One of Warren Buffet's most popular pieces of advice to young people: get better habits.
Habits lead to results. If you have good habits, you have good results. Great habits = Great results.
Simple enough, yes? Not really.
Anyone who has tried to create a new habit knows how hard it can be. Once you've set neural pathways, they are difficult to modify.
It's becoming more and more popular to promote building new habits. We follow endless blogs and model the 0.01% of performers hoping to find something that will get us the edge we want.
We learn that we should meditate more. Easy enough!
Take cold showers. You got it!
Journal each day. Consider it done!
We attempt to take on these new habits and inevitably falter. Life comes up. We don't feel like it.
We turn to the internet for answers, which we find in “inspiration” which we use to refill our gas tanks of intention.
Most people are focused on changing how they feel…and DRAMATICALLY underestimate how emotional they are.
In this video, I talk about how I have slowly realized that creating habits has been a failed endeavor…until I started building systems that spit out new habits as a byproduct.
The bottom line:
- Habits take a lot of energy to form. This takes anywhere from 3 to 60 days depending on what study you read.
- Because you are on this site, I can almost guarantee you are an “emotional” person. That makes it even harder to change.
- If you want to change your habits, focus on the things that lead up to NOT doing the habit over and over. What are the things that you do each morning that make you feel like you don't want to do XYZ?
- Create systems to stop these negative emotions from ever taking place.
- You will create your habits much more easily
My own personal example:
- I wanted to read more. I never “felt” like reading, so I didn't end up reading enough.
- Instead of trying to focus on how much I want to start reading more (motivation), I focused on the things that created the distractions to reading.
- I bought an iPad with nothing installed except books
- I put iPad in a room where there is nothing else for me to do except use this iPad
- When I walk into the room, I have ONE option of what I can do – read
- I read about 400% more words a week now
I don't focus on reading more, I focus on removing the things that cause me to NOT read more.
Creating systems like this will lead to habits more effectively than anything else you can imagine. You can apply this to anything where emotions are leading to decisions that you don't like (finances, relationships, work, etc).
Build systems. Outsource the valley of your emotional sign curve.
You'll understand once you do.