At Pavlok, we’re dedicated to upgrading humanity. It’s an ambitious goal to be sure, but one of the best ways we believe we can do that is by helping the thousands of Shockers in our community overcome their bad habits and form positive behaviors that help them move towards their goals.
Having helped thousands of people change their habits over the last four years, we’ve seen first hand what works and what doesn’t. Today the Pavlok team would like to highlight five reasons you may not be reaching your habit goals and what it takes to right the ship and build habits that help you be your best-self.
We all have a handful of habits we want to change at any given time. Maybe you want to quit smoking and go to the gym, or perhaps you’re trying to be more productive while also waking up 30 minutes early.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life across the board, but one of the biggest mistakes we make with habit change is trying to do too many things at once. While many write this off as common sense, we can’t tell you how many people we’ve seen make the same mistake over and over again.
If you’re struggling to make your habits stick, it’s very likely you’re trying to do too much at a time.
For example, if you’re trying to be more healthy and go to the gym, you can confidently put your “be more productive” goal on the back-burner until you see the results from lifting weights. While it’s tempting to want to rush things, habit change is about changing your lifelong behaviors not cutting corners by looking for the quick fix.
Action Step: Take 30 minutes today and narrow your habit goals. What is the ONE habit that will make the most significant difference in your life? Start there. As you begin building momentum, you’ll likely see your positive habits affect other areas of your life as well.
Another common mistake holding us back from reaching our habit goals is relying on motivation only. It’s easy to watch an inspiring TEDx talk and think that’s the secret to success. But changing your habits is a process that takes time. In an ideal world, we would be motivated 24/7, but the truth is, sometimes the motivation just won’t be there.
Instead of relying on motivation to succeed with your habits, aim to build a habit system that gives you the best chance NOT to fail. You might not be able to go to the gym seven days a week – but you certainly can go for a walk every Monday. You might not be able to cut back on your favorite snacks at first completely, but you can commit to not eating sweets three days of the week.
While motivation is undoubtedly helpful to creating lasting change, it’s not going to sustain you during the times when things get tough.
Action Step: Commit to building your habits slow and steady. Set your goals to where they are easy enough to do on a regular basis without being overwhelming or unrealistic. While it may be cliche, small wins do add up, especially when it comes to changing your habits permanently.
You log onto Instagram and see stories of people losing 20 LBS in just 30 days. You see your friend on Facebook quit smoking cold turkey. While many of these stories are inspiring, they often don’t paint an accurate picture of how habit change works.
The Pavlok can give you an advantage in quitting bad habits and put you on the right track, but no system, method, or strategy is going to work 100% of the time. You’ve already committed to changing your habits and reaching your goal, so don’t beat yourself up on the rare occasion you make a mistake.
You should never aim to “fail,” but you should always be prepared to start again the next day in the case you do mess up.
If you’re trying to improve your diet and have a chocolate chip cookie, it’s not the end of the world. Take note of why you slipped up and do everything in your power to prevent it from happening again.
Don’t let the “rose-colored” filter of social media create a never-ending habit loop of self-pity. We all make mistakes. Building good habits and quitting bad ones take time.
Action Step: Next time you “slip up” instead of allowing negative self-talk to derail your progress, acknowledge that these things are part of the process. Take a mental note of why you fell off track, and use that knowledge to reduce the chances of it occurring again in the future.
Another common mistake that prevents long-term habit change is our belief that to change we need to make drastic changes. You see and hear about it all the time.
Your coworker who goes from not exercising ever, to going to the gym 2 hours a day seven days a week.
Your family member who goes from drinking three sodas a day to only drinking tea.
The all in approach can work for the rare exception, but for most of us, this method fails. If you’re used to eating a pizza every day, the odds of you never eating a pizza again are pretty low. But with a strategic plan and the right system, you can certainly get to a place where you no longer feel the NEED to eat pizza.
Building small wins into your habit change strategy will allow you to increase your momentum every day and prevent you from giving up if you slip up.
Action Step: Break down your habits into small actionable steps you can take consistently. Scale back your ambition on PURPOSE. Once you get into a rhythm, the momentum will allow you to be more aggressive with your habits over time.
Last on the list, and perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we see here at Pavlok and in the community is trying to change your habits on your own.
If you’ve been a lifelong smoker, it’s not easy becoming a non-smoker. If you’ve spent your entire adult life being negative on a regular basis, you won’t just stop thinking negative thoughts tomorrow.
One of the best ways to improve your chances of habit success is by surrounding yourself with people who will help you reach your goals. The more people you have in your “corner,” the more likely it is you will succeed. No matter what habit you’re trying to change or quit, there is someone out there who has done what you’re trying to do.
Do everything in your control to surround yourself with people who will encourage and push you during the times you feel like giving up.
Action Step: Audit your current social circle. Are your friends and family supportive of your desired change? Follow inspiring people on social media. Go to local meet-ups. Join the Pavlok Facebook community. There are hundreds of places you can go to build a support network that is committed to your personal growth.
Are any of the above reasons holding you back? If so, there’s plenty you can do to change your plan of attack and make things happen. Don’t let your excuses prevent you from making those life-altering changes.
If you need a little boost to get your habits in check, order your Pavlok 2 today. It’s the best habit change wearable on the market and has helped thousands of people improve their habits such as waking up earlier and quitting smoking.
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Habits, Technology & Behavioral Change