Part 2

Do Better

Develop better habits & increase your productivity with lessons inspired by Why We Do What We Do, 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself & Elastic Habits.

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  Lesson 9

Fail-Proofing Your Daily Habits

Insight inspired by Elastic Habits (Stephen Guise)

In his book Elastic Habits, Stephen Guise writes,

“Self-discipline is a skill, but it’s only possible to sustain it through freedom of choice.”

The reason we’re starting with this quote is that before we craft your daily habits, I want you to know that with these new habits you still have a choice. Freedom of choice is essential. Up until now, you may have viewed habits as a jail sentence.

BUT… with today’s micro-lesson I want you to know that the choice is no longer between doing the new habit or not doing the habit. We’re going to move away from this polarizing relationship with habits. We’re no longer doing our habits from our feelings, we’re doing them because it’s who we are.

You are a healthy person now. You are fit. You are smart. You are a writer. You are a leader. You are a ________. And because that’s who you are, you no longer view your habits as optional.

Instead of win/lose options, we’re going to switch to win/win with our habits. Today, we will set two levels for each habit in each of our categories.

The reason we’re doing this is because if you’ve ever failed at consistently sticking with your habits, my guess is that life got in the way. That’s why 99% of goals are never reached. In a perfect world, with all the time and money in the world, healthy habits would be much easier to achieve.

But that’s not the world most of us are living in. The world most of us are living in includes difficult days at work. Not getting enough sleep. Being in a bad mood. I could go on and on. Life isn’t perfect, so we need to set our goals with flexibility and margin in mind.

That’s what “Elastic Habits” are all about. It’s about bullet-proofing your intentions and setting at least 2 win/win levels for your daily habits.

For example, for your exercising habit, it could mean setting a normal daily goal of a 1-Mile Run (that should be achievable on a normal day) but also having a backup goal of a Walk Around the Block. The reason this is important is 1) It keeps your mental game in the right place by not breaking the habit muscle 2) When you do your backup goal you’ll often go farther than you thought you could (“…an object in motion stays in motion”)

Here are my intention/habit categories and the elastic levels I’ve created:

🔹 Spiritual/Soul
Bible Reading 1 chapter or 1 verse

🔹 Exercise
30-min Weightlifting or 25 Pushups

🔹 Learning
30-min Reading a Book or Listening to a Podcast

🔹 Relationships
Call a friend or send an encouraging text

🔹 Create
Write for 30-min or come up with 10 article ideas

Goal of the Week

Create a system for making progress on your goals.

  Quote of the Week

“Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”


Don't Do It Alone

Join the conversation in our private community and connect with others about each micro-lesson.