Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

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Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


It takes about 21 days of consistently doing something every day (or not doing something) to build a habit of doing it (or not doing it).

A habit can be something like:

- Brushing your teeth every morning as the first thing you do right after you wake up.

- Flossing your teeth daily at a specific time.

- Not checking or looking at your smartphone at all in the morning until you have been awake and out of bed for at least one full hour.

- Drinking a glass of wine every night with dinner.

- Not drinking wine at all.


One way to think about and define habits is through their relationship to willpower. If it takes or would take willpower to do something, then it probably that thing is not a habit (yet).

For example, I do a weightlifting workout in the gym every day. Many years ago, there were times when it took willpower and commitment to stick to that. Now it's the opposite. Even if I am on doctor's orders to not workout in the gym or such, or otherwise have some reason to not workout in the gym, I get very tempted and often cave to temptation and workout in the gym anyway because the habit is that strong. When I go a day without working out in the gym, I feel like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when someone sits in his seat. It freaks me out.

In my philosophy, there's no such thing as a good habit or a bad habit. I cannot honestly tell you what habits to have. I choose mine, and you choose yours. What's best for me may not be best for you. What I want for me may not be what want for you, and that's fine. It's better than fine. It's beautiful. The world would be worse if every single person was just a copy of me or just a copy of you. Diversity is what makes the world beautiful. You choose what habits you want and which you don't. And, as always, when it comes to your choices, you get exactly what you want, meaning you what you choose.

Unless they are especially trained in mindfulness, most human beings can only use willpower for about 3 to 5 seconds consecutively before exhausting their willpower and needing at least a few minutes of rest, if not hours of rest, before they can use willpower again.

You can use the very limited willpower you have to help build new habits. But, the great thing about habits is that, once you have built the habit, it no longer costs your precious limited willpower to do the thing that is now a habit, whatever it is. By investing some of your extremely limited and extremely valuable willpower building a habit over 21 days, you create figurative (or literal) residual income in terms of the recurring benefits of doing the habit effortlessly day after day after that without willpower.

For example, if you ask me how I have the willpower to force myself to workout in the gym every day, the answer is I don't. It's a habit that costs me zero willpower. It would cost me willpower to not workout later today.

My two favorite candies are gummy bears and Reese's Pieces. If you ask me how I have the willpower to not binge eat gummy bears and Reese's Pieces that are in my house until I literally feel sick to my stomach, the answer is I don't. That's precisely why I don't have any gummy bears and Reese's Pieces in my house, and why I go out of my way to not keep any here. If they were here, I would soon eat them, a lot of them, and I mean a lot. I could use willpower to resist them for a short period of time, but that precious limited willpower would run out quickly, as it does for all humans. You could say I have a habit of not buying candy from the grocery store. Likewise, you could say that I have a habit of not keeping candy I like in my house at all.

Even if I could somehow muster the willpower to avoid eating candy stored at home despite it taunting me 24/7 while being here, that would exhaust all my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower, on something so small, making it so I couldn't spend that valuable limited willpower on other more incredible things. It would be analogous to putting a bunch of nearly useless junk on a credit card and getting so much high interest debt that 100% of my income went to that credit card debt, and still didn't cover the interest fully, so I could never afford to buy anything else at all ever again because all my money was going to credit card interest, right down the drain. I have never paid a penny in credit card interest, and I do my best to never spend even one tiny bit of my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower on not eating candy at home. Both are achieved through habits, such as the habit of not buying gummy bears at the grocery store in the first place and the habit of not storing gummy bears in my house at all in the first place. It takes a little bit of willpower to avoid gummy bears in the grocery store; it would take over 1,000x more willpower to deal with them if I brought them here. It's a small investment of willpower that saves me a huge expense of willpower.

Figuratively speaking, habits are the high-dividend quality stocks and bonds that result in a free-spirited happy life. Where literal high-dividend quality stocks and financial investments will give you financial freedom and make you rich, habits will give you spiritual freedom and make you happy, truly happy, in the sense of invincible consistent inner peace, brave confidence, and grace.

For those who have one or more new habits they want to build, but are struggling, I have two huge but easy suggestions for building a new habit:


Suggestion One: Start small with a micro-habit..

For example, if you want to floss your teeth daily, then you can start by building the habit of flossing just one tooth per day, which only takes a few seconds or so. It takes about 3 weeks (21 days) to build a new habit. So in that example you would floss one tooth each day for 21 days, which would only cost you about 3 seconds per day of your extremely valuable and limited willpower, for only 21 days. After about 21 days, it would be a habit that would cost you 0 willpower. If progression was linear, then you could use the same strategy to go from one tooth to two teeth and from two teeth to three teeth and from three to four and so on, which would still be great and incredible. But--even better!--you will find that, once you already have the micro-habit down, progression tends to be exponential, not linear. When it comes to building the habit of flossing teeth, the first tooth is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a billionaire, the first million is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a millionaire, the first $100,000 is the hardest. When it comes to slowly and healthfully losing 100 lbs of fat and keeping it off, slowly and healthfully losing the first 10 lbs is the hardest. If you successfully build a tiny little micro-habit over the next 21 days, you will be shocked how quickly you not only get to your goals but get to goals so incredible you didn't even imagine them yet.

If you want to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day for 30 minutes, you could start by exercising every day for 5 minutes. If you have to drive or walk to the gym, you could start by simply walking or driving to the gym every day, not exercising there or even going into the gym, and then turning right back around and going right back home without have exercised. It might sound almost silly, but that's what makes it work: It's so ridiculously easy. Don't ice skate up a hill when there's a staircase. One leads to failure and the other will work, and easily at that. If someone wants to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day, I have more faith in the person that has done the micro-habit over the last 21 days of going to the gym without actually exercising at all each day for the past 21 days, than I have in the person who has gone to the gym and exercised every day for the last 5 days.

