Struggling with building habits? Try this.

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July 11, 2018

TL;DR: -- Read the post you lazy fuck, it isn’t that long.

Most of the people visit this sub to learn how to get better with girls, but for me this sub is about becoming better as a man. To improve as a man, you need to start actually doing stuff instead of mentally masturbating on the internet. You need to build yourself up as a man, and you need habits to do that. For some people, a habit can be built through sheer willpower, but for some people that are used to the “high-dopamine, short attention span, play Fortnite everyday” type of lifestyle, it is difficult. There is a way to make building habits enjoyable. People normally look at a way too large goal and will start off extremely dedicated, but when they notice they aren’t making progress as fast as they would like to, they quit. This is very common among the New-Year’s resolution goals.

Set smaller goals

The secret behind building habits is setting smaller goals. Want to learn how to meditate for 30 minutes every day? Start out with meditating for 1 minute a day for a week, then 2, then 5, etcetera. Building habits isn’t about reaching your end goal immediately, it is about engraining doing that one thing you want to achieve every day.

Now, for some people, setting smaller goals will be enough to actually start achieving something, but there is a tool that you can use to actually feel good during the process as well. It is the tool that got me from a lazy gamer to meditating every day for a year straight. I will explain how it works and what you need.

The technique

All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. That’s right. For the price of less than a buck you can build a lifelong habit. You grab a piece of paper and write down the habit you want to build. Let’s grab lifting as an example. You write down ‘Lifting’ in the middle of the piece of paper and write the benefits of consistently lifting around it. It should look something like this. You can add as many benefits as you want, I like to keep going until I really feel passion for learning the habit. When you have done this, flip the paper and make 49 squares on the piece of paper, like this. Now, the one thing that will transform this piece of paper and feel-good bullshit is doing the thing you want to achieve. With lifting for example, every time you hit the gym, you draw a big, fat, satisfying cross in one of the boxes. Let’s say you want to hit the gym 5-times a week, that means you must at least have 5 x’es per row. You must NEVER miss a session if you actually want to build the habit. The only exception is if you either break your whole body or if you fucking die. Let’s say you pussy out and actually miss a cross. Well, you don’t stop going. You continue your journey like it never happened. Make sure to keep the train going, because if you start skipping workouts, it won’t work. Here’s an example of a filled out card. Every X will remind you of a step closer to your goal.

If there is a day where you really don’t feel like doing it, flip the card and read every benefit you’re doing it for. The energy will start rushing through you and you will do it nevertheless.

This whole technique is called the x-effect and it helped me implement a couple of habits into my life, such as meditation. This isn’t a magic trick or a shortcut, it will just make the journey more enjoyable. You won’t believe the satisfaction when you have a card full of crosses. You can do multiple cards at a time, but I advise to start out with just one so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

Give it a try, but don’t expect magic. In the in the end, you have to do it yourself.

Now get to work

Post Information
Title Struggling with building habits? Try this.
Author realrickbrewer
Upvotes 1058
Comments 64
Date 11 July 2018 02:59 PM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit TheRedPill
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:
liftthe red pill

[–]idriask67 points68 points  (0 children) | Copy

Will definitely try this! Thank you!

[–]Endorsed ContributorMetalgear22264 points65 points  (5 children) | Copy

This has worked 3 times for me, quitting porn and jerking off in excess of a once a week, being asleep with all electronics off by midnight, and spending at least 6 hours a day out of the house on weekends. Good post OP

[–]realrickbrewer[S] 13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy

Thanks, I like to try and add value to the community!

[–]upvotelogic6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

I was thinking about where to start my life reconstruction. You just described the spot. Thanks for the simple actionable rules.

[–]redpillskeptic1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Out of curiosity what benefits have you observed vis cutting down on porn/jerking it?

[–]Endorsed ContributorMetalgear2223 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

better hard ons, better success rate on approaches, and higher likelihood of approaching.

[–]IKezax 1 points [recovered]  (1 child) | Copy

I have some problems building new habits. I will give this a try. Thank you!

[–]Endorsed Contributorex_addict_bro39 points40 points  (5 children) | Copy

If you like this post, go and read Wikipedia entry on “SMART goals criteria”

Op, can we see an actual photo of your actual cards?

[–]Cum_belly0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Not OP but I’ve been doing something similar using an old field book. I can post pics if you still want to see them.

