habit hacking

 

Can I tell you a secret?

Chances are if you’re reading this then you have a desire to be successful in your life. Most people do. So then why do some people never achieve their biggest goals, and some do?

Is it chance? Nope.

Is it circumstance? Nope. We’ve seen some of the biggest successes come out of poverty.

So what is it?

That’s the secret I want to share with you. The key to all success and self improvement is one thing that is rarely talked about. But it means everything.

It’s Habits.

Successful people don’t become successful by accident. They become successful because of the automated habits that they do day in and day out. The micro-decisions made over and over hundreds of times a day. Those small decisions and actions, multiplied over time add up to exponential results.

So how can you hack your habits and automate your success? It seems like a monumental task.

We’ll I have been studying habits and the science behind them for the last 6 months, and I’m going to do you a solid. I’m going to share everything I learned on habit hacking in this article.

1) First I’m going to show you why habits are the key to success.

2) Then I’m going to teach you the science behind habits.

3) Then I’m going to show you how to remove bad habits from your life and create habits that automate success and improvement in your life.

4) Then I’m going to share with you the top 5 core habits of high performers

5) Then I’m going to show you the biggest habits holding you back. Including the #1 habit that holds most men back. And most likely you.

6) Then I’m going to show you how to eliminate it forever. So sit back, take notes. And never look back.

Habits: The Core Principle Behind All Success

Have you ever wondered why some people are successful and some people aren’t?

Do you think this happens by accident? Because it doesn’t.

There are certain things that these people do everyday that you don’t. And that’s why there is such disparity.

Your body and mind are like a computer.

And with the right programming and software, you can do anything. With the wrong programming and software, you’re screwed and are destined for mediocrity your entire life.

Unfortunately, that poor programming is exactly what we are all instilled with our entire lives, which is why most people live average lives and only 1% of people live that life you desire.

You are constantly being bombarded with the ideas of fast weight loss, getting rich quick, and just formulas of being average.

If this stuff worked, everyone would be rich, walking around showing off their 6 pack and completely content with their lives.

But it doesn’t. And most people are not.

You have been lied to. And this is only 1 lie of dozens from what to eat and how to live that are holding you back. But I want to shatter those myths for you.

The truth?

There is no quick way to success, and people who achieve greatness and become their best selves do so in one way.

This principle is the core of all self-improvement and success, that without – you would never achieve your goals.

So what is it?

Here it is – brace yourself.

It’s one word.

Habits.

Our outcome in life is entirely dependent on the habits that we do day in and day out.

Now I know what you’re thinking. All the small things you do on a day to day basis may seem inconsequential to you, but these small daily actions add up, and these micro-decisions are exactly what determine the quality of your life.

I’ve interviewed some of the worlds most successful people, read more books than I can count, and listened to thousands of hours of audio. And every single time, it all comes down to habits.

Again, successful people don’t become successful by accident.

It is the result of steady habit creation and continued daily activities that allow them to ultimately achieve their goals over time.

This is the core foundation of self improvement and success and it couldn’t be more simple.

So why do you constantly see shortcuts getting thrown at you? Get rich quick. Lose weight fast.

It’s all bullshit. You can lose weight fast, but you’ll gain it right back since your body isn’t acclimated to the weight loss. You can make a quick buck in a scheme, but it will be over in a few months, leaving you back at square 1. You can use tricks and gimmicks you learn online to get girls, but they will NEVER get you that perfect 10.

There’s no way to achieve success without days upon days of the correct daily habits.

This is the formula for success.

Success and improvement take time.

Take some of the most successful people you know.

1) Leonardo Da Vinci failed over and over for decades before painting his master piece the last supper.

2) Nicola Tesla was living on his parents couch broke when he was 30.

3) Jim Carrey was homeless for years trying to get a role.

But you don’t hear about the years of hard work. You see the end result which deludes the reality of what it takes to get there.

So forget about the myth of overnight success, of fast weight loss or getting rich quick. All these do is slow you down and waste your time. Commit to the long game right now.

But don’t let that intimidate you. Many goals like weight loss, better health and self improvement won’t take decades.

And to achieve any goal, knowing what to do and automating it is key. Or else you’ll never get there. So with what you’ll learn in this book – you are on your way. And it may only take months.

And we haven’t even learned much yet! So let’s do that now.

Let’s take a look at the science of habits, so you can better understand how to leverage them for success and improvement.

The Science of Habits

This may sound crazy to you, but it’s estimated that 45% of what we do every day is habitual.