5 days isn't habit. 21 days is.

One person is like the person who never invested money before and then suddenly put their entire life savings into a high-yield investment with absurdly high claims of ROI. The other is like the person with an already very diversified portfolio who has been investing 10% of their weekly income for the past 21 days, each day into a different stock, bond, mutual fund, or such. week into a different stock or bond or mutual fund or such.

One person is like the crash dieter who lost a ton of weight very quickly, and will thus almost certainly gain it all back and more just as quickly. One person is the person who never went on a diets, but rather who decided to permanently changed their diet three weeks ago.

A micro-habit done every single day for 21 days is infinitely more powerful and effective than a non-habit done over a day or two presumably as some kind of massive overcompensation in some addictive cycle. An example of that kind of addictive cycle would be someone who binge drinks alcohol daily for a week than quits entirely for a week, than binge drinks every day for a week, than quits entirely for a week, and so on for years until the addict dies. I might have more faith in the alcoholic who still drinks every day including today but has also built a habit by simply going to AA every single day for the last 21 days than in the alcoholic who hasn't drank in the last two days.

As my book, In It Together, explains more explicitly and in much more detail: Whether it's a waterfall of apologetic tears from an adulterer who just got caught, the sudden promises of total lifelong sobriety from an alcoholic who just quit a minute ago, the $4,000 flowers from a physical abuser, or any number of other infinite examples, huge short-term gestures and overcompensation are signs of toxic cyclical abuse, both in terms of abuse between two humans across space as well as two different-aged versions of the same human across time.


Suggestion Two: Put your most important or toughest to follow habits into your morning routing.

The more important a habit is to you, the earlier you want to put into your daily routine. Likewise, the harder a habit is for you to keep, the earlier you want to put it into your morning routine.

Earlier is usually always easier, such that 9pm will be easier than 6pm, and 6pm will easier than 3pm, and 3pm will be even easier than 12pm. However, the change isn't linear. The first 15 minutes or so after you wake up is possibly 100x easier than the next 15 minutes. The first hour after you wake up is infinitely easier than the next hour. But after the first hour or two, the drop-off slows significantly. Earlier is still better, but the difference is not as great.

So if a habit is especially tough of follow and very important to you, I would almost always suggest you put it first thing in the morning such that you start it within about 15 minutes of waking up.

But still for other habits that are only a little tough and/or of medium importance to you can benefit from being bumped up earlier in the day, even if it's from 9pm to 3pm, for example.

There are many reasons that you will be more effective at keeping a habit the earlier you do it:

- Flexibility and Adaptability -- You have more time to adjust and compensate on the occasion when something unexpected does happen preventing you from getting the habit done at its usually scheduled time. Maybe you oversleep by accident; maybe you get stuck at work; maybe you get a flat tire on your way to the gym in the morning. With that said, don't make a habit of doing your would-be morning habits in the afternoon or evening, because then they aren't morning habits, but it's helpful to have that as a last resort for when unexpected things happen that prevent you from doing your regular routine. In analogy, if you are going grocery shopping but have limited time and may not get to everything on your shopping list, it would make sense to start by shopping for the things that you want most and are most important to get.

- Psychical Exhaustion (a.k.a. non-mental exhaustion) -- Your body has a limited amount of physical strength, physical endurance, and physical energy each day that tend to replenish after you sleep. The later in the day you plan to do a habit, the more physically exhausted you will tend to feel when the time comes to do it, thus increasing the chances you don't do it.

- Mental Exhaustion -- You have a very limited amount of willpower each day, so the later it gets in the day the more likely it becomes that you'll be out of willpower. You can think of it in analogy as if you start with $10 of willpower each morning, and each time you use willpower for something--anything at all no matter how small or silly--it costs you some of that $10. The more willpower it takes, the more of that $10 it costs. It goes fast. Everything's shockingly expensive. If you don't usually brush your teeth in the morning but use willpower to do it, that might cost about $1, about 10% of your total daily willpower. You might spend more than that just minutes within waking up. Needless to say, the later in the day you schedule a new habit, the more likely it is that by the time it comes you have spent all your willpower and thus physically cannot afford the habit. The sad things you can do the would-be new habit for seven or ten days straight, but all it takes is one or two days to break the would-be new habit. In other words, it only takes one or two days in that 21 day period where you're out of willpower by the time it's time to do the habit and thus can't do it. That's not a failure of willpower; it's a scheduling mistake you made over a week before. You would have kept the habit if you had simply scheduled it earlier.

- Morning Grogginess Makes Your Body, Mind, and Ego More Malleable to You and Your Wishes -- My book, In It Together, explores in clear, agreeable, and enlightening detail the idea that there are "Two Yous", and that you can feel like there is a constant ongoing war inside of your body between your true self and your primitive bodily urges, mind, and ego, especially when it comes to matters related to temptation and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom). The book shows how to simultaneously find peace and win the war, but roughly speaking for the matter at hand it's easier to win the war or a battle in the war in the morning when your body and mind are groggy. If your body is all excited and alert in the evening at the bar having an after-work beer with friends, it's less likely you will fight temptation and leave the bar to go to the gym rather than order another round, no matter how much in the grander scheme you might be allegedly dedicated and committed and desiring of the habit of going to the gym every day after work. If you put that habit in the morning, your body and mind will probably already be at the gym before even knows what's happening. If you want your body to be your slave rather than vice versa, I suggest you remember it's easier for you to enslave your body in the morning. In other more common words, your body relies on habit much more in the morning.