[–]Iwannachokekatie-5 points-4 points  (2 children) | Copy

The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw that example was that he's not actually doing any of this.

[–]crazymonezyy9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy

TBH you shouldn't be worried about that bit, do you want to improve yourself or the OP?

[–]Dubalicious11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

Habits are (can be) the most difficult thing to build but they are the easiest thing to maintain - Once established you literally just do what you always do.

[–]XiaoGene23 points24 points  (10 children) | Copy

Host, while your method seems to correspond to what we know about hormones, gamization and applied psychology your approach has a drawback - one mistake, one missed session will most likely kill your motivation and "burn" a non-zero quantity of sweet precious testosterone. (speaking from painful personal experience)

What helped me to overcome this problem is making a habbit enjoyable right-here-and-now-anywaypossible, this way potential long-term satisfaction synergizes with actual current satisfaction.

-lifting: when u are a total noob after a session instead of bliss u fell "not well" -> make an excel table with personal records (I made 3 best records per set and 1 best per session and a column of how many times u have beaten any record for every exercise u do)
-meditation: for me it seemed pointless and boring at the start, the only thing motivating for this habit was the research about "cool of the yogis", so i started meditating "socially": no carpet, no special pose, no mantras - just me sitting like a dandy somewhere in public and looking mysteriously into the sky while concentrating on inner emptyness
-coding: since coding is a craft/art u totally forget yourself in it, so it is really like a meditation - u don't even need a list of benefits
-cleaning/cooking/walking a pet: see coding

[–]the_one_tony_stark24 points25 points  (8 children) | Copy

I kept in mind that the first 10 times I would be making a personal record because each time I was busting my balls moving weight I thought: "Huh, the same time 6 months ago I would be sitting on my ass. Even if I feel I'm not doing too well, I'm doing more than 100% better than 6 months ago."

That took the pressure off of trying to achieve and made it fun.

Then after 5 sessions I realized I wasn't really pushing myself but just repeating what I did before. I agreed with myself that as soon as I want to quit any set, I set a goal of how many more to do (typically 2-3 reps for something heavy and up to 10 reps for something lighter).

It had an unforeseen effect on other areas in my life.

When I was trying to focus and getting work or study done, it started popping up "Okay you want to quit now, but if you do it for 10 more minutes or program one extra function, you'll have increased your ability to stay focused".

And suddenly I understood why the advice to lift is such good advice.

[–]Reject4447 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is true. I picked up a (empty) barbell for pretty much the first time in my life about 5 months ago, and have followed my program every other day since like it was a religion. My numbers are still weak and my form still needs work, but every time I feel bad about only squatting 150 I think "That's 105 pounds more than I started with, and a year ago I couldn't even begin to THINK of squatting what I'm doing now". That really helps to motivate me and keep me going to the gym 3-4 times per week no matter what.

[–]XiaoGene3 points4 points  (6 children) | Copy

Totally accurate point, man. In many cases slow progress is just as bad as no progress at all.

For me, though, it has always been easier to trick my inner hamster rather than negotiate with it.
It seems sometimes that willpower is more of a resource, than a skill or a trait, so I'd better had some cunning heuristics hidden in my sleeve.

[–]the_one_tony_stark7 points8 points  (5 children) | Copy

I can't trick my hamster; it tricks me right back. I have to make things very simple and very obvious; then there is little room for trickery.

[–]TheLanternFlame2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy

Hey I want to ask you guys who lift heavy weights on how you do it? Doesn't hypertrophy work if you do it everyday since it kills the developing muscles more than just letting it rest for a day? I do bodyweights/calisthenics and see the significance of my build from a year ago with progressive (100-300) pushups a day than resting every other day with a advance-extreme workout every other day. More define muscles than a year ago, I can see the aesthetic, but many people in the sub says to lift everyday, which is kinda the antithesis of resting every other day. So my question is: How do you do it? Who do you follow your regimen on this?

[–]boofviagra3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy

By isolating muscle groups. Something like a PPL (push day, pull day, leg day) split.

I prefer a full body workout every other day. So every other day I will rest, maybe with some cardio but no weights.

But sometimes I'll split it up and do legs (deadlift, squat) one day and the other day upper body stuff (pushes and pulls with bench, OHP, rows, pullups etc). Gives 48 hrs rest between working each muscle group so you can still lift every day.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

To me, an upper/lower split is odd because I spend way less time on my leg day. All I do on leg day is squat and deadlift, whereas on upper body day I do bench, shoulder press, pullups or rows, tricep extensions, curls, face pulls etc.