45%!

If 35% of that 45% is not serving you in terms of what you want to achieve in your life. You will fail. It’s that simple.

If even 5% of that is not serving you with what you want to achieve in your life, you may fail.

Think about your life right now. How much of it is filled with bad habits? I would bet a lot more than you’re even aware of.

So I want you to truly master habits. And to do so, you need to understand the science behind them, so you can combine your understanding with what you’ll learn in the following sections and become the best you.

So remember – as we said before, habits account for 45% of your waking life.

They range from obvious things like biting your nails to things you would never think to be habitual.

For example – your phone dings, you check it. This is a habit.

This is how habits work. There are three parts:

1) There is a stimulus, or an urge. Something that gets your attention.

2) Then there is your reaction to that stimulus.

3) Then there is reward. Without reward, there is no habit. Even your self sabotaging habits have small rewards. Like eating that cheesecake. The reward is instantaneous, although very short lived.

Take your cell phone again. The phone dings (Stimulus). You check it (Reaction). And you see your text (Reward). There’s nothing sabotaging about this, but it’s just an example.

Understanding how this works will allow you to break many of the bad habits that we’ll learn about next.

And I know this seems simple. Because it is! It should be taught in Pre-K.

But to sum it up, I just want to reiterate that habits are the core principle to success, self improvement and optimal performance in life. And by manipulating your habits, eliminating bad habits, adopting good habits and using certain techniques to automate these habits subconsciously, you will ooze success and see results you never thought possible.

Let’s move on.

Removing Bad Habits And Automating Success

Why do you think most people never stick to their new years resolutions? They have good intentions.

But do you think setting a goal of losing 50lbs, or saying okay tomorrow I start fresh and wake up a non smoker is a good idea? It’s not.

And it clearly hardly ever works.

Instead, what they should be doing is knowing their big goal and writing it down, but then focusing only on creating small daily habits that will fuel their goal and eventually become automatic.

Just by focusing on the small things, and controlling what they can today, over and over, they will achieve their goals in 2 months.

But no one tells them that, they lose steam as weeks go by and their goal still seems miles away.

Let’s avoid this.

So we learned that 45% of what we do every single day is habitual. This probably came as a shock to many of you.

Imagine trying to succeed in your life, constantly pushing yourself, only to fail over and over because of the automated habits you have in your life. They are sabotaging you without you even knowing it!

But imagine a different you. A you in a few months, who is crushing it in every area of his life because he has put in the time to create lasting habits that automatically fuel his success.

Habits that you don’t even think about anymore.

If you can accomplish this, your trip to success will be like one of those drives in your car when you don’t even remember how you got there. You did it without thinking.

This is possible.

And let me tell you, it feels good.

But it doesn’t just happen.

You have to make it happen.

Luckily for you, I have a strong desire to help as many people achieve this as possible. It is my life mission.

So in this section I am going to show you the most powerful tips and tricks that you can use to eliminate bad habits and then start programming good ones, until the entire 45% of your automated habits is fueling your success. Eventually without you even having to think about it.

So what do you do?

Here we go – these are the 7 steps to positive habit creation. And coupled with the 5 most powerful core habits of successful people that you’ll learn in the next section – your life will never be the same.

1) Become Consciously Aware

Awareness is key. Most likely, you are not aware of the bad habits you currently do, or better off why you do them.

The first step towards breaking any habit is to become consciously aware of it, and what triggers you to do it.

If you bite your nails often, you would need to become consciously aware of every time you were biting your nails and seek to understand why you were doing it. You would probably find that every time you were nervous or stressed it would happen. You found your trigger. Being consciously aware becomes a habit in itself, leading you to notice, think and stop every time you are biting your nails, instead of doing it aimlessly.

The trick is, throughout your day, you need to ask yourself over and over, what am I doing and why am I doing it. “Does this serve my bigger purpose? My goals in life?”

And when you catch yourself doing something that doesn’t serve you, you need to recognize the trigger that caused it so you can eliminate it.

Again, this awareness is a habit in itself and it will already put you head and shoulders above everyone else.

Exercise 1: Write down all the obvious bad habits you know you commit on a daily basis. Look at the list on page 29 to see what qualifies as a bad habit. Then throughout your week, keep track of bad habits you notice. You’re on your way to monk-like awareness.

2) Weed Out The Bad Habits

Once you become consciously aware of the bad habits that don’t serve you (we’ll learn good habits and bad habits in the next section), you can start to weed them out.