- Other Humans (Across Space) Tend to Interfere Less in the Morning -- There's a reason I mentioned a 5pm afterwork beer in my earlier example and not a 5am prework beer with friends. Need I say more? Well, I will anyway: If a 5pm after-work beer with friends is interfering with your important habits and dreams, then it's not actually; it's your own sloppy scheduling.

If you really wanted the habit and the achieved dream it will give you, you wouldn't be scheduling the would-be habit for the time when 5pm-beer-with-friends tends to happen.

The human mind is great at making excuses (especially once it gets over that morning grogginess!), but generally they are ********. Almost always, success is a choice, and the choice is yours.

Some people will reply, "Sure, success is usually a choice, but XYZ."

Even then, usually XYZ is just another ******** excuse by a non-groggy human mind, coming out of the mouth of someone whose body and mind is their master rather than vice versa.

Once you take your rightful spot at the wheel, or in another metaphor the throne of that would-be temple that is your human body, then things you achieve will be so incredible people will think you are literally magical.

There is reason my book does not contain the phrase "free will", nor does any paragraph earlier in the post. I don't know what anyone means by "free will" and almost everybody seems to use it to refer to something different, but many seem to use it to refer to something that if not actually magical at least seems magical, and I get that.

I'm not hear to tell you that you are magical, and I don't actually believe in actual supernatural magic, but with a few simple easily doable steps and a simple choice on your part, you will achieve things that make you look like the most magical of magical beings. When you tell people that your aren't magical, many won't even believe you. They'll say your supernaturally lucky at least. You must be, to have blessings like that.

I don't believe in magic, but I believe in choice. Maybe choice is magical, but that changes nothing.

Regardless, the choice is yours.



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program, both for the free option and the paid option. If you follow the program but don't achieve your goal, you'll get your money back plus $100. For the free option, that means you will still get paid $100 if you don't achieve your goal using his free advice and free system.

Image
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Cristina Corui Mihailescu
Premium Member
Posts: 10
Joined: November 3rd, 2022, 10:16 am

Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Cristina Corui Mihailescu »

Dear Scott,
I have read your rext very attentively this morning. So attentively that I found two errors : routing instead of routine and hear instead of here. But these are typos, so forgivable.
Your gummy bears will stick to my mind. Now I have really understood my" putting off till evening "mistake. You are right! Thank you again for waking me up!
Theresa Moffitt
Premium Member
Posts: 8
Joined: November 3rd, 2022, 10:16 am

Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Theresa Moffitt »

Scott,
Your Facebook post asked for people to proofread this for you. I wasn’t sure if you wanted comments here or somewhere else. I wasn’t sure where to put them. I saw some errors (outlined below) but I think this is great advice to people interested in making positive changes in their lives. It really made me think about the types of habits I want to create by beginning with small changes and building into beneficial habits. It’s well organized, interesting, and provides great advice.

“If it takes or would take willpower to do something, then it probably that thing is not a habit (yet).” I think it should be “it” or “that thing”, but not both.

“ What I want for me may not be what want for you, and that's fine.” insert “you” before “want” in “what want for you”

“ and then turning right back around and going right back home without have exercised.” I think “have” should be “having”

“ The other is like the person with an already very diversified portfolio who has been investing 10% of their weekly income for the past 21 days, each day into a different stock, bond, mutual fund, or such. week into a different stock or bond or mutual fund or such.” I think the last part of this section is a duplicate after the period and should be deleted

“ One person is the person who never went on a diets, but rather who decided to permanently changed their diet three weeks ago.” “a diets” should be “a diet” and “changed” should be “change”

“ So if a habit is especially tough of follow and very important to you,” “of” should be “to”

“ The sad things you can do the would-be new habit for seven or ten days straight, but all it takes is one or two days to break the would-be new habit.” I think “things” should be “thing is”

“ My book, In It Together, explores in clear, agreeable, and enlightening detail the idea that there are "Two Yous",” it seems like it should be “enlightening detail” or “enlightening idea” not both?

“ If you put that habit in the morning, your body and mind will probably already be at the gym before even knows what's happening.” It seems to be missing a word after “before” possibly “before you even know what’s happening”?

“ The human mind is great at making excuses (especially once it gets over that morning grogginess!), but generally they are ********.” this sentence is missing a word in place of *****.

“ Even then, usually XYZ is just another ******** excuse by a non-groggy human mind, coming out of the mouth of someone whose body and mind is their master rather than vice versa.” I think the ******** can be deleted and state “just another excuse”

“ I'm not hear to tell you that you are magical” “hear” should be “here”

“ When you tell people that your aren't magical” “your” should be “you”

“ They'll say your supernaturally lucky at least.” “your” should be “you’re”

“ Put your most important or toughest to follow habits into your morning routing” “routing” should be “routine”
mrlefty0706
Premium Member
Posts: 42
Joined: November 3rd, 2022, 10:16 am

Re: Two Huge but Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by mrlefty0706 »

Hi Eckhart, here is the edited copy of your document. I had highlighted the changes in green, but the green did not transfer to the edited document. The changes were mostly grammatical and they did not change the message you were sending. I not only edited the document, but I learned from your message and will use the 21-day approach to creating or stopping a habit.

Larry

It takes about 21 days of consistently doing something every day, or not doing something, to build a habit of doing it, or not doing it.

A habit can be something like:

- Brushing your teeth every morning as the first thing you do right after you wake up.

- Flossing your teeth daily at a specific time.

- Not checking or looking at your smartphone at all in the morning until you have been awake and out of bed for at least one full hour.

- Drinking a glass of wine every night with dinner.

- Not drinking wine at all.


One way to think about and define habits is through their relationship to willpower. If it takes or would take willpower to do something, then it probably that thing is not a habit (yet).

