Transform Your Life: Unlocking Success Through Habit Formation
Oct 13, 2023
Let's be honest, we've all been there – setting lofty goals, only to find ourselves back at square one, disheartened and disillusioned when our transformation to a better, more powerful version of ourselves doesn't happen.
The thing is, unlocking our full potential and gaining momentum firstly starts with understanding how to develop the right success habits.
And as someone who has been on both sides of the spectrum, from hitting rock bottom and checking most of the boxes on the self-abandonment list to becoming someone who built his life from the ground up - I can assure you, habit formation is not some mythical skill. Habit formation model is built on a proven system backed by science that you can use to turn the tide in your life to reach your full potential.
But it will take commitment to the process.
If you feel frustrated with your failed attempts to get in shape, reach the next level of income, reduce stress, and develop a growth mindset, this in-depth article will help you uncover a proven system to elevate your life (and it’s coming straight from someone who's done it!).
A Deep Dive into Habit's 3 step pattern: The How, What, and Why
Quick pop quiz. If I asked you about your worst habits, you know, the ones you know for sure need to be changed - what would you say?
You probably have a good idea of the major ones that are hurting you. I.e. poor diet, negative thinking, and procrastinating.
But what if I asked you to break down what a habit actually is? The mechanisms and forces at play that are allowing them to either build or slow your momentum.
The fact is, you can’t change what you don’t fully understand. So, if you truly want to kick those old habits to the curb, first, you have to understand what they are.
To quote the famous novelist Anthony Horowitz: "You cannot defeat your enemies until you know who they are."
So, What Exactly is a Habit?
Think of a habit as something that has the power to put your brain on autopilot to either help or hurt you. Any action you repeat long enough becomes a formula that gets hardwired so that your brain goes “I got this," and keeps repeating the same behavior without you even being aware of it. This phenomena is known as habit loop and it is important to learn the art of hacking the habit loop.
Habits are sneaky parts of our everyday life, being involved in the majority of our actions without giving them a thought, from brushing your teeth to putting your shoes on in the same order, to driving yourself to work.
These actions have been repeated so many times that the decision-making part of your brain, the so-called prefrontal cortex, kinda goes into sleeping mode so the behaviors become automatic. Your brain is just humming along to its favorite tune, not caring whether it's lighting a cigarette or brushing your teeth.
The Silver Lining: Your Mind Isn't the Villain Here
Now, before you start putting all the blame on your brain for the bad habit formation, let's ponder on two essential nuggets of truth:
1) Our brain's ability to repeat any simple or complex behavior without being aware of it is actually an advantage. It reduces mental effort by protecting us from cognitive overload, allowing us to use our mental activity for something else.
Just imagine how overwhelming it would be if you needed to make all of these small daily decisions like taking a shower, putting on a seatbelt, or turning right or left on the way to work over and over again. Your brain would be fried before breakfast.
2) This one’s a biggie! Positive habits, or as I like to call them, success habits, are formed the exact same way as any other habit. It means that all the negative habits (failure habits) you have cultivated so far can be replaced with good (success habits)
And yes, this means that it is actually possible to break out of your habit loop and become the apple-vs-burger-eating, no-snooze-button-hitting, momentified, and leveled-up version of yourself you once knew was possible but has seemed more and more unrealistic as those failure habits have compounded over time.
Also Read: How to Build Moment Right After High School
Harnessing the HOW in Your Quest of Habit Formation
Understanding proven principles and how they relate to you is indeed crucial, but without the ACTION part, they’re useless. It's comparable to knowing every recipe in a cookbook but never preparing a meal.
But taking consistent action on those things you’ve determined will have the best impact on your life once the new habit is formed is … well… darn hard.
Let’s say you decide you want to get in better shape or get back on track with diet this year. You want to feel energized and confident about the way you look, so you finally decide to start exercising regularly and paying attention to your body’s needs and mind wellness, not just your cravings. You're super pumped to go to the gym and feel a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment stepping out. But then you go home and see the same person as yesterday. Why hasn’t the fat melted away, where is the six pack??
What are you forgetting? The flaw of compounding and the crucial component of needing to allow for time to kick in and do its thing. But to do this you need to keep doing those success habits over and over, essentially faking it till you make it, until they kick into autopilot and time has a chance to do its thing to compound you into that improved version of yourself.
The key? Finding a way to gamify your life, or more specifically, your habits that ARE your life. Making those workouts so easy, fun, and rewarding that you can’t help but go to the gym. It becomes inevitable to the point that you do it long enough to become a momentum-building success habit.
And this is the 2nd key component of my Moore Momentum System. Utilizing behavioral science to help make the process of building new, long-lasting habits something you WANT to do, vs something you HAVE to do.
Willpower and hope are smoke and mirrors that don’t last. To make real and lasting change, you’ll need to find that intrinsic motivation that contains a battery with a never-ending supply of clean, limitless energy.