Are there any more leg exercises I can do with just a barbell?

[–]the_one_tony_stark2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Honestly, I have not yet optimized my training in that regard. I do lifting for my head more than my body, which means that the motivation is the primary goal and the physical gains secondary.

When I lift, I get a boost in testosterone, reduce anxiety, get more motivated about doing whatever I choose to do, get better resistance to boredom in achieving goals, and find it easier to talk (including to girls) with outcome independence. I also re-affirm to myself symbolically that I care about myself and about improving and in a way that has a cost (time/energy/sweat) so I learn to cut my time doing anything less effective.

I don't have a strict regimen of excercises to do; I try to focus on body parts that don't hurt which means chest/arms get a workout every 2 days, legs every day, core every 1 1/2 day depending on how heavy I work it. My typical workout is 30-45 minutes, 5 minute warmup ropeskipping, then mostly weights and some abs and back workout to finish or if my core already hurts, lunges and/or pistolsquats with weights.

And then some martial arts once or twice a week.

Thanks a lot for the question!

[–]Endorsed ContributorAuvergnat2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Host, while your method seems to correspond to what we know about hormones, gamization and applied psychology your approach has a drawback - one mistake, one missed session will most likely kill your motivation and "burn" a non-zero quantity of sweet precious testosterone. (speaking from painful personal experience)

I personally overcome this issue by avoiding uninterrupted streaks. For example, my meditation practice is 6 days a week, and never 7. If I mess up one day, it's ok because the challenge restarts every Monday. It's still frequent enough for your body/mind to make it into a habit as the X effect does, without the evident issue you raised in case you miss one day.

What helped me to overcome this problem is making a habbit enjoyable right-here-and-now-anywaypossible, this way potential long-term satisfaction synergizes with actual current satisfaction.

This was a technique discussed by G Petronius a while ago.

[–]zyqkvx9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy

That's better than my method, though my method works fine too. I took a 2'x3' light yellow poster board and drew grids and decorated it with glitter using Elmers glue. Each time I finish a set I put a small sticker of a boat or a friendly animal. When I complete the grid I go clubbing. After I clubbed one and bring her back and sees the chart she seems even happier to suck my dick. Girls like glitter, but not as much as they like hot pulsing cock.

[–]boxxybebe7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

I feel like this comment had like 3 plot twists

[–]qitjch8 points9 points  (0 children) | Copy

I've been using this method for quite a while and it works wonders. Glad to see someone do a writeup about it for this sub. Nicely done OP.

[–]FiftyShadesOfSwole14 points15 points  (8 children) | Copy

FYI - Have you ever heard the popular question they ask successful people "Do you love winning or do you hate losing?" Turns out this is actually a thing.

There was a study recently published about how psychoanalysts can now accurately prove and predict the two different types of reward centers people have in their brain. As far as the studies have shown, the reward center works somewhat like a spectrum with most people falling either slightly left or right of center. A healthy combination of both is/was necessary for the survival of our species.

Example #1: On the far right of the spectrum you have the people who live and breathe accomplishments. They relish in the awards, trophies, presentations, money, titles, and compliments that come with success. These people get the majority of their dopamine from that next thing; that next step; checking that little box on that paper. Hot shot Blackjack players in Vegas are probably these types; unaffected by huge losses and full mast raging boner when the dealer busts. RP example is a guy who sees that HB10 and hits the gym, kills school, and kills work, then gets her number and smashes. This is his dopamine fed positive feedback loop.

Example #2: On the far left you have the people who cannot stand the idea of losing, or as they say it in the hood "Taking an 'L'." These people were picked last in gym class that one time six years ago and it scarred them for life. They spend their days being the kid from 3rd to 11th grade, going way too hard in PE Class so no one liked them; that kid. I used this analogy because Michael Jordan was outwardly this type of dude, and he's the first who came to mind. Extremely successful individual, but a notorious asshole (not in a good way) with little to no friends. RP example is that 32 year old guy who got divorce raped by his ex who went from HB10 to a HB-4 after 3 kids and 5 years of marriage. Filled with piss and vinegar, decided he's never going back, turns his Dad Bod into a Chad Bod and is now overdosing on dopamine after plowing one of his 21YO HB10's, all while recalling his detest for his old Blue Pill Beta Bux life.