For example, I do a weightlifting workout in the gym every day. Many years ago, there were times when it took willpower and commitment to stick to that. Now it's the opposite. Even if I am on doctor's orders to not workout in the gym or such, or otherwise have some reason to not workout in the gym, I get very tempted and often cave to temptation and workout in the gym anyway because the habit is that strong. When I go a day without working out in the gym, I feel like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when someone sits in his seat. It freaks me out.

In my philosophy, there's no such thing as a good habit or a bad habit. I cannot honestly tell you what habits to have. I choose mine, and you choose yours. What's best for me may not be best for you. What I want for me may not be you what want for you, and that's fine. It's better than fine. It's beautiful. The world would be worse if every single person was just a copy of me or just a copy of you. Diversity is what makes the world beautiful. You choose what habits you want and which you don't. And, as always, when it comes to your choices, you get exactly what you want, meaning you get what you choose.

Unless they are especially trained in mindfulness, most human beings can only use willpower for about 3 to 5 seconds consecutively before exhausting their willpower and needing at least a few minutes of rest, if not hours of rest, before they can use willpower again.

You can use the very limited willpower you have to help build new habits. But, the great thing about habits is that, once you have built the habit, it no longer costs your precious limited willpower to do the thing that is now a habit, whatever it is. By investing some of your extremely limited and extremely valuable willpower building a habit over 21 days, you create figurative (or literal) residual income in terms of the recurring benefits of doing the habit effortlessly day after day after that without willpower.

For example, if you ask me how I have the willpower to force myself to work out in the gym every day, the answer is I don't. It's a habit that costs me zero willpower. It would cost me willpower to not work out later today.

My two favorite candies are gummy bears and Reese's Pieces. If you ask me how I have the willpower to not binge eat gummy bears and Reese's Pieces that are in my house until I literally feel sick to my stomach, the answer is I don't. That's precisely why I don't have any gummy bears and Reese's Pieces in my house, and why I go out of my way to not keep any here. If they were here, I would soon eat them, a lot of them, and I mean a lot. I could use willpower to resist them for a short period of time, but that precious limited willpower would run out quickly, as it does for all humans. You could say I have a habit of not buying candy from the grocery store. Likewise, you could say that I have a habit of not keeping candy I like in my house at all.

Even if I could somehow muster the willpower to avoid eating candy stored at home despite it taunting me 24/7 while being here, that would exhaust all my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower, on something so small, making it so I couldn't spend that valuable limited willpower on other more incredible things. It would be analogous to putting a bunch of nearly useless junk on a credit card and getting so much high interest debt that 100% of my income went to that credit card debt, and still didn't cover the interest fully, so I could never afford to buy anything else at all ever again because all my money was going to credit card interest, right down the drain. I have never paid a penny in credit card interest, and I do my best to never spend even one tiny bit of my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower on not eating candy at home. Both are achieved through habits, such as the habit of not buying gummy bears at the grocery store in the first place and the habit of not storing gummy bears in my house at all in the first place. It takes a little bit of willpower to avoid gummy bears in the grocery store; it would take over 1,000x more willpower to deal with them if I brought them here. It's a small investment of willpower that saves me a huge expense of willpower.

Figuratively speaking, habits are the high-dividend quality stocks and bonds that result in a free-spirited happy life. Where literal high-dividend quality stocks and financial investments will give you financial freedom and make you rich, habits will give you spiritual freedom and make you happy, truly happy, in the sense of invincible consistent inner peace, brave confidence, and grace.

For those who have one or more new habits they want to build, but are struggling, I have two huge but easy suggestions for building a new habit:


Suggestion One: Start small with a micro-habit

For example, if you want to floss your teeth daily, then you can start by building the habit of flossing just one tooth per day, which only takes a few seconds or so. It takes about 3 weeks (21 days) to build a new habit. So in that example you would floss one tooth each day for 21 days, which would only cost you about 3 seconds per day of your extremely valuable and limited willpower, for only 21 days. After about 21 days, it would be a habit that would cost you 0 willpower. If progression was linear, then you could use the same strategy to go from one tooth to two teeth and from two teeth to three teeth and from three to four and so on, which would still be great and incredible. But--even better! --you will find that, once you already have the micro-habit down, progression tends to be exponential, not linear. When it comes to building the habit of flossing teeth, the first tooth is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a billionaire, the first million is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a millionaire, the first $100,000 is the hardest. When it comes to slowly and healthfully losing 100 lbs. of fat and keeping it off, slowly and healthfully losing the first 10 lbs. is the hardest. If you successfully build a tiny little micro-habit over the next 21 days, you will be shocked how quickly you not only get to your goals but get to goals so incredible you haven’t even imagined them yet.

If you want to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day for 30 minutes, you could start by exercising every day for 5 minutes. If you have to drive or walk to the gym, you could start by simply walking or driving to the gym every day, not exercising there or even going into the gym, and then turning right back around and going right back home without having exercised. It might sound almost silly, but that's what makes it work: It's so ridiculously easy. Don't ice skate up a hill when there's a staircase. One leads to failure and the other will work, and easily at that. If someone wants to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day, I have more faith in the person that has done the micro-habit over the last 21 days of going to the gym without actually exercising at all each day for the past 21 days, than I have in the person who has gone to the gym and exercised every day for the last 5 days.

5 days isn't a habit, 21 days is.

One person is like the person who never invested money before and then suddenly put their entire life savings into a high-yield investment with absurdly high claims of ROI. The other is like the person with an already very diversified portfolio who has been investing 10% of their weekly income for the past 21 days, each day into a different stock, bond, mutual fund, or such. Each week into a different stock or bond or mutual fund or such.

One person is like the crash dieter who lost a ton of weight very quickly, and will thus almost certainly gain it all back and more just as quickly. One person is the person who never went on a diet, but rather who decided to permanently changed their diet three weeks ago.

