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Habits are defined as a regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. I think that habits have gained a bit of a bad rap over the past decade or so, because they’ve become so associated with bad habits, rather than good habits. When, the definition of a habit is just something that is done regularly, like a routine. So why have habits become so much more associated with bad habits than with good ones? Because it’s a lot easier to create and stick to a bad habit, then it is to create and stick to a good habit.

Let’s say you started going to the gym to lose some weight and feel better about yourself, good habit. The first few days go great! You have a lot of motivation, you’re excited to see this new version of yourself and all is going well. But then a few weeks pass and you’re not seeing any results, and the motivation dies. And after the peak of motivation passes (which is very short-lived might I add), procrastination sets in. And if you haven’t built up strong will-power within that motivational peak, chances are that you’re going to procrastinate going to the gym, and you’ll actually begin to bargain with yourself about why you SHOULDN’T go to the gym, to validate your procrastination. It’s a vicious cycle I know, but this is something that happens so regularly when people try to adopt a new, healthier habit.

IT'S A LOT EASIER TO PROCRASTINATE DOING SOMETHING THAN IT IS TO BUILD UP THE MOTIVATION TO DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

If you were told that you could have a million dollars, but you’d have to sign a contract that stated you’d work 18 hour days 5 days a week for the next 20 years to get it, would you do it? Now, initially that probably sounds really good! Maybe you caught yourself saying “duh”. But then as you really start to think about it, you’ll begin to think “yeah, but is it really worth it”? And there it goes, that was will-power exiting the chat.

Our brains are extremely neuroplastic – which means it’s very impressionable and is constantly changing and growing.  So, this quite literally means that you could decide at any given moment to learn a new skill, advance your knowledge, or eliminate a bad habit. Unfortunately, though, our brains aren’t versatile on their own, and they must be trained, and conditioned to remember and favor the more positive habits, as opposed to the negative ones.

And this is where the importance of habits comes in. Every time you do something that you’d rather procrastinate; like doing the dishes, waking up early, folding your laundry, going to the gym, or studying, this increases your willpower, which in turn, increases your ability to avoid unhealthy habits, and welcome healthy ones.

DOING THINGS THAT MAY SEEM UNFAVOURABLE IN THE SHORT-TERM, ACTUALLY MAKE IT EASIER FOR US TO DO THINGS THAT SUPPORT OUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT THE MOST IN THE LONG-TERM

Habits typically take 2-3 months to completely solidify, but many people fall into the belief that they can adopt a new morning routine or eliminate a bad habit for a week and see radical results within that time. But then when they don’t, they then become frustrated and give up because they haven’t seen any progress. And this right here is why so many people fail to lose weight, quit smoking, get out of debt or quit drinking. And don’t get me wrong, as amazing as it would be to quit biting my nails in a week, that’s unfortunately not the case.

Something I use with my clients is called the “line of breakthrough”, this is also called the plateau, cause well, a lines a plateau. That was a bad joke. But I use this line to signify when people are putting in so much work to get a result but aren’t experiencing results as quickly as they expected to. It’s a rule of life that 95% of success is failure, and it’s proven that majority of the time, people give up right before they succeed. The line of breakthrough is the resemblance that when you’re experiencing stagnancy, your breakthrough is right around the corner, you just have to keep going.

Progress takes time. Especially when it comes to personal development. And I know it can be easier at times to give up instead of tirelessly pushing forward without seeing any improvements. But the next time you want to give up, take the easier route or fall back into an old habit. Remind yourself, THIS is your line of breakthrough.

View the full episode HERE

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