How?

a) Eliminate the triggers

The first step to eliminating a bad habit is to eliminate the triggers that cause it.

If you’re a stress eater, then you have to work on eliminating the stress to stop the eating. Find the relation to your specific bad habits and cut the trigger. It will be different for everyone, but stress and boredom are universal triggers. And soon you’ll learn how to take this trigger and switch it to a trigger for positivity.

b) Don’t remove, replace

Simply trying to remove bad habits doesn’t work. You need to replace them with good habits instead. (Instead of drinking to reduce stress find a new alternative rather than just not drinking)

So, how do you create these good habits to replace a bad one with?

Read on.

3) Replace The Bad With The Good

Once you recognize and weed out your bad habits, start replacing them with positive habits that fuel and serve your purpose.

There’s a few tricks to this.

a) The first is called habit stacking

It’s when you take an already automated habit, and stack another one on top of it. It can be a bad habit, or a good habit.

For instance, going into your bed when you want to sleep is a habit. It’s a very basic and simple habit, but it’s a habit. (It’s part of that 45%)

If you wanted to stack another habit on top of that you could create the habit of thinking of 5 things you are grateful in your life every time you got into bed at night.

Gratitude is 1 of the 5 habits of the most successful people alive. You’ll learn the other 4 later.

Another more extreme example would be something like doing 10 reps of an exercise every time you got a text. Because simply checking your phone after a ding is a habit. You can literally think of any combination to do, but that’s up to your specific goals.

Exercise 2: So remember your bad habits wrote down from before? Now write down all the triggers of those habits and write down a list of good habits (from the list starting on page 24) that you would like to replace them with. Then start stacking your good habits on your triggers, along with stacking good habits on your already good habits, like doing heel raises every time you brush your teeth (just an example).

But how do you solidify these?

This is key, and will be explained next.

b) Start small

A key of habit creation is starting small. It allows you to solidify them without fail.

For example: If you want to make exercising a habit, simply do 1 pushup every time you get a craving or just every morning in general. 1. That’s it.

Sounds crazy? This works. After a month, you will be doing that automatically, and since it’s so easy you won’t fall off track. All you have to do now is add to your already created habit. Start doing 1 more pushup everyday after a month. Then start running. Who knows you may be doing marathons in a year.

This is how growth happens. Not from the big goals. But from the small daily goals that you complete over and over.

c) Shape Your Environment

If your goal is to lose 100 pounds this year, then you may want to create habits that support your goal of fitness and weight loss. Sounds like a good idea right?

These are great habits to have, but if you are like most people then your kitchen is filled with processed crap that is literally killing you, along with making you fat.

If you want to lose weight, don’t have a bowl of M&M’s sitting on your countertop.

Chances are, you’ll eat them if they’re there.

But instead, shape your environment.

Get rid of the M&M’s, and start buying pre-cut veggies to snack on. Have healthy choices all over your house. Lay out your running clothes right next to your bed every morning to make it easy.

Make forming positive habits easy, and in turn you will make your success easy.

Because it is easy.

d) Start w/ Core Habits

As you’ll learn later, there are certain core habits that are the most importat to form. By forming these first, everything else will roll off and compliment them. Making the whole process a lot easier.

Let’s take one of the core habits exercise for example. You know that when you have a core habit of exercise going, everything rolls off it.

What I mean is when you get a good workout done in the AM, you are naturally more energetic throughout the day. You’re less stressed, so you have less stress induced bad habits. You eat better because you feel better. And you’re more likely to make good decisions.

Solidify the core habits, and the rest will take care of itself.

e) Make Them Identity Based

This is a great tip I picked up from James Clear, and it’s all about making habits stick over time. No good having a habit for a month and then losing it.

The trick is to make them identity-based.

So for example, if you don’t believe that you are a person who can get a lot of girls, then you probably won’t stick to your habits that will help you get girls.

So instead of being “John who doesn’t get a lot of girls” but is going to try to approach every hot girl he sees. Decide who you want to be, assume that identity and become “John who gets a lot of girls” and approaches every hot girl he sees.

Associating your self as an athlete will help you stick to exercising habits big time. Being a non-athlete who is trying to exercise, won’t work.

How do you do this? You must prove to yourself you are this guy with small wins overtime. So just by approaching 1 hot girl every week you’ve proven to yourself that you are a guy that approaches women. Encompass this identity and let it grow.

