A bad habit can be the limiting factor in your success. It could be something as simple as a tendency to procrastinate or an addiction to sugar that prevents you from being successful on your quest for happiness and growth.
Lee Matthew Jackson
Just as a habit can be created, it can also be broken. In this episode we identify bad habits, what the results are and how to use gamification to break them.
- List your habits
- Identify how they affect you and and hold you back
- Highlight the benefits of breaking them
- Use the “streak” method to gamify breaking the habit
- Find an accountability buddy
- Celebrate your success
- Keep going
Track your success in the Daylio App (Not sponsored nor affiliate).
Welcome to the Agency Trailblazer Podcast. This is your host Lee, and on today’s show, we’re going to help you break those bad habits and become super successful. But remember, you need to put the work in, so you better sit back and hold on tight.
But before we do, I would love to thank our amazing sponsors Cloudways. They offer managed cloud hosting through multiple amazing providers. We trust these guys with all of our big projects where we don’t want things to go wrong and we want to ensure good uptime and good support. You can find out more information over on trailblazer.fm/cloudways and also subscribe to their YouTube channel because they have partnered with us and several other people in the industry to put out a whole load of content over 2021 and I highly recommend you subscribe so you don’t miss out on all of the incredible treats they have lined up.
Right, let’s set the scene. Let’s think of this: A bad habit can be that limiting factor for your success. It could be something as simple as the tendency to procrastinate, maybe you spend too much time on social media. Listen to last week’s episode, you’ll hear what I said about that. Maybe you have an addiction to sugar. Maybe you eat too much chocolate. Whatever it is, there are habits that really do hold us back.
Now, you might think, well, an addiction to chocolate surely can’t hold me back to success within my agency Lee, that’s a little bit woo and a little bit ridiculous. But if you think about this, if you feel crap about yourself, then you probably don’t feel like the confident agency owner or freelancer or consultant that you really are. If you have a bad habit, then psychologically it does make you feel rubbish on the inside and how you feel on the inside is actually ridiculously important when it comes to being productive, when it comes to having ideas, when it comes to being brave in business, and when it comes to showing up with potential clients and closing that sale.
I would say it’s really important to break those bad habits, to completely change our mindsets and to feel like the happy, confident business owners that we really are rather than feeling rubbish about ourselves. And you know what? The only person that is holding you back is you. The only person holding me back is me. Me caring about what other people think has held me back for many, many years. Me projecting the negative opinion I have of myself to other people thinking that that’s what they must think of me, has also held me back.
Me knowing that I have a whole load of bad habits inside this little closet that I hide away and I feel really bad about makes me feel bad about myself. So I would say if you can feel better about yourself, if you can nail and get rid of some of those bad habits, I can see you being a much more confident business owner who is ready to achieve success. So in this episode, we are going to go through a very clear method for listing out those habits, understanding how they are impacting you and then we’re going to learn how to use a form of gamification and accountability to break them.
Now, I have done this. Alright, I have done this multiple times. This has been something now I’ve been doing for the last three to four years. I’ve used this method to break bad habits I’ve struggled with for years and flipping this method, I’ve been able to use it to achieve some pretty phenomenal stuff over the years, including events, including all the stuff that happens on this podcast, the YouTube channel, and so much more. If you go to episode number 304 on trailblazer.fm, you will see this clearly defined list and I am literally going to read it to you first, then I will talk on each one.
The steps are: 1. List your habits, 2. Identify how they affect you and hold you back. 3. Highlight the benefits of breaking those habits 4. Use the ‘streak’ method that I’m going to tell you about in a bit to gamify breaking the habit or habits. 5. If needed, find an accountability buddy. Somebody who could be dealing with the same bad habit as you at the same time. Number 6. Make sure you celebrate your success. And number seven, because seven is a good number: keep going. I was born on the seventh, by the way, and if you ever feel the need to send a birthday gift, August is a phenomenal month for you to be sending said birthday gift.
Right. Let’s get into this. The first one is listing your habits. Take some time now to list out all of those habits that you feel are hard to break, you feel bad about or you feel they may be holding you back. Perhaps it is that tendency to procrastinate. Perhaps you are spending too much time on social media. Perhaps you are eating too much chocolate. Perhaps you struggle with other addictions, maybe like smoking, etc.. and remember, I am not a health adviser at all, but I am sharing something that has worked for me and there might just be something in it that could work for you.
Don’t worry about how long the list is, because the next step really is to identify how each one of those habits affect you and hold you back. There’s two things there: How do they affect you? So how does that make you feel about yourself and how does it affect the people around you? And also how does it hold you back with regards to your success? Is it a confidence knocker or is it actually taking time away from the business?
So with each one of those, identify those two core areas, how are they affecting you and the people around you and how are they holding you back? Because when you do that, you can start to understand what habits are the habits you need to deal with first. It’s never a good idea to try and do everything at once. I really believe that small, achievable actions lead to big change, so if we can do a few things really, really well, we can then continue to build upon those over time. You’re not looking to fix everything straight away. You are just looking to chip away slowly at those things you would like to change in your life through those small, achievable actions.
