Posted: 24 Apr 2012 10:28 AM PDT
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Before I learned how to change habits, I was stuck. I kept trying to change various habits — running, eating healthier, waking earlier, getting out of debt, ending procrastination — and I kept failing.
I got very good at failing, in fact.
Looking back on those days, given the power of retrospect, I now know that I did everything wrong. I was setting myself up for failure, and in failing often and not learning from those mistakes, I was learning to be good at failing. Failing became my habit.
And while I’m actually a fan of failing as a method for learning how to get better at something quickly, if you’re not learning from your failures, it’s not as useful. So in that spirit, I’d like to share what I’ve learned from my failures so that you might glean some useful information from my suffering.
How to Fail at Habits
I failed at creating new habits repeatedly. Here’s what I did, and what most people also do:
The eight steps above are a sure-fire recipe for habit failure, and I recommend you try all of them if you’re looking to fail. Of course, if you’re looking to succeed, you might want to avoid them and possibly try the opposite.
You can learn more about creating habits (successfully) in The Habit Course, which is now open for registration and for the next three days (April 24-26) is offered at a $100 discount. The course runs for four weeks, from April 30 – May 25, 2012, and features live webinars and content from me and a wide range of other experts. Check out the Habit Course site for more info.
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