed articles on productivity tips. And you found some tips you’ve implemented, but after a week or two you end up going back to your old self.
It’s killing you inside that you can’t change little things in your life. You genuinely want to be better. Every once in awhile you come across an inspiring motivation article or quote. And like before, you tell yourself it’s going to be different this time. “I will change.”
But the truth is that you haven’t learned the mistakes you’ve made the last time. We tend not to examine thoroughly why we failed before. And we repeat the same mistakes over and over. Just going through the same cycle of failure. Below, I have provided three tips that have helped me change my habits. If you give them a try, they can help you too.
Here are three useful tips that successful people use to create habits:
1. Allow yourself to fail
You’re not going to have the willpower all the time to change your habit. Once in awhile, you want to allow yourself to fail. Why? One study showed that when people blew their diet once, and exceeded their fixed target for calories, they classified it as a major failure. They think, what the hell, I might as well in enjoy today and start binge eating.
Don’t let that be you. Recognize that you’re not perfect. You’re bound to fail once or twice. But bring yourself back up and remember why you started. Remember that the most successful people failed more than the average person. John Maxwell, bestselling author, calls this failing forward.
“The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.” – John Maxwell
2. You shouldn’t tell other people about your habit or goal
Telling other people your intentions gives you a sense of accomplishment. It feels as if you’ve completed your goal. That’s the opposite effect you want. A study was conducted and in four different test of 63 people. They found those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them.
Telling others about your goals makes you more accountable because people know if you’re actually doing it. That sounds logical. But this is the reality. Sure your mom might give you a few attaboys. But, when we become honest with ourselves. No one is going to say, you shouldn’t quit. No one is going to say, you probably shouldn’t have ate that cookie.
Successful people are successful because they hold themselves accountable. If you want success, be accountable for your actions.
3. Do not reward yourself
Why should you reward yourself for trying to implement a habit? We don’t reward ourselves for brushing our teeth. We do it because that’s what we train ourselves to do. Rewarding yourself means your behavior is not automatic. A reward means that you need something to ease your suffering. If you need a reward that means you chose the wrong habit to implement.
There is only one reward you need. It’s the inner feeling of accomplishment. Because that’s the only motivation that actually works. Intrinsic motivation. It’s the inner desire, the inner will to push, the inner will to win is what motivate us to succeed. There is no external motivation that will beat your inner fire.
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold J. Toynbee
Imagine yourself actually changing the habit you always wanted to change. It’s like you have just conquered the world. That anything you set your mind to is possible. By changing one habit, you will know exactly how to change others. People who see your change will feel inspired. They will ask for your advice. And you will have transformed to someone worth listening to.
But now imagine if you continue to do nothing. Look at your life and ask yourself what direction is my life leading to? How would your life be in a year? 5 years? 10 years? Start taking action now. Because no one is going to do it for you.