Fundamental of Achievement

Habits &
Rituals

We are all creatures of habit, whether we develop them intentionally or not.  You’re better off taking control than letting them arise organically.  If you don’t, your brain chemistry and environment are likely to run amok and lead you into unhealthy (and unhelpful) patterns.

Tier

What is a Habit?

A habit a behavior that is done regularly.  In general, these behaviors become routine and/or involuntary.  Habits can be either positive or negative, depending on the nature of the behavior.  In the final analysis, habits may affect quality of life more than anything else.

Why Habits?

If you want to live up to your potential, you must take control of your habits.  To perform consistently, make positive behaviors automatic.

I don’t claim to be an expert on anything I write about.

Hell, I hardly claim to be an expert on myself.  😂😂😂

These breakdowns are largely for me.  I use them to record and reference.  Unlike most others on this site though, this goal setting page might actually be useful to the outside observer.

No promises.  You can tell me.

Building Blocks

Most people think success is the end product.  In truth, it is the journey.  Thus, success starts with your routine.

Peak Productivity

Your ability to maximize performance is highly dependent on your habits.  Better patterns leads to better work.

Winning the Day

One of the biggest keys to winning over the long-term is the ability to win everyday.  Habits help you do that.

The Great Separator

Daily habits are one of the main things that separate successful people from average or unsuccessful people.

There’s a lot that goes into developing healthy, productive habits.  Here’s a quick look at what the journey has been like for me.

Learn with Me

I’m still working on this one.

Taking control of my habits has been quite a battle.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve been able to transform the way I approach each day.   I’ve created many new behavior patterns.  Through trial and error, I’m figuring out what works for me.

As a young adult, I had a TON of negative behaviors to get rid of.  Now, I have one or two less.  😅  But there is still a lot to improve.  

I’m nowhere near perfect, just better than I was.

That’s one of the things about running your own business.  If you don’t take control of your routines, you’re dead in the water.  You have to be more organized, more disciplined, and more resilient than the average employee.

My habits empower me to produce and lead, as seen This Site.

My Experience

My habits wish list grows continually.

I’ve done a lot to change my habits.

Certain habits, like making my bed or producing content everyday, have been fairly easy to develop.

Others have been much harder.

And harder still, eliminating some of my oldest, most detrimental habits.  For example, staying up late.

There is an ebb and flow to my progress.  But the progress over time is undeniable.  Even though I have more work to do, changing my habits has made a major impact in my life.

Now that I know, I’ll never stop working on my habits.

  • Importance – 99%
  • Passion – 75%
  • Mastery – 55%

Journey Started: ≈2010

Good Life Foundation

Great habits are vital.  They are an essential pillar of a good life.  The things you do everyday determine who and you are and the kind of life you will have.

Where Habits & Rituals Fit in a Good Life

Habits are one of the most important pieces of the Achievement puzzle.

For me, they’re a “Tier 2” concept, on the same level as Mindset, Goal Setting, Growth, and High Performance.

It is also closely tied to things like Productivity.

Success Habit Rank

Videos Watched

Mentions on My Site

Books Read

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

Becoming a "morning person" has changed my life. Only time will tell, but it could go down as a top five factor to my future success. Learning how to wake up early wasn't easy. Until the second half of 2018, I've been a notoriously late sleeper. It started as a kid: I...

Creating Habits That Make for a Great Life

For habit-sculpting newbies:

Let’s start with the best advice up front.

Just get started.

The longer you maintain your current habits, the harder it will be to change them.

That’s just how the brain works.  It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Automatic behaviors require less neurologic resources, leaving more room for Critical Thinking and Decision Making.  If you’re able to make positive behaviors your modus operandi, that’s a good thing.  But when negative behaviors are the default, it’s a bad thing.

That’s fairly obvious.

What’s less obvious is how to transform your behaviors permanently.

Some studies show that it takes 20-odd days to wire in a new habit.  Other studies say it’s more like 60.  So the science is still out on how long it takes.  However, most High Performance experts agree that it’s important to build daily streaks out of new behaviors to make them the norm.  It’s most effective not to take any days off, especially at first.

After all, the things you do everyday are the most important—even if they seem mundane.

It’s not always easy, especially if you’ve been doing things the same way for 10, 20, or 30 years.

However, it’s undeniably worth it.

Great habits are the building blocks of success.  Without them, it’s hard to create a great life.  Your habits impact your health, finances, emotional state, and pretty much every other area of your life.

Brushing your teeth.  Showers.  Your morning cup of coffee.

These things are probably second nature to you.

But so is browsing social media, watching television, and eating junk food.

Some of negative habits are plain to see.  Yet there are also many things that are acceptable in modern society that you may not not realize are hurting your quality of life.  For instance, a sedentary lifestyle wreaks havoc on your brain chemistry and is a major contributor to the widespread depression we see in modern society.

Unfortunately, you can’t “unwire” the connections in your brain.  Instead, you have to overwrite them.  Therefore, it’s not so much about quitting your negative habits as it is about creating positive habits to replace them.  Even then, the old associations will still be there.  That’s why it’s so easy to fall back into old patterns.

