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Habit Formation

The Biggest Habit-Building Mistake You Don’t Know You’re Making

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If you’re trying to build a new habit, beware of giving yourself rewards that undermine the habit you’re trying to create.

A clear example of this is when someone is trying to build the habit of going to the gym to lose weight and then they reward themselves with fast food. The reward undermines the habit.

Instead, you want to reward yourself with something that’s going to reinforce the habit, like a new workout outfit that makes you want to keep working out.

In business, it could be that you want to build the habit of showing up on Instagram daily, but then you reward yourself by giving yourself days off. That undermines what you’re trying to do.

Instead, you could reward yourself by buying a new ring light that improves your lighting so that it’s more enjoyable and you keep showing up. See how that works?

How to apply this:

What habit are you trying to build?

What rewards could you give yourself that reinforce the habit?

Think of things that would make your habit:

  • More enjoyable
  • More conventient
  • Easier
  • More exciting

Since habits are all about doing something consistently, set a goal for how long you will be consistent (one week, 30 days, etc.) and then reward yourself when you reach that goal.

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