Exercise 3: Write down on a piece of paper the ideal version of yourself. What are you doing, who are you with, how do you feel. Be very detailed. Then assume this identity. It might be forced at first, but in a month you will feel like this person, because you are! you may not have the girl yet, but she’s coming!

Exercise 4: Now that you know who you want to be, brainstorm and write down all the traits this person has and all the things this person does on a daily basis. This reflection is powerful. Then start programming the future you’s traits and beliefs into yourself today.

f) Lifestyle Changes Over Monumental Movements

This last step is key to sticking to your habits and staying on course.

Remember how we talked about the goal of losing 50lbs at the start of the year being useless.

It’s because there is no context to this goal. In 3 weeks your goal will still be to lose 50lbs, and by this point you’ll be fed up.

Have a big goal, yes. And by all means (Exercise 4) write it down, sign it and put it on your wall. But then only focus on what you can do today and the lifestyle changes you can make to have your goal become automatic.

So your goal should be to not eat sugar today. And to go for a run tomorrow morning. If you can make these habits stick, the 50lbs will lose itself.

Moving forward.

The deeper you look into this stuff, the easier it presents it’s self to you. It’s on the outer level where it seems hard. But it’s simplistic in nature.

Habits, time and consistency.

That’s the secret to success, self improvement and high performance. Now there is obviously a lot more that goes into high performance, but all that is only details of specific habits for each goal. While they may be slightly more complex, the ideology of forming the habit is still simple.

I hope this opened your eyes and gave you a core understanding of self improvement, and how you can start building your life around this. Because this is the basic framework it’s all based on. Any anything else you learn at menrpovement.com or seanrussell.me will be structure on this.

Now you understand the science of habits, you know how to remove all your bad habits that hold you back, and you know how to replace them with good habits that fuel your success.

But how do you make them automatic, and subconscious? Which in my mind is the key. When you can form success automatically and subconsciously, just by breathing. This is when things get fun.

The answer is simple. Time and repetition.

If you can use the tips above and create strong habits, especially the core ones listed below, then create goal specific habits for whatever you want to do, and do them everyday, over and over, just focusing on each day. One day, you will be doing them and not even know it. At this point, your brain can focus on other things, because success is subconscious.

This is how successful people live.

The best example is positive thinking, belief and manifestation. Creating this habit may take time. But in a year, when you don’t even think about it and you just think positive and believe all your goals as reality automatically – Anything you dream can be a reality. It’s truly beautiful.

And don’t worry if you miss a day of your habits, science shows that 1 day won’t throw you off. Just don’t let skipping them become a habit in itself!

This was a lot of information, so let’s put it into action.

What are some good habits to start adopting, to fuel your growth? And what habits are holding you back? Especially the one that has 99% of men by the balls.

Lets check it out.

Habits of The Ultra Successful

So now you know why some people are successful and most are not. And were not talking about the trust fund babies here.

Were talking about guys like Marc Cuban, Richard Branson, Jim Carrey and elite athletes, who worked hard for decades to earn their position in the world.

And maybe you just want to be better with women, gain some energy, increase confidence, or lose some weight.

That’s fine.

But regardless, these 5 core habits are a MUST have in your life. Or else you’ll get left in the dust.

It’s a fast paced highly competitive world out there. You’ve got to be able to compete.

On the next page you find the top 5 core habits you need to adopt, and why you need to do so.

Top 5 core habits of high performers:

These habits are so general that they fit into every goal. Obviously high performers have many other habits, specific to their niche in life (like for me, zeroing my inbox everyday) but these 5 habits are a must have for everyone.

1) Exercise

This may seem obvious, but so many people still neglect it. Like we talked about before, everything rolls off of exercise. I’m sure you’ve had an exercise routine at some point. How much easier was it to do everything else and how great did you feel?

Objects in motion stay in motion. It’s a law of physics. Exercise is the #1 key habit to success in anything.

2) Healthy Eating

This rolls right off of exercise.

You are what you eat. And when you eat crap, you feel like crap. And when you feel like crap, you don’t exercise or do what you need to do.

3) Gratitude

Before studying and interviewing high achievers, gratitude was never something I really thought about.

But let me tell you, EVERY single person I have interviewed, listened to or read about says that gratitude is in their top 3 tips for success.

“An attitude of gratitude brings opportunity.”

This small step is the start to a big future in always being grateful for what you have and each day on this earth.

Exercise 5: Every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things you are grateful for.

