Why you keep falling into the same old habits over and over again + How to stop

Why you keep falling into the same old habits over and over again + How to stop

Usually, when people decide that they want to do something (or stop doing something), they focus on the action. “I want to start going to gym three times a week”, “I want to start a business” or “I want to quit smoking”. But in reality, what DRIVES the action are the feelings you get in that moment, which are created by your thoughts. This is what we’re seeing in this video! Enjoy!

Related:

How to Stop Disappointing Yourself Over and Over Again When Sticking To A Habit

8 Non-obvious Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To Waking Up Early

14 Things You Should Start Doing To Have A Happier Morning And Life

Did you find this technique helpful to stop falling into the same old habits over and over again? Let me know in the comments section below!

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How to INSTANTLY be more confident

How to INSTANTLY be more confident

Today we are discussing…confidence. Woo. That’s such a huge topic and I could be talking about it for hours probably, but in this video I’m gonna give you one super practical thing you can do to grow your confidence instantly. And having some good confidence is really great in all areas of our life, because fears and doubts will eventually come up, no matter what we do, so having some confidence to back ourselves up when things get hard or a day is particularly tough and we feel like giving up, that’s definitely needed.

Related:

9 Practical Ways To Improve Self-Esteem

The Ultimate Guide to Stop Caring About What Other People Think (and Live an Happy Life!)

Did you find this quick exercise helpful to kickstart your self-confidence? Let me know in the comments section below!

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How to stop fear from holding you back

How to stop fear from holding you back

If you find yourself constantly procrastinating on your goals and dream projects, it might be that there are some fears holding you back.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Today we’ll talk about fear, what it is, how it’s affecting your life and finally I’ll give you a quick journaling exercise that will help you take the first step to finally conquer your fears. And yeah, you NEED to actually do it! Don’t worry about it being perfect and coming out right, there’s no wrong answer or result. Now let’s go ahead…

Related:

How to figure out what you want

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14 Things You Should Start Doing To Have A Happier Morning And Life

What’s the biggest fear that’s holding you back? Did you try doing the journaling exercise suggested? Let me know your results in the comments section below!

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How to Stop Disappointing Yourself Over and Over Again When Sticking To A Habit

How to Stop Disappointing Yourself Over and Over Again When Sticking To A Habit

We all had at least one time when we know we could’ve done better. Whether it was about keeping a resolution, reaching a goal, or doing better on a project, it’s important to get back on track so you set the tone for all other areas of your life.

I really think habits have a huge impact on our everyday life. They shape the way we behave on a constant basis, and are the things that eventually create the end results. For instance, overeating one day might not do much but make you bloated, but do it consistently (in other words, turn it into a habit) and you’ll see how your life changes.

This applies to positive habits as well, of course – which is definitely good news. But it’s also true that most of the time getting a positive habit to stick around is much harder than getting rid of a bad one. Right?

So if you’re here because you feel like you disappointed yourself in the past by trying to incorporate a new positive habit into your life and failed at it (even multiple times), then I’m glad to say you’re in the right place.

In this post, indeed, we’ll analyze one by one all the mistakes you might be doing when trying to form a new positive habit, so that you don’t disappoint yourself again in the future.


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one at no extra cost for you. I am very grateful for your support of this site in this way. Thank you.

Read the full disclaimer here.


Step #0: FORGIVE YOURSELF

As we already said, there’s probably a reason why you clicked to read this post: you’ve disappointed yourself in the past. Well, before going on and correcting the mistakes you might have done, we need to cope with that feeling first.

That’s because otherwise you might feel tempted to use your disappointment as an ammunition to keep yourself down and stop trying to move forward.

All right, let’s get this out of the way.

First of all, consider this: clicking to read this post already shows that there’s a desire to commit inside of you. It means you’re willing to try again and do better this time. And that’s awesome, give yourself recognition for that.

This also means that you can get a chance to learn from where you fell short and do better in the future.

And I have some good news that should help you put everything into perspective: most people don’t know how to implement habits into their lives. I’ll tell you a secret: motivation and willpower alone won’t get you anywhere far. In other words, it’s not your fault you gave up and failed in the past. It just means you relied on the wrong system.