My whole point is:

Before embarking on these kinds exercises, think about what kind of person you are and what motivates you; then act accordingly.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (3 children) | Copy

I hate losing, so what should i do different than those who love winning exactly?

[–]1dongpal1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Fear of losing could also be interpreted as you hate taking risk, which is needed for success.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah i'm not exactly a risk taker

[–]whatsmyname170 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Nothing. Just because you hate losing doesn’t mean that you are an asshole or that something is inherently wrong with you. If it works for you then it works for you as long as you don’t think unhealthy things or create unhealthy habits because of it. Success is success after all.

[–]trpblacklime3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

I dont care for winning or losing. I just want to have fun. Thats probably why I lack ambition.

[–]Bc_Land2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

All that is true and the big differences that need to be mentioned is that it is possible to learn a different approach. When one is moving toward what he wants, his motivation is consistent. When one is moving away from what he doesn't want, he tend to lose motivation once he is far enough away to not feel the sting of what he is fleeing from. Without the initial level of motivation, one risks settling and backsliding until the pain returns. If you are an away-from individual, the key is to use that initially and then clearly define your outcome and build a very clear mental picture of it. Focus on that every single day both morning and night and see yourself accomplishing the outcome. What is your life like when you have it? What are you saying to yourself and what are others saying to and about you? How are you feeling about accomplising your outcome? How has accomplishing your outcome increased your abilities, results and your options in life? Take the time to redefine the outcome on a regular basis to adjust for progress, realistic results and clearer definition. Remember to consider how your outcome will affect others and what you will have next in line when you attain your goal. An outcome should always increase your options and give your life direction as opposed to being an endpoint with no clear path forward when you get there.

[–]1dongpal1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Fear of losing could also be interpreted as you hate taking risk, which is needed for success.

[–]woodie_wood3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Lifting = Corner stone habit

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

+1 for the x effect.

I printed out the 49 squares on 4 copies of paper, and framed it on my wall with a glass covering. I can use Expo markers on it and keep using it over and over

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

This is a great habit-making technique. I've personally been logging my habits using an app called Loop which shows the strength of your habit and records habit streaks over the days, months or years. You guys should check it out as a digital alternative to paper logs.

[–]TonytheNetworker3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

No more excuses! Self Improvement in whatever capacity is a MUST.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Went through a few pieces of paper at first.. great idea though, thank you for this. I'm a visual guy and love writing things down.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I have to drastically change my lifestyle within the next month, I will use this method. Thanks.

[–]MarcosDomingues1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy

As a 17 year old what else is there to do other than lifting to improve yourself? Need to implement some habits while im on vacation

[–]boxxybebe2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Work on a single productive hobby. Have you ever considered rapping? Painting? Drawing, coding, basketball, golf, martial arts, dancing (from hip hop to salsa/slow dancing, look them up they're actually damn cool), carving, DJing, pick up, etc. Anything as long as you have something to show for it. Just pick one and stick with it.

[–]DancingC0w0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Learn something, be it coding or a new language.

Something that gives you additional value

[–]realrickbrewer[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Meditating, reading, learning a language, learning to be more social, learn to build something, the list goes on and on

[–]Pestilence19110 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Get a summer job working construction, it will help later on when you have your own house and want to reno it, and provide you with experence to do a semi skilled job as a helper guaranteeing you work.

[–]BostonPillParty1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

OneNote has really helped me stay organized with tracking and all of this stuff. Great for having a place to review weekly/monthly/quarterly progress as well.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Thought this was a fortnite post hence the title

[–]Ledoborec1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Thanks for those autistic artworks. I will try it maybe aswell on medititation.

[–]realrickbrewer[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Thanks, I made them especially for you

[–]swordshab1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The thing with habits is that one good habit opens the door to many new good habits and it rolls over

[–]Deadlybeef1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

This post will probably save my life. Thank you very much!

[–]realrickbrewer[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This is the reason I write posts like these. Great to help another man out.

[–]RedEmbrace1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I see this for the first time in my life but this is gold.