Right, we’ve now got a list of the habits that we feel we want to break. We feel that are holding us back, we’ve identified how they affect us and now we can highlight the benefits for each one of breaking them. Obviously, the benefit of breaking the procrastination habit would be more time on the business and more time with family and friends and it’s actually these results that will help you really identify those habits you definitely want to break because you want the results. By imagining those results, we can really get behind breaking the habit because we want to see and outwork that vision we have for our lives.
So by now, we should have a compelling list of habits. We’ve identified how they’re affecting you, holding you back. We’ve highlighted those benefits and with that, we can identify at least one or two that we would like to deal with first. And with those one or two habits, we can now use the streak method to gamify breaking those habits, I would recommend maybe start with one at most two. Let me explain then what the streak method is.
To introduce the streak let me tell you a quick story. So for years I have struggled to achieve my goals and I’ve either fallen short, I’ve given up or have even failed to start and that cycle would really affect my self-confidence and my emotion as much as those bad habits. A few years ago, I was introduced to something called streak’s, and this was through an app called Snapchat. This is where my friend and I would send goofy images to each other every single day and should we have missed just one of those days, we would have broken the streak.
So you can imagine by the time we hit one hundred plus, it became pretty much impossible for us to break the streak. As of the time of recording this particular episode, we have hit one thousand two hundred and eighteen days of sending goofy pictures and messages to each other. That friend is Larissa and here is to 3000. You can use the street method to track every consecutive day that you have not engaged in the particular habit that you want to break.
For example, if you manage seven consecutive days without eating chocolate or whatever that is, that is a streak of seven. If, however, on day eight you indulge, you’ve unfortunately broken the streak and that’s going to have to go back down to zero. The higher you get, the harder it gets psychologically to actually break the streak. So by the time you’ve put all that work. Into 30 days of no procrastination or whatever it is, you do not want to go back to zero so that you have to start again, if you do, it doesn’t matter because you can at least try and beat your last score. But it’s going to be really frustrating if you have to keep going back 30, 31, 32, 33 days. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could keep going?
For myself, one of the habits that I wanted to break is currently at five hundred and forty seven consecutive days. There is no way on earth I am breaking that. Equally, one of the good habits that I wanted to create is at six hundred and eighty three consecutive days. Again, there is no way I am letting that slide because that’s a whole load of days to catch up on.
Streak’s rely on that self accountability and I’ve just described two examples that I don’t want to break as a personal challenge. However, sometimes things may just have that stronger grip over us and we need to do it together. One of my habits I share with a friend and we’ve decided to do this together, we’re both recording our streak. So not only do we not want to break our own streak, but we don’t want to have to say to the other that we have failed.
That adds that extra layer of accountability and essentially plays to the pride that we have. We have pride in ourselves that we don’t want to break the streak. And equally, we’re too proud to have to admit that we gave in and failed and it doesn’t matter if we do fail because remember, you can still gamify and beat your personal best. I have found, though, that when you share a bad habit and you both try and break that together, the power of having somebody else with you is even more immense.
All right. We are coming into land. Next, you need to celebrate your success. If you’ve established what habit you want to break or habits, I would encourage you to set yourself some milestones. So when you hit, say, seven days, you need to celebrate and reward yourself. When you hit 30 days, you need to celebrate and reward yourself and so on. So set some goals for you to keep hitting and give yourself some form of reward. Be that your favorite dinner, be that a date out, whatever that looks like, you really need to reward your success. This works for both breaking or creating a good habit, highly encourage it and we’ve had some really fun times celebrating our successes.
Finally keep going and I did make a joke that I only said that just to make this a list of seven, however, keep going needs you to track what you are doing. If you’re going to celebrate success, then you’re going to need to track. If you want to feel good about your progress, either creating or breaking habit, then you need to be able to look at something and say, holy moly, I have done an amazing job. So I would recommend an app called Dailyo and there will be a link in the show and head on over to episode number 304 trailblazer.fm, and you will find a link to that app. It works on iOS and on Android and that’s what I’ve used for the last three or four years to track all of my habits and to make sure that I can make or break them.
Please note this episode is not sponsored by Dailyo. I just use the app and think it’s awesome. But this episode is sponsored by Cloudways and we have used them for many years and I am just as passionate about them as I am about this method for breaking and making those habits. I would recommend you check them out over on trailblazer.fm/cloudways.
Right. Let’s do a recap of how we can break those bad habits. Number One, list out those habits. Number Two, identify how they are affecting you and holding you back. Number three, highlight the benefits of breaking those habits. Remember understanding how they affect you and hold you back and those benefits will attract you to those habits that you want to tackle first. Number Four, use the streak method that we have described today to game a fight breaking that habit. Number five, if you find it particularly difficult or can do this with somebody else at the same time, then find yourself an accountability buddy. Number six, celebrate your success. Number seven, keep going. Remember to keep track of how you are doing.
Hit me up over in the comments on trailblazer.fm Episode Number 304. What have you learned from this episode? What habits are you going to try and break? What great new habits are you going to try and make? Hey, let us know in the comments, be accountable to the community. Speaking of community, we do have a Facebook group, you can check that out over on trailblazer.fm/group. If we don’t see you in the comments or in the community, then, hey, let’s see you in next week’s episode.