Thus, Discipline and Self Control will always be important.

You’ll probably go through waves of better periods and worse periods.  That’s normal and okay.  So don’t judge yourself to harshly.  Generally though, it does get easier to maintain new habits over time.

It’s wise to start small.

Making dramatic changes in a short period is very difficult.

Sure, dramatic change may be a worthy goal.  But human beings aren’t designed to flip our behaviors on and off like light switches.  Instead, progress is incremental.

Plus, you can build momentum by making and keeping small promises to yourself.

For example:

It’s easier to start with ten push ups a day than a two hour work out.  It’s easier to eat one salad a day than to completely transform your diet overnight.  It’s easier to commit to one daily hour of Deep Work than to jump to an 80-hour work week.  It’s easier to move the start of you day back 15 minutes than to join “the 5AM club” right away.

For some people, it is actually possible to make massive changes all at once.  But there’s no need to beat yourself up if you aren’t one of those people.

It’s all about perspective.  Don’t worry about other people.  Compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

Ultimately, it’s all about two things:

  1. erasing your most negative habits
  2. establishing new “Keystone Habits”

I learned about the concept of keystone habits from Brian Johnson.  It’s extremely powerful.  The most important stone in an arch is called a keystone.  Without it, the whole thing falls down.  Masterpiece days are the same way.  Certain habits help support the entire structure of a highly productive day.

As you begin to develop new habits, you’ll notice that certain habits have a disproportionate impact on the quality of your days.  These are your keystone habits.  They won’t necessarily be the same for everyone.  But there are a handful of behaviors that most high achievers have in common.

Examples include:

  • morning workout
  • journaling
  • meditation
  • low-carb diet
  • nightly review

Moreover, it is useful to create groups of habits that build on each other.  By doing the same things repeatedly, you can tie them together in your brain.  Start one and the others fall into place like dominoes.  That’s what makes Morning Routines, work routines, and nightly routines so powerful.

 

consistency

key to high performance

somewhat a never ending journey

 

How to Develop Good Habits Step-By-Step

01

Find Your Why

If you don’t want it bad enough, you won’t be able to summon the discipline necessary to change.  Most people lack the motivation that becoming your best self requires.  Without a strong enough “why,” it’s nigh on impossible to transform your habits permanently.

02

Track Daily Habits

It’s not always obvious which of your behaviors are holding you back.  You may even have misconceptions about what you actually do on a daily basis.  Habit tracking helps you make sure that you are operating in reality.  This is essential to sustained improvement.

03

Add Positive Habits

There are always things you know you should be doing but aren’t.  You don’t have to add a bunch of new habits all at once.  But it’s silly not to set objectives and make progress toward them.  Start by choosing a few keystone habits and integrate them over time.

04

Remove Negative Habits

For most people, it’s easy to identify at least a few things you do regularly that aren’t good for you.  And while you may also have blind spots you don’t know about, focus on the behaviors that stand out.  Then, continue to learn about Personal Growth to find others.

05

Create Streaks

Research shows that it takes 20-70 days in a row to wire a habit into your brain.  Thus, it’s more effective not to miss any days.  Weekends included.  The highest achievers don’t let the calendar dictate their daily disciplines.  If you’re serious about your life, you won’t either.

06

Make It Automatic

If you really want to make behavior change permanent, you need to become “the type of person who” (does the things you find valuable).  Over time, these behaviors can become a part of your Character.  At that point, they go from what you do to who you are.

07

Refine Over Time

There will always be ways you can improve.  Our knowledge about daily habits continues to evolve.  Plus, your own priorities may shift.  Therefore, it makes sense to continue to evaluate and experiment over time.  You’ll never get it perfect.  So just keep getting better.

Remember: just start.  As soon as you start to become intentional about your everyday habits, you’re already ahead of 90% of the population.

My Favorite Habit Building Videos

You can find everything you need to know about creating great habits online.

I’m no high performance titan.  I stand on the shoulders of giants.  I simply listen to what my Heroes say and apply it.  Not everything sticks.  But enough does to make a lasting impact.

Data
Dump

 

One of the main purposes of This Site is to catalog my learnings.  I’m not that learned.  But I’m working on becoming moreso.  If you see a “data dump” on this site, you’re looking at unsorted information.  It may be related or completely  unrelated, depending on the topic.

 

"The Billionaire Algorithm" | (it will change your future!)