A micro-habit done every single day for 21 days is infinitely more powerful and effective than a non-habit done over a day or two presumably as some kind of massive overcompensation in some addictive cycle. An example of that kind of addictive cycle would be someone who binge drinks alcohol daily for a week then quits entirely for a week, then binge drinks every day for a week, then quits entirely for a week, and so on for years until the addict dies. I might have more faith in the alcoholic who still drinks every day including today but has also built a habit by simply going to AA every single day for the last 21 days than in the alcoholic who hasn't drank in the last two days.

As my book, In It Together, explains more explicitly and in much more detail: Whether it's a waterfall of apologetic tears from an adulterer who just got caught, the sudden promises of total lifelong sobriety from an alcoholic who just quit a minute ago, the $4,000 flowers from a physical abuser, or any number of other infinite examples, huge short-term gestures and overcompensation are signs of toxic cyclical abuse, both in terms of abuse between two humans across space as well as two different-aged versions of the same human across time.


Suggestion Two: Put your most important or toughest to follow habits into your morning routine

The more important a habit is to you, the earlier you want to put it into your daily routine. Likewise, the harder a habit is for you to keep, the earlier you want to put it into your morning routine.

Earlier is usually easier, such that 6pm will be easier than 9pm, and 3pm will easier than 6pm, and 12pm will be even easier than 3pm. However, the change isn't linear. The first 15 minutes or so after you wake up is possibly 100x easier than the next 15 minutes. The first hour after you wake up is infinitely easier than the next hour. But after the first hour or two, the drop-off slows significantly. Earlier is still better, but the difference is not as great.

So, if a habit is especially tough to follow and very important to you, I would almost always suggest you do it first thing in the morning, start it within about 15 minutes of waking up.

But still for other habits that are only a little tough and/or of medium importance to you can benefit from being bumped up earlier in the day, even if it's from 9pm to 3pm, for example.

There are many reasons that you will be more effective at keeping a habit the earlier you do it:

- Flexibility and Adaptability -- You have more time to adjust and compensate on the occasion when something unexpected happens preventing you from getting the habit done at its usually scheduled time. Maybe you oversleep by accident; maybe you get stuck at work; maybe you get a flat tire on your way to the gym in the morning. With that said, don't make a habit of doing your would-be morning habits in the afternoon or evening, because then they aren't morning habits, but it's helpful to have that as a last resort for when unexpected things happen that prevent you from doing your regular routine. In analogy, if you are going grocery shopping but have limited time and may not get to everything on your shopping list, it would make sense to start by shopping for the things that you want most and are most important to get.

- Physical Exhaustion (a.k.a. non-mental exhaustion) -- Your body has a limited amount of physical strength, physical endurance, and physical energy each day that tend to replenish after you sleep. The later in the day you plan to make a habit, the more physically exhausted you will tend to feel when the time comes to do it, thus increasing the chances you won't do it.

- Mental Exhaustion -- You have a very limited amount of willpower each day, so the later it gets in the day the more likely it becomes that you'll be out of willpower. You can think of it in analogy as if you start with $10 of willpower each morning, and each time you use willpower for something--anything at all no matter how small or silly--it costs you some of that $10. The more willpower it takes, the more of that $10 it costs. It goes fast. Everything's shockingly expensive. If you don't usually brush your teeth in the morning but use willpower to do it, that might cost about $1 or 10% of your total daily willpower. You might spend more than that just minutes after waking up. Needless to say, the later in the day you schedule a new habit, the more likely it is that by the time it comes you will have spent all your willpower and thus physically cannot afford the habit. The sad thing is you can do the would-be new habit for seven or ten days straight, but all it takes is one or two days to break the would-be new habit. In other words, it only takes one or two days in that 21-day period where you're out of willpower by the time it's time to do the habit and thus you can't do it. That's not a failure of willpower; it's a scheduling mistake you made over a week before. You would have kept the habit if you had simply scheduled it earlier.

- Morning Grogginess Makes Your Body, Mind, and Ego More Malleable to You and Your Wishes -- My book, In It Together, explores in clear, agreeable, and enlightening detail the idea that there are "Two Yous", and that you can feel like there is a constant ongoing war inside of your body between your true self and your primitive bodily urges, mind, and ego, especially when it comes to matters related to temptation and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom). The book shows how to simultaneously find peace and win the war, but roughly speaking for the matter at hand, it's easier to win the war or a battle in the war in the morning when your body and mind are groggy. If your body is all excited and alert in the evening at the bar having an after-work beer with friends, it's less likely you will fight temptation and leave the bar to go to the gym rather than order another round, no matter how much in the grander scheme you might be allegedly dedicated and committed and desiring of the habit of going to the gym every day after work. If you do that habit in the morning, your body and mind will probably already be at the gym before it even knows what's happening. If you want your body to be your slave rather than vice versa, I suggest you remember it's easier for you to enslave your body in the morning. In other more common words, your body relies on habit much more in the morning.

- Other Humans (Across Space) Tend to Interfere Less in the Morning -- There's a reason I mentioned a 5pm afterwork beer in my earlier example and not a 5am prework beer with friends. Need I say more? Well, I will anyway: If a 5pm after-work beer with friends is interfering with your important habits and dreams, then it's not actually interfering, it's your own sloppy scheduling.

If you really wanted the habit and the achieved dream it will give you, you wouldn't be scheduling the would-be habit for the time when 5pm-beer-with-friends tends to happen.

The human mind is great at making excuses, especially once it gets over that morning grogginess, but generally it is. Almost always, success is a choice, and the choice is yours.

Some people will reply, "Sure, success is usually a choice, but XYZ."

Even then, usually XYZ is just another excuse by a non-groggy human mind, coming out of the mouth of someone whose body and mind is their master rather than vice versa.

