Your habits are the foundation of your success. The things you do daily form your personality, create your future and give you the lifestyle you currently have.
And if you’ve decided to do something about your life, to edit it so that it can be the way you like it, then you need to work on your habits. And once you make a change – start a new behavior, break an old one, or replace a bad habit with a good one – you need to stick with it.
You need to stay consistent, never let outer circumstances and people make you fall back into your old behavior. You should always keep in mind that you weren’t satisfied with the person you were while having that habit, that you fought your demons one by one and did something about it, and are now over it.
In other words, you need to be ruthless with your habits.
Here are 3 ways to do it:
1. Don’t communicate often with people who have a bad influence on you and with whom you connect the bad habit.
A person who’s overcome drug addiction, for instance, should never spend time with his old friends who are still using again. No doubt about that.
But that applies to simpler and more common situations in daily life too. If you’ve finally become more confident, you shouldn’t go back to the environment or people who make you feel inferior and doubt your abilities.
2. Make it a priority.
Some of the things you do daily, whether you’ve turned them into successful habits or not, are more important than others. Maybe they help you make a living, or bring you happiness and a sense of control, or give you instant gratification.
Whatever that is, you need to keep doing them no matter what. And the best way is to put them on the top of your to-do list.
My work is probably the most important part of my day. That’s why I’m doing it first thing in the morning. I wake up early (most of the time) because of it, I dedicate my most productive time (the first part of the day) to it, I don’t eat or communicate with others while working for 4-5 hours straight.
It took me time to find out this exact way to do things, but it works wonders. I know it’s what works for me and don’t need to think about it again. I know I’ll feel great after this focused productive period and that I get a lot done during it.
I’m ruthless as I don’t let anything or anyone else prevent me from doing it.
If someone asks me out, or if I have other important things to do, I just schedule them for later in the day. And nothing really changes, except that I finish my work, and am then free to do anything else.
The other person may find it hard to accept the rejection, though, but that’s how ‘the ruthless you’ does it – the part of you that knows exactly what you want in life and is getting there step by step.
3. Plan in advance.
Preparation is key if you’re aiming for at least 70-80% success rate (perfection isn’t a realistic target when it comes to personal development).
If you’re trying to change your eating habits, for instance, and have weekly family dinners which usually include a huge amount of (tasty and tempting) food, you can do something about it now:
• let the hosts (your parents probably) know that you’re trying to eat less or avoid certain types of food so that they can stop offering it to you all the time;
• drink a lot of water before that;
• eat at your place before you go;
• focus on the salads and other low-calorie foods;
• let that be the only day of the week when you can eat as much as you want;
• have an intense workout this day.
Or if you’re trying to develop the habit of drinking 2-3 liters of water daily, then take a bottle with you wherever you go. And drink one glass immediately upon waking up.
All these are simple things to do, but require some thinking in advance and organization.
So that’s how you do it – show no pity, be merciless and unforgiving.
Only this way will other people in your life stop trying to sabotage your improvement. That’s how you’ll apply that approach to other areas of your life too – like your time, freedom, money and dreams.
And once you stop letting other people and outer factors decide what you do, how you do it and how you feel about it, you’ll also stop blaming and making excuses, and will thus take responsibility for everything that happens in your life.
And with that comes great power and confidence. And you achieve much more.
But the beginning is small. You need to be ruthless with your habits first.
What about you? Do you let other people and events interfere with your thoughts and actions? What habit are you working on now?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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