PNTV: Your Brain at Work

1. Prioritize(ing) – 2:20

  • We need to prioritize prioritizing
  • Our brain can only handle so much at one time and it gets easily depleted
  • Take control of your “AM Bookend,” starting the day with the most important thing
  • Engage in the creative/deep work before you waste brain power on email/less important parts of the day

2. IQ -15 or -5 – 5:50

  • A study was done where they determined constantly emailing or texting effectively reduces your IQ by 15 for males and 5 for females; an average of 10 IQ point reductions
  • You’re bombarding your nervous system with too much stimulation
  • We get more stimulation in a week than our ancient ancestors got in a lifetime

3. Basal Ganglia – 8:06

  • The part of your brain that puts things on routine/autopilot
  • We want to find as many ways as we can to move things from your prefrontal cortex to your basal ganglia

4. Director – 11:28

  • To put on a beautiful performance, you need a strong director
  • “Mindsight” – a form of mindfullness; the ability to look inside your mind
  • The “Director” can say “that thought isn’t particularlly helpful” or “we need to prioritize prioritizing”
  • Also cultivating reapprasial, or the ability to step between tasks

5. Seasaw – 13:19

  • Being cool under pressure; when things heat up, how do we stay cool?
  • Your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system act like a seasaw
  • When you experience high emotions, there are several courses of actions: suppress it (not helpful), express it (also not super helpful), be dramatic about it… but if you label it and mindfully observe it (eg “I notice I am feeling fear”)
  • The Director needs to be in charge

The 2 Minute Rule

The Death of Alex Becker

You Don't Need More Than Two Years

The Science of Making & Breaking Habits

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Habit
Sculpting

 

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Best
Habits

 

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DO THIS DAILY To Destroy Procrastination | Tom Bilyeu

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The anti-routine...[what billionaires use to win]

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Worst
Habits

 

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How I Refine My Habits to Create the Life I want

If you haven’t noticed, I take this stuff seriously.

You don’t have to do it like me.  But maybe you wanna know.  So I guess I’ll tell you.  You might have picked some of it up by reading through this page or clicking on some of the links.

I’ll spell it all out here.

Morning Routine & Priming

My mornings are sacred.  Through tracking and experimentation, I’ve learned that how I start my day has a massive impact on my overall Productivity.  This lines up with the best High Performance wisdom.  My Morning Routine includes key habits like working out and a Journaling practice as well as a list of behaviors to avoid like checking my phone.

Daily Deep Work

I structure my day around Deep Work.  I try to squeeze out as much as I possibly can.  I’m smarter and more disciplined in the morning so I usually get started about an hour and a half after I wake up.  I also like to spend at least an hour on my own projects first.  After about five hours or so, I’m usually mentally tired and switch gears to admin work.

Tracking & Experimentation

I am OCD when it comes to habit tracking.  I’ve created a fairly elaborate Bullet Journaling system designed to help me maximize Productivity.  I track my daily habits across five categories: morning routine, health, living a good life, nightly routine, and things to avoid.  I then map those to work time, productive-but-not-work time, sleep, and time wasted.

Habits for Health

I’m a firm believer in the saying “health is wealth.”  My goal is to live a long, healthy life—and to be pain-free while doing so.  I’ve seen how issues like arthritis can degrade quality of life.  So much of my focus is on that.  Still, my success has been middling.  Right now, I’m better at avoiding bad health habits than I am at implementing good ones.

The Habit of Avoidance

There are lot’s of things I try to avoid doing.  Some I avoid to maximize productivity.  Some I avoid for Health.  Others I avoid because I know they inhibit Happiness.  And some things affect all areas of my life.  For example, I know that when I stay up late, I’m more like to drink, play video games, and watch porn.  So I avoid them all by going to bed early.

Favorite Coaches

Favorite Teachers

Favorite Entrepreneurs

My Habits Posts

How to Go To Bed Earlier [Life-Changing Habit #2]

How to Go To Bed Earlier [Life-Changing Habit #2]

Going to bed early has changed my life. It's the crucial other side of the "early to rise" coin. One supports the other. For me, becoming a morning person and taking my a$$ to sleep are both accomplishments. I understand if either of them seem trite to you. They are...

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

Becoming a "morning person" has changed my life. Only time will tell, but it could go down as a top five factor to my future success. Learning how to wake up early wasn't easy. Until the second half of 2018, I've been a notoriously late sleeper. It started as a kid: I...

How to Go To Bed Earlier [Life-Changing Habit #2]

How to Go To Bed Earlier [Life-Changing Habit #2]

Going to bed early has changed my life. It's the crucial other side of the "early to rise" coin. One supports the other. For me, becoming a morning person and taking my a$$ to sleep are both accomplishments. I understand if either of them seem trite to you. They are...

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

How to Become a Morning Person [Life-Changing Habit #1]

Becoming a "morning person" has changed my life. Only time will tell, but it could go down as a top five factor to my future success. Learning how to wake up early wasn't easy. Until the second half of 2018, I've been a notoriously late sleeper. It started as a kid: I...

My Top 3 High Performance Coaches

"YouTube University" has brought many a life-optimizer across my path.  These three are my favorite high performance coaches.

Brendon Burchard

operation Director, Elegant Themes

Robin Sharma

Tech Support, Elegant Themes

Tim Ferris

operation Director, Elegant Themes

So, You Think You Want to Climb to the Top?

Nice little subtitle for the win.  Nice little subtitle for the win.  Nice little subtitle for the win.  Nice little subtitle for the win. or the win. 

Achievement Toolkit

Top Success & Achievement Links