Keeping these few thoughts in mind, you should now be able to cheer yourself on and keep going.

Related Post: How to cope with rejection

1. YOU HAVE TOO MUCH ON YOUR PLATE

I get it. Maybe you watched a few morning routine videos and now you can’t wait to craft your own ideal one. You get excited and start implementing 10 new habits at once. You feel so motivated that you could climb a mountain…And I hate to break it to you, but this is a guaranteed way to set yourself up for disappointment in the future.

If you have a tendency to overcommit because you want to do all the things, please reconsider doing so.

Especially since you’ve disappointed yourself in the past by failing at sticking to a habit, I recommend you try to only implement one at a time.

Because whether we’d like to admit it or not, it’s not possible to do all the things and all at once. Trust me, I’ve tried. More than once. And I know how it feels. Too much motivation can lead you to an impossible road sometimes.

Recently, I’ve tried a new approach: Done over perfect.  

Focus on one thing, preferably something that could impact other areas of your life as well. For example, deciding to read 1 chapter a day everyday might have an impact on many areas of your life at once. You might read a budgeting book and find yourself budgeting and saving more, or you could read a book to set up your first business and so on.

Once you feel like you totally conquered your first habit (I’d give it a month at least) – and with “conquered” I mean you feel like it takes you little to no effort to perform it – you can go to the next one.

Related Post: 21 #GirlBoss Habits You Need To Try

2. YOU ADOPT THE ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ MINDSET

It’s actually more than common and okay to fall off from time to time. Maybe one day you’re too physically tired to exercise, or you have a scheduled appointment. It’s okay.

Just don’t let it get bigger than it actually is. You can even slack off for 2 or 3 days in a row but try not to go over that. In other words, stay on track and don’t let 5 days turn into 5 months.

I found a very helpful technique that helps me stay on track most of the time. It’s called the “Don’t Break the Chain” calendar and it’s from Jerry Seinfeld.

It basically consists in using a big wall calendar that has the whole year on one page. Hang it in a place where you’re sure you see it often. Then, with a red marker, you’ll put a big red X over each day in which you perform your desired task.

After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

This method is designed to keep you motivated.

For example, let’s say you had an extra busy week at work and you didn’t get to the gym for 5 days in a row. You’ll look at that week on your calendar and see that you have no

red Xs on it. However, when you expand your view, your calendar looks like a blood bath.

And that’s what really counts.

3. YOU’RE NOT MEASURING YOUR PROGRESS CORRECTLY

And by “correctly” I mean in a way that gets you motivated to keep going.

There are tons of apps out there that help you track your habits and keep your routines in check (you can even set reminders). You can find the most recommended here.

Alternatively, you could try having a habit tracker on a bullet journal. You can find ideas on Pinterest to draw your own one, or you can just print existing templates.

We also mentioned the “Don’t Break The Chain” calendar by Jerry Seinfeld in the previous paragraph – which would be perfect for this purpose.

Whatever method works for you, just make sure you actually have one.

As already mentioned, having a way to track your habit will keep you going in the long run, when motivation just isn’t enough.  

4. YOUR REWARD IS NOT CONCRETE, IMMEDIATE OR COMPELLING ENOUGH

In “The power of habit”, Charles Duhigg explains that all habits follow three steps: first, the cue – which can come in all different shapes & sizes (it can be an object, sound, smell, place, time, or emotion). What it does is signaling the brain that it should start the habit.

Second, the routine – which is the habit itself – and finally the reward – which is the exciting thing your body gets to enjoy for making the efforts of performing the habit.

Now, if one of these elements is missing, your routine will fall out of place. And it’s not only necessary that these elements are all present, they need to be in a particular way. Especially for the reward, it is absolutely essential that it is concrete, immediate and compelling enough.

Why? Because, you see, the reward is what really motivates your brain to go and perform the habit. Otherwise, if it doesn’t get a nice reward, it will just understand it’s pointless to keep performing the habit – which is what will eventually cause you to quit.

So, as we were saying, the reward needs to be immediate. This means you have to get it as soon as possible after performing the habit. It also means it has to be concrete.