Once you take your rightful spot at the wheel, or in another metaphor the throne of that would-be temple that is your human body, then things you achieve will be so incredible people will think you are literally magical.

There is a reason my book does not contain the phrase "free will", nor does any paragraph earlier in the post. I don't know what anyone means by "free will" and almost everybody seems to use it to refer to something different, but many seem to use it to refer to something that if not actually magical, it seems magical, and I get that.

I'm not here to tell you that you are magical, and I don't actually believe in actual supernatural magic, but with a few simple easily doable steps and a simple choice on your part, you will achieve things that make you look like the most magical of magical beings. When you tell people that you aren't magical, many won't even believe you. They'll say you're supernaturally lucky at least. You must be, to have blessings like that.

I don't believe in magic, but I believe in choice. Maybe choice is magical, but that changes nothing.

Regardless, the choice is yours.
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Surabhi Rani
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Surabhi Rani »

I appreciate the above words that habits are the high-spirited quality stocks and bonds that result in a free-spirited happy life. Where literal high-dividend quality stocks and financial investments will give us financial freedom and make us rich, habits will give us spiritual freedom and make us truly happy, in the sense of invincible inner peace, confidence, and grace.
Dalia Chaouaf
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Dalia Chaouaf »

I know so many people do not believe in this theory, but I have personally tried it when I was trying to turn over a new leaf.
Someone told me this exact same thing: if you do something for 21 days straight, you'll never stop doing it. That's why I started waking up every day at a specific hour, no matter when I fell asleep, I eliminated all sugar for 21 days and made myself go on a walk too every single day. That was almost 7 years ago, and I'm still doing all of them daily.

These are just easier things to do however, I would be very curious to see if it works with things that are addictive, like smoking for example. Has anyone ever tried it?
Liza Chulukhadze
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Liza Chulukhadze »

I agree that once something has become a habit, it is hard to go against it. Our habits define who we are, therefore it is important to take care of them.
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Mounce574
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Mounce574 »

It takes about 21 days of consistently doing something every day (or not doing something) to build a habit of doing it (or not doing it).

A habit can be something like:

- Brushing your teeth every morning (as the first) thing you do right after you wake up.

- Flossing your teeth daily at a specific time.

- Not checking or looking at your smartphone at all in the morning until you have been awake and out of bed for at least one full hour.

- Drinking a glass of wine every night with dinner.

- Not drinking wine at all.


One way to think about and define habits is through their relationship to willpower. If it takes or would take willpower to do something, then it (probably that thing) is not a habit (yet).

For example, I do a weightlifting workout in the gym every day. Many years ago, there were times when it took willpower and commitment to stick to that. Now it's the opposite. Even if I am on doctor's orders to not workout in the gym or such, or otherwise have some reason to not workout in the gym, I get very tempted and often cave to temptation and workout in the gym anyway because the habit is that strong. When I go a day without working out in the gym, I feel like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when someone sits in his seat. It freaks me out.

In my philosophy, there's no such thing as a good habit or a bad habit. I cannot honestly tell you what habits to have. I choose mine, and you choose yours. What's best for me may not be best for you. What I want for me may not be (what want)[what you want for you, and that's fine. It's better than fine. It's beautiful. The world would be worse if every single person was just a copy of me or just a copy of you. Diversity is what makes the world beautiful. You choose what habits you want and which you don't. And, as always, when it comes to your choices, you get exactly what you want, (meaning you what) you choose.

Unless they are especially trained in mindfulness, most human beings can only use willpower for about 3 to 5 seconds consecutively before exhausting their willpower and needing at least a few minutes of rest, if not hours of rest, before they can use willpower again.

You can use the very limited willpower you have to help build new habits. But, the great thing about habits is that, once you have built the habit, it no longer costs your precious limited willpower to do the thing that is now a habit, whatever it is. By investing some of your extremely limited and extremely valuable willpower building a habit over 21 days, you create figurative (or literal) residual income in terms of the recurring benefits of doing the habit effortlessly day after day after that without willpower.

For example, if you ask me how I have the willpower to force myself to workout in the gym every day, the answer is I don't. It's a habit that costs me zero willpower. It would cost me willpower to not workout later today.

My two favorite candies are gummy bears and Reese's Pieces. If you ask me how I have the willpower to not binge eat gummy bears and Reese's Pieces that are in my house until I literally feel sick to my stomach, the answer is I don't. That's precisely why I don't have any gummy bears and Reese's Pieces in my house, and why I go out of my way to not keep any here. If they were here, I would soon eat them, a lot of them, and I mean a lot. I could use willpower to resist them for a short period of time, but that precious limited willpower would run out quickly, as it does for all humans. You could say I have a habit of not buying candy from the grocery store. Likewise, you could say that I have a habit of not keeping candy I like in my house at all.

Even if I could somehow muster the willpower to avoid eating candy stored at home despite it taunting me 24/7 while being here, that would exhaust all my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower, on something so small, making it so I couldn't spend that valuable limited willpower on other more incredible things. It would be analogous to putting a bunch of nearly useless junk on a credit card and getting so much high interest debt that 100% of my income went to that credit card debt, and still didn't cover the interest fully, so I could never afford to buy anything else at all ever again because all my money was going to credit card interest, right down the drain. I have never paid a penny in credit card interest, and I do my best to never spend even one tiny bit of my extremely valuable and extremely limited willpower on not eating candy at home. Both are achieved through habits, such as the habit of not buying gummy bears at the grocery store in the first place and the habit of not storing gummy bears in my house at all in the first place. It takes a little bit of willpower to avoid gummy bears in the grocery store; it would take over 1,000x more willpower to deal with them if I brought them here. It's a small investment of willpower that saves me a huge expense of willpower.

