A failure habit is something you do, repeatedly, that sabotages your happiness, health and/or success. We all have them and they’re ingrained into the woodwork of our lives, like termites eating away at the foundation of our happiness. I often talk about how turning failure habits to success habits is a game changer. Habits don’t care if they’re good or bad, helping or hurting us – they do their thing and make a huge impact on our lives either way.
So why not make habits work FOR instead of against you? Changing a failure habit to a success habit takes an accountability system, persistence, and time. Your brain will fight like heck to hold onto that failure habit that’s dug its claws in deep, but the good news is that once you get over that front loaded hump, your newly replaced success habit will be equally hard to break – automatically building momentum for you in the background without having to think about it 🙂
The biggest habit that slowed my momentum in 2020 can be found in my emotional health core. I’m a dweller. I’ve always been one, have worked on it and gotten way better, but this year I regressed a bit and let my old failure habit of giving things I had no control over way too much time and attention.
Selling my business in 2019 led to a half cash, half stock purchase which had me breaking out into cold sweats every time it would move a couple percentage points. We had a six month hold on the stock where we couldn’t sell it, and in this time I watched it go from $10/share to around $.30. I got caught up in the common trap of worrying constantly about if the stock would recover, and wasted countless hours stressing, adding wrinkles, and losing years off my life only to see it start to bounce back.
It’s not back to where it was, but is headed in the right direction, and my first 2021 commitment to myself is to only check it 1X/week since I’m not planning on selling it anyways. Eventually I want to get to 1X/mth and even 1X/year! But baby steps 🙂
Another major area I dwelled on in 2020 was my son’s development. He’s about to turn five, and even though I KNOW comparing him to other kids is just asking for trouble, I found myself doing it. I stopped catching myself in the act like I used to which allowed my brain to start running wildy with irrational theories of why he was behind in certain areas. I found myself falling victim to my fixed-victim self who predicted a bleak future as if my growth-owner self had no say in how the story would end.
My commitment in 2021 is to catch myself feeling sorry for Wyatt or myself and replace that feeling with an action to ensure he becomes the absolute best version of himself. I vow to focus on helping him focus on HIS strengths and exploring HIS passions vs dwelling on what it would look like if he had other strengths and passions – stemming from a preconceived notion I developed along the way of what a 4.5 year old should be.
One of the actions I committed to taking with my son has already paid off. I started researching ways to help him build his awareness and impulse control, and found a few games that could help him with it: “The Marshmallow Game” and “Red Light Green Light.” The marshmallow game where I give him a marshmallow and tell him I’ll be back in a minute and that if he doesn’t eat it will get another one has been a huge success! He had more impulse control than I thought, and my encouragement when he didn’t eat the initial marshmallow and continually reminding him of how proud I was of his self-control has paid off in noticeable changes in his impulsive behavior.
Next game on tap to help gamify Wyatt’s momentum, which he’s already been asking to play, “Red Light Green Light!”
Watch out 2021, I’m comin’ for ya!
First step is to become aware of the biggest momentum killers for you in 2020. Make a list of the top habits that either did the most damage and/or you know will compound to do the most damage in the future. Don’t overthink it, just write them down, and after if you can categorize them into their corresponding core, do so.
Next step is prioritize the failure habits that you see would be the biggest game chargers were you able to replace them with success habits. What is #1, and what’s the action you need to take to replace it with its success habit counterpart? Make a commitment to take that action every single day until that pesky habit that’s dug in deep is swatted away and replaced with a little mini rocket automatically propelling you forward each day.
Gamify it by using technology to help remind or encourage you each day, and try giving yourself both short and long term rewards when you succeed. I.e. you reward yourself with taking a half day if you go a whole week without breaking your commitment to yourself, and you treat yourself to a new phone when you feel the habit is in full remission and the success habit is picking up speed daily.
In no time you’ll have the success habits you need to kick a$ and take names in 2021!
Minimizing stressors, proactively incorporating your passions regularly, and making sure the world is better, not worse, for having you in it.