That’s why saying “I’ll get my dream body in 1 year from now” won’t work. Because it’s not a concrete thing your body and mind can benefit from in the moment. This is why motivation fails to keep you going in the long run. You need a running system.

And that system is: clue -> habit -> reward – in this exact order. To give you some ideas of how a good reward should be, think of something that you enjoy doing.

For example, I like taking a hot shower right after exercising. My muscles get sore sometimes and warm water relaxes them. This is a great reward, because it’s enjoyable and my body actually looks forward to it.

5. YOU RELY TOO MUCH ON MOTIVATION

As we already said, motivation won’t get you far. A great example to prove this point are New Year’s Resolutions.

Around the first few days of January, people get pumped up. They write all their wildest wishes down, they dust off their gym memberships and set themselves to do a million awesome things during the year. They feel motivated.

And this is awesome, it is an amazing feeling to have. But it will only get you so far.

That’s why most of those same people end up quitting after a few weeks or a couple of months. They even forget about all the good intentions they had in the first place.

Now, I know this pretty well because I’ve been doing it for years too, before actually realizing that it has never brought me to anything concrete.

And I don’t want you to feel the same type of disappoint in yourself, so I’m here to help. And I’ll tell what works, instead. Having a plan.

Having a fail-proof plan that gets you exactly where you want to go. A plan that’s realistic enough to know you’ll be tempted to quit and fall off eventually. A plan made to keep you in place.  

Click here to know more about it.

6. YOU WANT TO BE PERFECT

I guess this is pretty close to the “all or nothing” mindset, but differs a little bit.

Why do we constantly expect the moon and back of ourselves? Probably because we were taught to whether it was our grades, our appearances, our career choices, etc.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to be perfect. Not to mention, aiming for perfect often leads to procrastination.

If you show up and just give it your all, then you’re already doing enough. You’re doing pretty great, actually.  

You know what? The truth is you can’t have the perfect workout 3 times a week. You’ll be lucky if you get one out of three that’s pretty good.

But this is the best part of the game. You just have to show up. Especially when trying to form a new habit, showing up is all you have to do.

Try your best but if showing up is all you can do for that day, then you’re already doing better than most people would. Because most people just wouldn’t get there when motivation starts going down.

So give yourself some credit, you deserve it.

For trying. For showing up. For doing.

Related Posts:

7 Steps You Can Do To Change Your Life Today

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What do you do when you feel disappointed in yourself for quitting a habit? Do you beat yourself up over it? Please I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below!

8 Non-obvious Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To Waking Up Early

8 Non-obvious Reasons Why You Can’t Stick To Waking Up Early

If you’re not a morning person, waking up is hard to do. Maybe you hit snooze eleventy million times, eventually stumble to the kitchen for coffee, and wonder why it’s so hard for you to wake up in the morning when others seem to have no problem bouncing out of bed to greet the day.

So, have you decided that you want to become an early bird but are finding it really difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Here are 8 non-obvious reasons why you can’t stick to this habit.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one at no extra cost for you. I am very grateful for your support of this site in this way. Thank you.

Read the full disclaimer here.

1. YOU’RE NOT TAKING YOUR SLEEP CYCLES INTO CONSIDERATION

I think a common issue that stops people from waking up early is that they feel extremely tired when they do. I mean, I know you’re assuming this is some pretty basic observation, but there’s actually more to it.

The thing is that you’re not supposed to feel so tired every time you wake up. So, basically, if you wake up feeling froggy and too tired, it means you’re waking up at the wrong time. To understand this concept better, let me first explain how sleep works.

The entire duration of our sleep is divided into “sleep cycles” – each in turn divided into 4 stages. Each sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes. This means that in the first 20 minutes of your sleep you are in the first stage, called “light sleep” – and it’s very easy to wake up during this stage.

The second stage is when the real sleep starts (“Normal Sleep”). Then you move on to the third stage which is the “deep sleep”. In this stage we have something called rapid eye movement (R.E.M) in which your brain stores and processes all the information you got while you were awake. And finally, it goes to the fourth stage which is the “light sleep” again.