Figuratively speaking, habits are the high-dividend quality stocks and bonds that result in a free-spirited happy life. Where literal high-dividend quality stocks and financial investments will give you financial freedom and make you rich, habits will give you spiritual freedom and make you happy, truly happy, in the sense of invincible consistent inner peace, brave confidence, and grace.

For those who have one or more new habits they want to build, but are struggling, I have two huge but easy suggestions for building a new habit:


Suggestion One: Start small with a micro-habit..

For example, if you want to floss your teeth daily, then you can start by building the habit of flossing just one tooth per day, which only takes a few seconds or so. It takes about 3 weeks (21 days) to build a new habit. So in that example you would floss one tooth each day for 21 days, which would only cost you about 3 seconds per day of your extremely valuable and limited willpower, for only 21 days. After about 21 days, it would be a habit that would cost you 0 willpower. If progression was linear, then you could use the same strategy to go from one tooth to two teeth and from two teeth to three teeth and from three to four and so on, which would still be great and incredible. But--even better!--you will find that, once you already have the micro-habit down, progression tends to be exponential, not linear. When it comes to building the habit of flossing teeth, the first tooth is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a billionaire, the first million is the hardest. When it comes to becoming a millionaire, the first $100,000 is the hardest. When it comes to slowly and (healthfully) losing 100 lbs of fat and keeping it off, slowly and (healthfully) losing the first 10 lbs is the hardest. If you successfully build a tiny little micro-habit over the next 21 days, you will be shocked how quickly you not only get to your goals but get to goals so incredible you didn't even imagine them yet.

If you want to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day for 30 minutes, you could start by exercising every day for 5 minutes. If you have to drive or walk to the gym, you could start by simply walking or driving to the gym every day, not exercising there or even going into the gym, and then turning right back around and going right back home without (have)exercised. It might sound almost silly, but that's what makes it work: It's so ridiculously easy. Don't ice skate up a hill when there's a staircase. One leads to failure and the other will work, and easily at that. If someone wants to build the habit of exercising in the gym every day, I have more faith in the person that has done the micro-habit over the last 21 days of going to the gym without actually exercising at all each day for the past 21 days, than I have in the person who has gone to the gym and exercised every day for the last 5 days.

5 days( isn't habit)isn’t a habit. 21 days is.

One person is like the person who never invested money before and then suddenly put their entire life savings into a high-yield investment with absurdly high claims of ROI. The other is like the person with an already very diversified portfolio who has been investing 10% of their weekly income for the past 21 days, each day into a different stock, bond, mutual fund, or such. week into a different stock or bond or mutual fund or such.

One person is like the crash dieter who lost a ton of weight very quickly, and will thus almost certainly gain it all back and more just as quickly. One person is the person who never went on a (diets), but rather who decided to permanently (changed )change their diet three weeks ago.

A micro-habit done every single day for 21 days is infinitely more powerful and effective than a non-habit done over a day or two presumably as some kind of massive overcompensation in some addictive cycle. An example of that kind of addictive cycle would be someone who binge drinks alcohol daily for a week (than)then quits entirely for a week, (than)then binge drinks every day for a week, (than)then quits entirely for a week, and so on for years until the addict dies. I might have more faith in the alcoholic who still drinks every day including today but has also built a habit by simply going to AA every single day for the last 21 days than in the alcoholic who hasn't drank in the last two days.

As my book, In It Together, explains more explicitly and in much more detail: Whether it's a waterfall of apologetic tears from an adulterer who just got caught, the sudden promises of total lifelong sobriety from an alcoholic who just quit a minute ago, the $4,000 flowers from a physical abuser, or any number of other infinite examples, huge short-term gestures and overcompensation are signs of toxic cyclical abuse, both in terms of abuse between two humans across space as well as two different-aged versions of the same human across time.


Suggestion Two: Put your most important or toughest to follow habits into your morning (routing.)

The more important a habit is to you, the earlier you want to( put into )your daily routine. Likewise, the harder a habit is for you to keep, the earlier you want to put it into your morning routine.

Earlier is usually always easier, such that 9pm will be easier than 6pm, and 6pm (will easier) will be easier than 3pm, and 3pm will be even easier than 12pm. However, the change isn't linear. The first 15 minutes or so after you wake up is possibly 100x easier than the next 15 minutes. The first hour after you wake up is infinitely easier than the next hour. But after the first hour or two, the drop-off slows significantly. Earlier is still better, but the difference is not as great.

So if a habit is especially tough (of follow) and very important to you, I would almost always suggest you put it(first thing) in the morning such that you start it within about 15 minutes of waking up.

But still for other habits that are only a little tough and/or of medium importance to you can benefit from being bumped up earlier in the day, even if it's from 9pm to 3pm, for example.

There are many reasons that you will be more effective at keeping a habit the earlier you do it:

- Flexibility and Adaptability -- You have more time to adjust and compensate on the occasion when something unexpected does( happen preventing) you from getting the habit done at its usually scheduled time. Maybe you oversleep by accident; maybe you get stuck at work; maybe you get a flat tire on your way to the gym in the morning. With that said, don't make a habit of doing your would-be morning habits in the afternoon or evening, because then they aren't morning habits, but it's helpful to have that as a last resort for when unexpected things happen that prevent you from doing your regular routine. In analogy, if you are going grocery shopping but have limited time and may not get to everything on your shopping list, it would make sense to start by shopping for the things that you want most and are most important to get.

- Psychical Exhaustion (a.k.a. non-mental exhaustion) -- Your body has a limited amount of physical strength, physical endurance, and physical energy each day that tend to replenish after you sleep. The later in the day you plan to do a habit, the more physically exhausted you will tend to feel when the time comes to do it, thus increasing the chances you don't do it.