First off, we are heavily visual animals. ("Corporate VISION" / "I SEE your point" / etc). We have the Dopamine hormone that makes us do things and we do things more easily if or when we can't SEE the goal. More clear the view - the more motivation we have. That's why we like looking at numbers grow for example. Or achieving some whatever goal we have had. That's the reason this seemingly weird thing as "visualisation" works - your brain pretty badly notices a difference between what's real and what's a fantasy.

And here we have the perfect goal setter on a list of paper. I would also add some (some!) visualisation of all these little things on your list for aforenmentioned reasons. Dopamine is hell of a drug.

One caveat to this I'd add as well: if you miss an X you'll feel like trash. Put your hamster on overdrive and rationalize you have one life and you HAD to skip as "cheat meal" or something.

[–]MiracleMagnet1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Great technique to build habits. Thank you.

  • Meditation
  • Meal Preparing
  • Lifting
  • Reading
  • Speech practice
  • Calling friends/family

These will be my first ones. Let's see how this goes.

[–]CollaterLDamage1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

It's funny you call it the x-theory. I called it the Why theory. If you don't know what your doing it. It's hard to make a habit out of it.

I think it's important to write what happens if you stop as well It reaffirms why you're doing it.


Habit- Going to the gym to be fit.

Why- It will help with my confidence and self esteem. It will help me get women, it will help me live longer, ill become stronger and have more energy. It keeps me from staying home and masturbating all day.

What happens if i don't go- I will stay miserable if not go back to my old miserable self, I wont like the way i look and continue hating myself, i wont be confident around women. I won't have the energy or strength to do anything and I'll only get weaker and sloppier.

Sometimes it helps to know not just why you're going forward but why you can't go back.

[–]RPinthemaking0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Definitely a good trick OP! In terms of tracking progress I use an app on iOS called Productive. The app lets you swipe on habits when you complete them and each day displays a streak counter. Seeing the counter go higher and higher each day motivates me.

Productive App

[–]icecoldviv0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There's an app that I use called habits in android. It is similar to this idea where you can check/uncheck if you have completed the predefined task for the day. You can also set up alerts for various habits throughout the day and see your overall score for each habits which is calculated based on consistency.

[–]MaxwellGaine0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There’s an app called Momentum (a few bucks, if you can’t afford that then you’ve already failed at life) that tracks habit streaks like described in the post and sends you pop up notifications - I found it helpful.

Not affiliated in any way, just sharing since it made a big difference for me.

[–]shivaom0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

For anyone who wants to build habit and believes that willpower is the key should definitely read "Psycho Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz. Let's say you wish to build a habit. Lifting, that is. Now, you do the same drill described above, but along with that, you train your subconscious mind. And you do it using visualization. Before you go to bed, or right after you get up, your brain is very open to suggestion. You can simply see a screen in front of your closed eyes, in the middle of your eyebrows, and visualize actually lifting and enjoying the lifts. You can also visualize your friends telling you and appreciating you or women checking you out, but I guess that's a sidekick. Visualize the enjoyment of pursuit and you will begin to train you mind to enjoy pursuit.

We're machines. We just need the right kind of programming. As for our soul, it doesn't care. It simply witnesses everything we do. So, program your desires into your subconscious.

Visualization is a core habit. Once you start doing it, the rest of your life begins to take shape like you want it to. So, skip everything, but not visualization. See yourself as a confident young individual who doesn't skip a day.

I have taught visualization to about 50 individuals through one on one sessions, and all of them have reported drastic change in their lives. If you have any question, ask away. I'm here to help.

[–]mozofila0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I do apply the same principle for about two months only with a modified version. I have a big notebook and on each paper I make a table with week days as columns.

Now, for each day, on the top I set for myself 3 everyday tasks I am doing now - running/workout and medidation. In the evening, I mark out what I did in the morning - it feels so rewarding to just doodle over the task with your pen for a couple of second thinking you did it.

It is even more satisfying when you have multiple new achievements over the day and cross them out too. if I miss doing something, I transfer the task to the next day only to mark everything as solved for the day. Sneaky trick I know but it makes me feel better. The next day I make sure to complete what I skipped the day before.

[–]mindblower2theMAX0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There's a similar app to this it's called "HabitBull" you should try this it has cool features like minimum book pages you read today.

[–]krimpenrik0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

A good book recommendation would be 'The compounding effect'

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Well you got me with that tldr, need to build an attention span as well I guess

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Who the fuck puts a TLDR in the begining of their post... then fucking shits on the reader for being lazy and reading it.

Stupid deadass

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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