4) Self Education

Whatever it is you want to improve in your life, self education is key. Another one of Tony Robbins top tips for success is daily self education. Instead of listening to the morning show on your way to work you could be listening to personal development audio and podcasts. Just that little habit stack while getting into your car can change your life over the course of a year.

Self education is key. Make it happen.

5) Meditation

Meditation is a beautiful thing. But it scares people. People picture being some sort of hippie, monk like person.

And for the ultra successful, this is a huge advantage.

People like Russell Simons, Lewis Howes, many Rap artists and more badass dudes all meditate.

Some do it in the common form. Some do it in other forms such as prayer, breathing exercises and things like that.

But one thing is for sure. The difference between the you that doesn’t meditate daily, and the you that does, is dramatic.

It’s simply up to you. And I say this because I know how resistant people are to it.

But it’s one of those core habits that everything runs off of. Less stress, more focus, more energy, clearer thinking. It makes everything easier. Imagine just taking 5-20 minutes of your day to make your day 10X more effective.

So don’t be intimidated, just start off with 5 minutes a day, sit upright and focus on your breath and do nothing. Watch the thoughts as they come in and out and just be. Slowing down in a fast paced world is powerful. Try it for a month.

More habits to adopt:

These are very general habits. But the reason I only list these, is because they are core foundational habits. There’s no point in trying to program 30 good habits into your life tomorrow. But if you start with the 5 core habits, solidify them all in 1-3 months by using the tips above – then all the other habits will be easy to create. Because you will be doing the 5 core things that will make success and positive motion in your life effortless and flow like water down a stream.

Start at the base. Build it up, slowly. Automate your base. And infinitely expand.

Other great habits are things like cold showers, visualization, positive thinking, giving, helping others, complimenting others, acknowledging others, productivity, breathing correctly and the list can go on forever.

But before you can fill your life with those. You need to get rid of the bad ones.

So what are they, and what habit holds 99% of men back?

Bad Habits You Have to Kick

The things that you do today may seem like they don’t matter. Eating that honey bun, skipping that workout.

And today, they might not.

But 2 years time of thousands of micro-decisions added up makes ALL the difference. It is the biggest factor for who you become. Just imagine simply making the decision to listen to the morning show or listen to a self improvement podcast on the way to work. You won’t be much different tomorrow. But fast forward 1 year, with the same decision over and over.

The morning show would have left you exactly the same, maybe dumber. while 365 days of different self improvement podcast episodes would make you an expert.

Times that by 10, for 10 micro-decisions daily. Mother of God.

Every single crossroad you’re faced with on a daily basis is a micro- decision that will accumulate either for the good, or for your demise.

Most people fuel their own demise daily with horrible habits, that are automatic, give them immediate reward, but destroy their long term success and position in life.

And there’s one habit in specific that holds 99% of men back, and that 90% of men who try to stop doing, cannot.

So lets take a look at some of the biggest ones.

And then we’ll cover in depth the biggest of them all. Bad habits holding most men back:

These habits are general. Your own bad habits will vary and you need to find them by following the steps in the becoming consciously aware section. But these are some common ones.

1) Negative Self Talk

2) Poor Eating Habits

3) Scarcity Beliefs

4) Neediness

5) Avoiding Eye Contact

6) Poor Body Language

7) Smoking

8) Hitting Snooze

9) Gossiping

10) Complaining & Procrastination

And the list could go on forever. I know you’re guilty of at least a few on occasions. But what if you weren’t. What if all 45% of your daily habits fueled your success. You’d be unstoppable.

So, what is this habit that is holding 99% of men back then?

Excessive porn use and masturbation.

I’m not going to get into it here, but porn affects your brain in a horrible way, similar to heroin (that is not a joke). It makes you lazy and is just a low reward activity that many men do 1-3 times a day. To learn more about what porn does to your brain and it’s negative effects read this.

In Conclusion

We went through a lot here today, but I wanted to give you a full guide on hacking habits so you could go out today and start programming into your brain the life you desire.

Just remember the step, self reflect (do the exercises) and repeat.

In 5 years, you can be anyone you want.

Do you have the patience and dedication to make it happen?

If you enjoyed this let us know your best and worst habits and what you do to hack them in the comment section!

And don’t forget: there are a lot of exercises in here and the information can be overwhelming. Get a printable workbook I use with my clients to make sure you hack your habits correctly.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This was defiantly worth the time to read. Great article and well articulated. I practice improving my habits and try to hone my discipline. I would add that adopting the right ‘can do’ attitude really helps to keep me stay motivated

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