And what better way to find this than by incorporating fun, game-like elements that trick our brains into wanting to take the needed actions and ensure we crave the next check in?
The truth is, mastering self-control, staying consistent, and taking action every single day isn't glamorous and there's no magic pill or shortcut for long-term success. BUT this doesn't mean you can't enjoy the ride!
Even though there will be a front-loaded hump at the beginning of replacing those gnarly behaviors that you may have dug yourself in deep, once you start gamifying your habit-building, now the whole process of WORKING hard steadily starts turning into PLAYING hard.
And instead of constantly trying to force yourself to let go of the path of least resistance (which your comfort-zone-loving, lower self will always choose), you start looking forward to beating the game of becoming the new, improved version of yourself.
Mastering Habit Formation
Habits are how we humans express the law of repeated action. No matter what the action is, if you repeat it enough times, it will get hardwired into your brain, and become an unconscious pattern.
Habits are pretty indifferent. They don't care whether they're doing good or bad for your life.
So, if you want to see real change in life, you need to break the cycle by doing two things:
Eliminate failure habits - the existing habits that are blasting you down the Highway to hell
Replace them with success habits - the powerful, healthy habits that will be your Stairway to Heaven
(Forgive my love for classic rock references. I'm an 80's kid; it's in my DNA!)
Often, we mistake our habits for our identity or personal core values, uttering feeble excuses like "That's just who I am." But here’s the kicker - habits that are developed over the years are not our permanent identity. This means we can always decide to completely reinvent ourselves or rebuild our lives for a better tomorrow. And that’s fantastic!
Remember, habits will always act the same way. The only difference is that the ones that end up being the dominant ones will determine the course of your life. And while we can’t change the system because the principles of the universe always act in the same way, we can use this to our advantage, and replace our bad habits (failure habits) with positive habits (success habits) by repeating the same (often boring and annoying) actions every single day until they become an unconscious behavior.
Cracking the Code to Successful Habit Formation: Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet
I know this success habit business sounds like a piece of cake. And it truly is pretty simple. But the thing is, simple doesn’t always mean easy.
Even if you slam the brakes on your autopilot mode, you'll end up running on fumes of willpower if you haven't figured out your Why. And that's a wrestling match you don't want.
Without your 'Why' (the big reason behind your goals that can be summed up in the 5 core areas of life), you'll never stand a chance against the compelling call of 'I just feel like it'.
The whole “fake it till you make it” won’t get you far, because until the things you do on the outside don’t match the things you truly want on the inside, you’ll just end up completely worn out by the ever-lasting internal conflict.
Also Read: Healing from a Toxic Relationship
That’s why you can’t develop a new behavior by faking yourself into wanting to go out and exercise when it feels so damn good to stay in bed, BUT if you connect the benefits of working out with the things you want for yourself (feel better, look better, have more energy), and not just because society told you to do it, you’ll activate your Why.
By unlocking your 'Why,' you're basically doing a total renovation on your belief system, making way to swap out failure habits for success habits and gain momentum.
The equation of life
John Rohn once said: “Every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. Human beings, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice. You can choose to be all, or you can choose to be less. Why not stretch up to the full measure of the challenge and see what all you can do?”
Well, I’m on a mission to hand you a GPS for your life journey - a straightforward, efficient system that'll drive you to your optimal version of success. And the best part? You get to decide the destination!
Even if math is not your strong suit, there's no need to worry! While life is often complex, the equation of life isn’t:
The WHAT + The HOW + Time = Who You Become
Take a pause and truly reflect on WHAT you desire (your total truths in life's 5 core areas).
Then, keep repeating actions that will help you replace your failure habits with successful ones until they become a part of your subconscious behavior (your HOW - implementing the systems that you will use to make sure your new habits become a part of you).
And finally, implement a system to hold on to them even when it gets tough. This is how you’ll level up in life and build momentum, and slowly but surely become a part of the “lucky ones” who have it all and are thriving in all 5 core areas of life.
Closing the Deal on Building a Lasting Habit Using Habit Formation Model
Contrary to popular belief, cracking the code to success isn't Mission Impossible and success isn't a members-only club.
The cool thing about life is that time-proven principles are universal and don't play favorites.
This is why I'm stoked about teaching people how to gamify their lives. Once you've decoded life's equation and learned to apply game-like elements to replace failure habits with success habits, you're essentially reducing the suffering and pain that comes along with personal growth. My weekly habit tracker app can help you here.
And the whole idea of breaking bad habits and building new routines now becomes a game in which you WANT to get to the next level and ultimately win in the game of life. If you're eager to kick off 2023 by forging the right habits and banishing the bad ones that have been putting a damper on your ambitions, start by taking this quick Core Values Quiz. It'll give you a core score, help you gauge where you stand in the five core life areas, and help you in the process of habit formation. Time to start building momentum!