How To Stop Giving Up And Learn To Stick To Your Habits
Every time I visit in-laws, I’m reminded how little effort I put into basic house cleaning.
I wouldn’t say Maria and I are slobs, but I’ve got no problem letting the dishes sit in the sink over night. I’ve got same cavalier attitude about leaving my socks on the bedroom floor, and cups on the living room table.
“It’s all good. I’ll get to it in a couple days.”
But then we go to Bryan, Texas for a family visit. No matter how big the feast, no matter how many dishes we create, not one of them will sit for more than 5 minutes.
There are no socks on the floor, and the living room table is completely clear.
(Aside from a small dish filled with chocolates. I usually help myself to around one or eight…leaning more towards eight.)
And man, it feels good to be surrounded by clean surfaces. My mind is clear, my stress reduces to a minimum, and randomly falling asleep in the middle of the day is a ritual.
When we return home we’re inspired, dead-set on cleaning the house, and “this time, we’ll keep it clean.”
The dishes get cleaned, socks get picked up, and everything else gets jammed into a closet it doesn’t belong in.
And it feels great.
Standing in my castle — hands on my hips, chest puffed out — I think, “I am the King of Clean. Dirt has no place here.”
But then life happens, and I go back to my old ways.
The dishes can wait until tomorrow. Those socks aren’t hurting anyone.
A couple months later we’ll head back to Bryan Texas, become inspired to keep a clean house, and the cycle continues.
Why Can’t We Stick to Things?
There are three main reasons:
- We’re trying to do too much, too soon.
- We don’t truly believe we can succeed because we have no evidence supporting it.
- We’re overly hard on ourselves when we screw up.
So, if we want our new habits to stick — for real this time — let’s try something new.
When habits aren’t sticking, the question we always ask is, “What do I need to do to make this work?”
The better question is, “What do I need to NOT do to make this work?”
We never think about doing less. And I get that- if our effort isn’t creating the result we want, we must need more effort, right?
Nah, bro. It’s not that we aren’t putting in enough effort. Our effort is fragmented, spread across too many different things.
The Pareto Principle states that we get 80% of our results from 20% of our work.
That means we’re getting most of our result from 1–2 key habits, and everything else we do is just clutter.
Let’s reduce the clutter and double down on the things that are producing most of your progress.
First, decide what is really important. If you could only get one or two things done today, what would they be?
Those are your key habits. Those are the 20% that produce 80% of your result. Focus your effort on these one or two things, and double down.
This will not only make sticking to your plan easier, it will provide more clarity around your goals, and produce better results overall.
Note: You may not know what the most important 1–2 habits are. That’s OK. The point is, reducing your To-Do’s means you’ll have greater success sticking with your plan. This is powerful, even if the plan isn’t optimal.
Listen, we’ve all got a laundry list of failures. Providing evidence to support our ability to fall flat on our face is easy. But focusing on that evidence is keeping us in this never-ending cycle of starting and stopping.
Let’s build new evidence. Evidence that supports our ability to win.
As we reduce the things on our To-Do list, completing everything becomes easier, and more likely to actually happen.
This supports our ability to win, and let’s your mind know that, “Holy shit, I’m really doing this.”
The paralyzing voice in your head begins to silence him/herself, your confidence grows, and you begin to take on bigger challenges.
If you find you’re still having trouble checking off everything on your list, ask yourself two questions:
- Am I trying to do too many things? Can I reduce this further?
- Are the things on my list really important to me?
Make Your Next Move Your Best Move…. Gently
I love people, man. Despite what the news might tell you, we’re so good to each other. Nothing pulls on my heart more than selfless acts between humans, done in the name of kindness.But when it comes to how we treat ourselves, we’re downright nasty.
We refuse to cut ourselves slack when we screw up.
When we succeed, we let ourselves know, “This isn’t good enough.”
Listen… whatever habits you’re building into your life, screwing up is inevitable.
What you do in response to those screw ups is what will dictate your success.
Anger and negative self-talk adds an unnecessary layer of resistance. There’s only so long you can withstand this mental beat-down before you grow tired and give up.When you screw up- miss a few workouts, slip up with nutrition, leave dirty socks all over the floor – follow this three-step process:
- Acknowledge it.“I see you, screw up.”
- Be easy on yourself. Take a deep breath, remember you’re human, and let it go.
Plan your next move, and make it good.
By reducing the things on your To-Do list, building evidence that proves you’re a winner, and forgiving yourself when you screw up, everything becomes easier and more enjoyable.
Trust the process. Let it be easy. Love.
By Fat Loss Expert, and Fitmo Coach, Mitch Heaslip
Mitch is going to get you into the best shape of your life! But what’s his secret? Mitch has developed solid methods that work for both men and women in losing weight and building muscle. With his very flexible approach, Mitch can tailor his methods to anyone. When it comes to building strength, muscle, and losing fat, his approach is second to none!