I remember listening to one of my favorite Jim Rohn speeches, and in it, he says. Life will change when you change. It was an idea I never thought about until he spoke. I lived a lot of my life wanting everything to change around me except for myself.

The truth is that you can't change the world until you change yourself. Only after doing so are you granted with the ability to get to the next level. It should be encouraging news for you.

The world is a reflection of who you are. You run everything through the lens of your perspective. If you want that lens to change, then change who you are. The best way to do that is through your habits. You still must choose your habits carefully though. 

It's not something you do once. A habit is something you do all the time. If you want to change who you are, change what you do all the time.

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Why Are Habits The Answer to Change?

Habits are automatic behaviors we do regularly without thinking. We need habits because they allow us to save our brains. Imagine every time you drove your car; you had to think as hard as your first time driving.

You had to think to hit the ticker with each turn, and it took you forever to adjust the mirrors. Habits remember things we do and allow our brain to shut down brain activity a bit.

Habits are the answer for change because we are what we do all the time. For example, if you run every day, you are a runner.

  • If you cook every day, you are a chef.
  • Talk about people all the time, you are a gossiper.
  • If you never wash your hands, you're a germ spreader.

You can't separate who you are from what you do. You can try and do this, but it will feel inauthentic.

Our consistent behaviors make up our character. If someone says, you have good manners its because you have developed the habit of saying please and thank you to people. You understand how to be courteous.

It's not something you do once. A habit is something you do all the time. If you want to change who you are, change what you do all the time.

Life Will Change When You Add More Good and Kill The Bad

The curse of habits is that bad one develop without our permission sometimes. You have no idea that every Friday after work you drive by the cooking store and the smell makes you turn in and smash a box or two.

How could you have guessed that after eating Mexican you need a Mexican dessert to wash it down and two sodas to wash that down? Who knew?

The bad habits are like leeches, but good habits give you life. The best thing you can do is add more of the good and remove more of the bad.

Your life is guaranteed to improve if you can do this. Bad habits are small tears that rip down everything your good habits have built. You don't notice the power of habits because the changes are long term.

Eating one ice cream cone does nothing. Eating ice cream every day for ten years can give you diabetes, and lead to an unhealthy amount of weight gain.

Staying hydrated and working out will improve your mood and energy levels. It will keep your blood pressure low and your waistline thin. You have the power to choose your habits carefully so they build your life up to where you want to be. 

Understanding The Habit Loop

Before you can improve or kill any habits, you need to know how they work. Three things happen for a habit of occurring. You need there to be a cue, a routine, and a reward.

  • The cue is something that happens that makes you crave a reward.

  • The routine is the action you take that is considered to be the habit.

  • The reward is the fix you get that you had been craving.

For example, when you go to a mall, and you smell the food court, your brain begins to desire to eat that food. The routine is going to eat the food, and the reward is the satisfaction of the salt and grease.

The key to a habit loop is the craving. If the cue doesn't make you crave something, then it's not a habit.

Think about the food example above; craving makes your mouth water. You feel like you are eating that food already. It drives you to that routine.

Changing Your Habits

Knowing how habits work is half of the battle. There is nothing you can do to improve the cue, but you can change the reward. For example, you come home from work and sit on the couch and eat ice cream to feel satisfied from a long day.

The cue and the reward remain the same, but instead, you go and workout. You get to feel good about a long day. You have a response to being home, but you don't have to feel bad in the long run about eating junk.

When you understand how habit loops work, it brings awareness to both your good and bad habits. Once you recognize that you respond to smell by buying food, you can interrupt that craving and not do it.

At first, it sucks, and it leaves your brain disappointed and desiring that reward. But after a while, you feel courageous and in control of your life. You realize that you have the power to control your habits.

Life Will Change When Your Habits Start to Add Up

Whether you decide to build good or bad habits, they both come with consequences. The person who does something for a week straight gets nothing out of it good or bad. The person who does something a year straight starts to see how habits add up.

Life will change, and your life is changing now based on your habits. The thing is you can make it change faster if you add in more habits and turn the volume up on those habits.

Instead of reading a few pages a day, read a few chapters a day. Instead of doing ten pushups in a day, get 100 done.

Life will change when you start taking your habits dead serious! Until that point, you will do whatever is right at the moment. The problem is that most of the things that bring quick pleasure bring long term destruction.

If this were not true, everyone would have a six-pack and three sports cars. The reason results are hard to get because they need us to act in our long term interest.

How Can Habit Stacker Help You?

Habit Stacker provides resources to help you improve your habits. The first way we do this is through our online course Habit Mastery. The second way is with the Habit Stacker mobile app.

Olympian and founder of Habit Stacker Ian Warner, teaches the Habit Mastery course. He walks you through practical techniques that you can use to improve your habits. No fluff or non-sense! You get instant access to over 45 different videos breaking down how to build good habits.

The Habit Stacker app is what you use to live out your habits daily. It's a habit tracker that lets you know what you need to do each day. The app sets your daily routine board for you each day, so you all you have to do is get the task done at the top of the list. You can look back and see your streaks for each habits and be proud knowing that you decided to choose your habits carefully. 

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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