Now an entire cycle has been completed and the next one is about to start. On average, if you sleep 6 hours per night you’re going to go through 4 sleep cycles.

Here’s a diagram to help you understand it more clearly:
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So for instance, if you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle (in the third stage for example) what happens is that your brain is still storing all that information and it’s hard to wake up at that moment. It’s like you’re forcing your brain to stop that process in the middle of it, just like restarting a computer and trying to turn it on before the restart process is actually finished.

So if you want to wake up at a particular time feeling awake instead of tired and foggy, you need to make sure you don’t wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle but between two sleep cycles (indeed, during the last and first stages of the cycle we experience “light sleep”, which means it will be pretty easy to wake up in that moment feeling alert).

Now you’re probably wondering:

“But how do I exactly calculate at which time I need to wake up in order to make sure I’m between two sleep cycles?”

Well, luckily, there are apps and sites that calculate that for us. In this case, I have two alternatives to suggest: Sleepy ti.me (site) and Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (app).

2. “FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT”

Ever heard about the Circadian Rhythm?

If you’ve ever noticed that you tend to feel energized and drowsy around the same times every day, you have your circadian rhythm to thank. Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

In other words, your Circadian rhythm regulates when you feel tired enough to go to bed and when you need to wake up instead. It works at its best when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same times from day to day (including weekends).

So if you want to start waking up early around the same time everyday, this is what you need to work on.

I don’t like giving you this advice, but it’s needed: even if you’re shattered, get up. The next night (or the night after, or the night after that) you’ll sleep better because you’ll get tired sooner and as a consequence you’ll also wake up earlier.

Maybe you’ll need some time to adjust and change your Circadian rhythm (between 1 to 3 weeks on average), but it’ll be all worth it in the end.

So you need to suffer pain in the beginning to enjoy the gain in the long run.  

3. YOU HAVE TROUBLES FALLING ASLEEP

I promised non-obvious reasons in this post and I swear I’m trying to deliver, so if you’re like ‘Duh’ after reading this title, please hear me out.

Sleep is controlled by the hormone melatonin which is affected by the light that hits your skin. A long time ago, before the invention of lighting, that was how our bodies would know when it was time to go to sleep or stay awake. When the sun was out, it was time to stay awake and focused, when the sun went down it was time to be tired enough to fall asleep.

However, nowadays there’s artificial lighting everywhere and we can “substitute” the sun’s light at any time (screens on our phones, computers etc.). According to Harvard Health, blue light suppresses melatonin secretion – and that’s the reason why we have troubles getting tired enough to fall asleep.

Luckily, there’s a very simple thing you can do about it: installing some apps that control the color of your screens light.

These apps change the light on your screen throughout the day so when the sun starts to set it changes the light on your screen from white light to yellow light which simulates the sun setting and allows melatonin to be produced naturally.

I personally use F.lux for my computer and the “night mode” (you can set it in ‘screen settings’) on my iPhone. You can use Twilight App if you have an android phone.

4. YOU DON’T HAVE A STEADY NIGHT ROUTINE

Routines are more important for your body than you might expect.

They are not only a way for your body to save energy and willpower throughout the day (‘cause you’re following a pre-set loop, basically), they also make the brain aware of what’s about to come next.

So if your night routine consists in 4-5 steps you repeat every single day (preferably also at the same time) your body will soon perceive that these exercises mean the day has finished and it’s time to go to sleep, and will prepare consequently.

Your body is smart, work with it and waking up early wll be a pleasure!

Related Post: 6 Best Before Bedtime Routines To Relax, Unwind And Sleep Better”

5. YOU’RE EXPECTING TO ‘FEEL LIKE IT’

I’m not gonna lie to you. Actually, I’ll say it straight to your face: waking up early can totally suck. At least for the first 5 minutes.

If you’re a early bird it might not be your case, but it could actually be that you’re one of those people that simply hate waking up in the morning. And I’m here to tell you that that’s perfectly fine.

Actually, that’s exactly what happens to me everyday. I’ve been consistent with waking up early for quite some time now (I even wrote a guide on how to do it here) and I still don’t ‘feel like doing it’ every single day. For the first five minutes, all I can think of is “I want to go back to my warm sheets”…“I need 5 more minutes”…“I will just stay in bed, I won’t sleep”…“I deserve some sleep, I work so hard” and so on.

