How to Stop Ruining Your Life (With Your Bad Habits)
Do you ever feel like life is just passing you by without ever becoming the person you’re meant to be?
And even when you start doing the things you know you’re meant to do, it doesn’t last very long…
So the question is, how do you break bad habits and adopt the habits you want in the easiest and fastest way possible?
In this video, I’m going to do the work for you and give you the thing that’s helped me develop and consistently follow my habits for years…
Why Habits Matter
Everyone has thousands of habits controlling their lives, 99% of which are not in our control because we haven’t created them consciously. The problem is our habits have outcomes, and the path we go down is determined by the habits we have, good or bad. Tiny adjustments to our habits can have a profound impact on our lives over time.
Why Your Habits Suck
The problem is our default habits that have been developed subconsciously suck. Humans naturally minimize time and effort so we tend to fall into mindless patterns of effort minimization leading to mediocrity. Simply put, we do what feels good.
So we play video games, scroll through social media, and engage in more adult-only behavior to get that precious Dopamine spike, which is the neurotransmitter that makes us feel pleasure. Our naturally lazy mind gives us a default set of bad habits that we need to consciously change.
Why Building Good Habits is Difficult
So bad habits are easy because they feel good. We’re driven to go after pleasure because we come from an evolutionary past of approximately six million years, the great majority of which are in a state of survival where we had to fight or die.
Today, we don’t have any pressure to survive, so we can get pleasure without the pain of going out there and having to hunt. But that comfort makes us aimless, feeling nothing and purposeless. The odds are stacked against us to create good habits because we need to put evolutionary pressure on ourselves.
The Mainframe Method
The solution to breaking free from the endless cycle of bad habits pulling us back in is to take control away from ourselves. If we stop relying on motivation to do the right things, we’ll no longer be slaves to our emotions at any given moment. We need a tool that will automate our lives so that our habits are no longer our responsibility. In fact, the only habit you really need to create is to use this method.
It all comes down to some basic psychology. It’s extremely difficult for us to make big changes all at once. If you try to suddenly go to the gym, meditate, journal, read, take cold showers, stretch, eat healthily, take supplements, work on your business or study, and sleep well all at once, the chances are you will fail at all of these habits because it’s too overwhelming and outside of your comfort zone. You’ll get stressed out and want to go back to that soft dopamine pillow of watching youtube videos.
To stack the odds in your favor, we will use 1 habit to rule them all. This 1 habit will allow you to track what you’re doing each day, remove bad habits, add good habits, and take control of your life.
So what are the two things you can usually guarantee you’ll do each day? Get out of bed, and get back in bed. So, we start with the keystone habit of checking your mainframe each day. Your mainframe is the thing you will use to track all of your habits. By creating the first habit of checking it each morning and night as soon as you get out of bed and just before you get in bed, you’ll ensure you keep your goal for the day top of mind throughout the day, making you much less likely to fall into an autopilot trance.
You can use many kinds of software out there to do this method, but personally, I like to use a simple Google sheet. I’ve created a templated sheet for you linked below this video so you can open it, then click the file and download or save it to your drive. So how do we set the mainframe up? And how does it work?
Keep in mind this is just an example. Ok, you can set up your planner however you like and have whatever you want on it. Now, each day before bed, you’re going to come and fill in this sheet. If you complete a habit, you can put a 1, and it will turn green to show you completed it. If you failed to complete a habit for a day, you could put 0, and it would turn red.
Now you might be wondering why everything is grayed out except for the top habit, which I’ve got in green. Well, in the beginning, we want to keep things easy for ourselves, so we will start with a single habit, and once we successfully complete it for 7 days in a row, we can add another habit and stack habits on top of each other.
So the color shows us what habits we are currently doing each day, and the gray shows us what habits we wish to unlock in the future once our comfort zone has expanded enough to be able to handle them. Now, the crucial thing to understand is that no matter whether you complete a habit or not, you must check this each day to remind yourself of the habits you want to be doing because, over time, with repetition, it will become easier and easier to complete each habit allowing you to unlock more habits and level up over time.
Most habits will fall under your wake and sleep period, health, wealth, relationships, and rules you have for yourself. But of course, you can edit this sheet to come up with your own categories. You will also notice some of these rules have a time frame if you want to do a certain amount of time with something, such as 15 minutes of meditation. In contrast, others are negative statements, such as no alcohol because it’s just a general thing you want to avoid.
You can make your habits as specific and broad as you like. Now, the times in the first column are also optional, some of you will prefer to use the mainframe like a schedule and complete everything in order as you go about your day, while others may prefer more flexibility.
The key thing here is committing to small improvements every day because they compound over time, this sets you up for success because slowly, as your desired habits become real routines and you find pleasure in them, you will find you no longer need the motivation to do them, they just become something that you do.
Track your habits each day. Start your morning by looking at your list and end your day by looking at your list. If you make this your only habit, you will find that you naturally keep doing these things because no matter how many times you fail, if you keep looking at it in the morning and at night, you will end up making your habits.
We may be slightly intelligent apes with the same lazy pleasure-driven wiring we’ve had since the start of time, but by using something as simple as a keystone habit of checking your list each day and marking off what you did and didn’t do, you’ll find that you pretty quickly stop ruining your life with default habits and become better at everything very quickly.