8 Common Mistakes People Make When Developing New Habits

8 Common Mistakes People Make When Developing New Habits

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girl building habits stretching for exercise
Image Credit: Papo Doce

More and more people are realizing that our habits are our identity and the things we repeatedly do are the reason for our success, or the lack of it.

And we form a new desire – to change our behavior, to replace the bad habits with good ones, to do what successful people do.

And we give it a try.

We start doing that new thing, or eliminate an activity that is harmful. And we feel motivated for a while. But soon we fail.

Some try again, although their motivation gets much lower. And they fail again soon.

Then they stop, go back to what they’re used to. And it feels so comfortable to be back where you feel safe and everything is familiar.

But that’s the prison we live in. The comfort zone we’ve been in for years keeps us from living. Nothing new or exciting will ever happen there, nor will we improve ourselves and do great things with our future.

But that’s not your only option.

Because soon that desire to change will call again. And you’ll feel the need to do something.

So don’t give up on becoming successful just yet, and get back to that new habit you want to develop. But this time, think and act smart.

Here are the most common mistakes people make when changing behavior and trying to start a new habit:

 

1. Trying to build or quit too many habits at once

Don’t do that to yourself. Not only will you fail at all of them, but you’ll also feel much more disappointed after that, will have used up your willpower and will be discouraged to try again.

Instead, focus on one habit.

Gradual change is what really works.

After all, we’re talking about lifelong changes here, not just doing something for a few weeks.

So if you want to start or stop doing something, let it be the only thing you’ll be focusing on for some time. Leave everything else behind.

 

2. Starting big

Another huge mistake.

All entrepreneurs and successful people do this: they think big, but they start small. So should you.

You must have a goal if you want to change your behavior. And whatever it is, you’ll first have to develop a certain habit.

If you want to get fit, you’ll need to start eating properly, and then make fitness a habit.
If you want to make writing your career, you’ll need to find the will to sit down every day and write.

Now break that goal down to specific tasks. Each of them will be something you need to achieve to eventually get there.

Then figure out what steps you’ll need to take every day in order to get closer to that goal.

And start with the first one.

Make it as tiny and simple as you can. Let it be impossible for you to say no to it tomorrow!

 

3. Not being consistent

It takes time. And that’s where most people find out they’re too weak and not at all ready to change.

But if you really want it, you’ll need to be patient.

It’s not hard. You just need to do that one action we just mentioned. But if you don’t do it each day, you won’t see results.

 

4. Not being focused

There have never been so many distractions in life as there are these days.

And you’ll have to accept that from day one.

Because no matter what you’re trying to get done, people will come in the room, devices will make sounds and notifications will be received. Your mind will often need to switch to another task like checking email or social media, going out, reading something else, thinking about yesterday, or planning for tomorrow.

Stop! Notice when that happens and quickly come back to what you’re doing right now.

Even if you take only a few minutes each day to do the one task connected to your habit, stay focused all the time.

After all, it’s all a matter of priorities. And if your habit becomes number 1 on your list, you’re destined to succeed.

 

Actions over words quote
 

5. Not taking it seriously

Most successful people start out with mini habits.

Some wanted to gain muscle, and started by doing one push up a day. Others needed to improve their health and get in shape, and started by just adding veggies to one of their daily meals. Aspiring writers started by writing a few sentences each morning. Others – by meditating for just a few minutes.

That’s all it takes. And you’ll get there.

But actions like that often seem too small, and people usually want to change too fast. That leads to them not taking the whole process seriously, and giving up before they’ve seen any results.

Don’t let that happen to you!

 

6. Not knowing why you do it

Your ‘why’ lies deep within you. It’s your purpose, the driving force that will help you overcome the limitations in your mind (like fears, procrastination, expectations, impatience, etc.)

And without it, you won’t have a direction.

So sit down and think about that. Why do you want to make that change in your life? How bad do you want it?

 

7. Waiting for results from the start

Those who are too eager to see progress from the very beginning, end up quitting way too early.

So you better focus all your energy on staying concentrated and consistent, and let things be. When the time is right, you’ll see results. And they’ll be the motivation to keep going.

 

8. Giving up after one fail

If you did that (after following all the previous items), you don’t want it bad enough. If that’s the case, go work on something else.

But don’t forget that after failing you’re more experienced, have learnt a lesson and know exactly what not to do next time, and it makes you stronger. And if you keep trying, eventually you’ll find the way to succeed.

These are the main reason we fail when developing new habits. And I guarantee you that if you work on each of them, you’ll get what you want in life. And by the time this happens, you’ll have become more disciplined, experienced, confident and 100% ready for what the future has in store.

 

habits quotation pencil
 

So which of these mistakes are something you struggle with, and what do you do to make sure it doesn’t get the best of you?

5 COMMENTS

  1. I am getting inspired by the day. Learning new things and feeding my brain with the right stuff are making me become more and more motivated each day than before.

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