So what do I do? I just don’t listen to my brain. That’s it. I know it’s bs talk. So I just walk to the bathroom, wash my face, do my things and it eventually stops.

And after those 15/20 minutes awake, I start loving waking up early again. I love feeling like I’m the only person in the world, I love that calm, I love knowing that most people are asleep while I’m ready to conquer the world.

But if I didn’t get past those 5 minutes, if I actually acted on those no-sense thoughts, I would feel guilty for going back to bed. I would feel like failing myself for the rest of the day.

So what’s worse?  Not acting on my sh*tty thoughts for 15 minutes or acting on them, going back to bed and then feeling rushed and disappointed in myself for the rest of the day? I don’t know if this is your case, but I know that if someone told me this before I started realizing it myself, I would have probably conquered this habit a lot sooner. So I’m saying it to you, in case you need it.

To recap: waking up early can be extremely unpleasant for the first 5 minutes, but if you can get yourself through that first moment, you can achieve great things during the rest of the day.

6. YOUR REASON FOR WAKING UP EARLY IS NOT COMPELLING ENOUGH

As we just mentioned in the previous paragraph, in the first 5 minutes awake (unless you’re a “natural” early bird – which I guess it’s not the case since your clicked to read this post) we all have to fight the voice in our head that keeps screaming “Go back to sleeeep!!!”.

So, to avoid actually listening to that voice and getting under your blankets again, we need a plan.

Something I found very useful in this case is having something to do. I know, I know, seems obvious, right? But I don’t mean just anything. You have to find something to do that you want to do more than you want to go back to sleep.

Let’s say you’re a coffee lover. Imagine you smelled some great hot coffee coming from the kitchen. Would this distract you from going back to sleep? I bet it would! You would go straight to get your coffee!!

So give yourself a chance to do something you love doing in the morning – it could be enjoying a big breakfast, listening to your favorite podcast or reading a book that’s been sitting on the shelf for too long.

7. YOU’RE NOT GIVING YOUR BODY TIME TO ADAPT

Remember when we talked about the Circadian rhythm in point #2, right?

Well, the reason why you can’t stick to waking up early could be that you’re rushing it. Let’s say you usually wake up at 7 am. Then you decide you want to start waking up at 5 am and go all in.

It can be a total shock for your body, you might hit snooze without even remembering it (I know because it happened to me multiple times!). There are definitely some cases in which going “all in” can help, but might not be this.

So if your body is not responding well to the shock and you notice the change is not sustainable for more than a few days, change your approach.

Instead, you could start by waking 15 minutes before the usual time your alarm rings. For the example we mentioned, you could start by waking up at 6:45 am for a whole week, maybe two and then start waking up at 6:30 am for another week and so on.

This way your body will adapt to your new routine much more smoothly.

8. YOU DON’T REALLY WANT TO GET UP EARLY

Maybe it’s because it became such a popular habit in the last few years (from the realization that most successful people wake up from 4 am to 7 am), but nowadays everybody seems to be trying to wake up early. The earlier, the merrier.

But if you really hate doing it (after the first 10 minutes have gone by) then just don’t do it. Don’t do it just because everybody else is doing it, don’t do it because most successful people do it. If it’s not making you more productive and happy throughout the rest of the day, why would you be doing it for?!

Besides, there are also many examples of successful people that absolutely hate waking up early and are still being productive.

So don’t waste so much effort and energies into something you realize you don’t really want to be doing. Waking up early is though, sometimes it doesn’t even get better with practice, so if you don’t really have a purpose, a tangible reason to do it, just don’t. And save yourself that amount of stress. Enjoy your beloved sleep instead!

Related Posts:

Own Your Morning, Own Your Day – 10 Best Morning Routine Ideas

5 Things Successful Women Do During Their Morning Routines

14 Things You Should Start Doing To Have A Happier Morning And Life

What’s the thing you struggle the most with when trying to wake up early? Why do you want to wake up early? What are your favorite things to do right after you get out of bed? Let me know in the comments section below!