- Mental Exhaustion -- You have a very limited amount of willpower each day, so the later it gets in the day the more likely it becomes that you'll be out of willpower. You can think of it in analogy as if you start with $10 of willpower each morning, and each time you use willpower for something--anything at all no matter how small or silly--it costs you some of that $10. The more willpower it takes, the more of that $10 it costs. It goes fast. Everything's shockingly expensive. If you don't usually brush your teeth in the morning but use willpower to do it, that might cost about $1, about 10% of your total daily willpower. You might spend more than that just minutes within waking up. Needless to say, the later in the day you schedule a new habit, the more likely it is that by the time it comes you have spent all your willpower and thus physically cannot afford the habit. The sad (things) you can do the would-be new habit for seven or ten days straight, but all it takes is one or two days to break the would-be new habit. In other words, it only takes one or two days in that 21 day period where you're out of willpower by the time it's time to do the habit and thus can't do it. That's not a failure of willpower; it's a scheduling mistake you made over a week before. You would have kept the habit if you had simply scheduled it earlier.

- Morning Grogginess Makes Your Body, Mind, and Ego More Malleable to You and Your Wishes -- My book, In It Together, explores in clear, agreeable, and enlightening detail the idea that there are "Two Yous", and that you can feel like there is a constant ongoing war inside of your body between your true self and your primitive bodily urges, mind, and ego, especially when it comes to matters related to temptation and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom). The book shows how to simultaneously find peace and win the war, but roughly speaking for the matter at hand it's easier to win the war or a battle (in the war) in the morning when your body and mind are groggy. If your body is all excited and alert in the evening at the bar having an after-work beer with friends, it's less likely you will fight temptation and leave the bar to go to the gym rather than order another round, no matter how much in the grander scheme you might be allegedly dedicated and committed and desiring of the habit of going to the gym every day after work. If you put that habit in the morning, your body and mind will probably already be at the gym (before even knows)before it/you even know what's happening. If you want your body to be your slave rather than vice versa, I suggest you remember it's easier for you to enslave your body in the morning. In other more common words, your body relies on habit much more in the morning.

- Other Humans (Across Space) Tend to Interfere Less in the Morning -- There's a reason I mentioned a 5pm afterwork beer in my earlier example and not a 5am prework beer with friends. Need I say more? Well, I will anyway: If a 5pm after-work beer with friends is interfering with your important habits and dreams, then it's not actually; it's your own sloppy scheduling.

If you really wanted the habit and the achieved dream it will give you, you wouldn't be scheduling the would-be habit for the time when 5pm-beer-with-friends tends to happen.

The human mind is great at making excuses (especially once it gets over that morning grogginess!), but generally they are ********. Almost always, success is a choice, and the choice is yours.

Some people will reply, "Sure, success is usually a choice, but XYZ."

Even then, usually XYZ is just another ******** excuse by a non-groggy human mind, coming out of the mouth of someone whose body and mind is their master rather than vice versa.

Once you take your rightful spot at the wheel, or in another metaphor the throne of that would-be temple that is your human body, then things you achieve will be so incredible people will think you are literally magical.

There (is reason)here is a reason my book does not contain the phrase "free will", nor does any paragraph earlier in the post. I don't know what anyone means by "free will" and almost everybody seems to use it to refer to something different, but many seem to use it to refer to something that if not actually magical at least seems magical, and I get that.

I'm not (hear)here to tell you that you are magical, and I don't actually believe in actual supernatural magic, but with a few simple easily doable steps and a simple choice on your part, you will achieve things that make you look like the most magical of magical beings. When you tell people that (your) aren't magical, many won't even believe you. They'll say (your) supernaturally lucky at least. You must be, to have blessings like that.

I don't believe in magic, but I believe in choice. Maybe choice is magical, but that changes nothing.

Regardless, the choice is yours


I put the error in the parenthesis and the correction into the text. Twitter asked to check for errors.
Beyond the editing, I think this is an easy way to start working for a change in a positive direction.
"Facts don't care about your feelings." Ben Shapiro
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." NF from Motto
Rupali Mishra
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Rupali Mishra »

I love the statement made above, according to which habits are the high-spirited stocks and bonds that lead to a joyful, free-spirited life. We will become wealthy and have financial independence thanks to high-dividend-quality equities and financial investments. As well, We will achieve spiritual freedom and true happiness through our habits—in the form of unshakeable inner tranquility, self-assurance, and grace.
Celestine Adhiambo
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Joined: January 2nd, 2024, 7:40 pm

Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Celestine Adhiambo »

Stick to a consistent routine. Repetition reinforces habits, making them more ingrained in your daily life.
Erikpume Victory
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Erikpume Victory »

Liza Chulukhadze wrote: June 28th, 2023, 8:38 am I agree that once something has become a habit, it is hard to go against it. Our habits define who we are, therefore it is important to take care of them.
Yea truly our habit defines who we are , I totally agree with you, so it's of a great import for us to take care of them.
Anthony Ekemezie
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Anthony Ekemezie »

According to the statements above, habits are the high-spirited stocks and bonds that lead to a joyful, free-spirited life. Habits will grant us spiritual freedom and true happiness, while literal high-dividend quality stocks and financial investments will grant us financial freedom and wealth.
_Rhea Jacob
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by _Rhea Jacob »

Thank you for posting this, I have been wanting to exercise daily but I never reach 21 days in a row. Now I will have more ideas to keep the 21 day streak going.
Vane Manyenga
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Re: Two Huge But Easy Tips for Building New Habits | With additional commentary on so-called "free-will".

Post by Vane Manyenga »

Regarding "free will," the debate continues. While habits can influence choices, some argue free will exists within the constraints of our habits and environment. It's a nuanced discussion with varying perspectives.
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