The Life-changing 13

It is said that you are what you do every day. In other words, your habits make you or break you. Success is a sum of little steps that lead you all the way to the finish line (if there ever was any finish line). I have only realised the immense importance of consistency and habitual development recently when I started thinking about how I am different from most people around me. In diverse areas, like languages, sports, business or for example personal development, I have realised that there is a major difference between me and most people. Why is that? Because I never gave up, I persevered and I will continue persevering.

Erase “I Give Up” Out of Your Dictionary

The greatest factor that sets us apart is the fact that I never gave up, as I understood the importance of consistency. I started working out exactly at the same time with multiple friends of mine. I have been progressing through different moves in the callisthenics apparatus throughout the last 4-5 years. Unfortunately, as I was going and growing, people around me starting giving up for various reasons. Language learning is another example. The fact that I can speak Chinese close to fluently and that I am learning Korean on a very fast pace is due to the habits I have developed in that area. I have started learning Chinese together with 5 other students back in high school. 3 ended up dropping out after a few weeks. All they can say is hi… What is the difference? Successful habits development and perseverance in these areas. In this article, I aim to do you a huge favour and explain one of the most efficient methods you can go about developing your habits effectively.

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The 13 Defining Habits Mastery

I have first heard about the method I will introduce you to when I was reading about Abraham Lincoln. It is said that he was deeply unsatisfied with the person he was and thus collected 13 virtues that he would work on developing and consistently practising, as he believed that these virtues would help him in becoming the person he wanted to become. His idea was fairly simple but extremely effective.

Lincoln understood that you can not develop 13 virtues (habits really) all at once. So he came up with a step-by-step approach. He wrote down the 13 virtues on small pieces of paper, 1 each. He would then carry 1 paper with him per week to remind himself of the virtue he was practising. In other words, he worked on 1 habit a week for 13 weeks. One of his virtues was being more generous. So he wrote generosity on the paper and carried it with him in his pocket. Whenever he got into a situation where he could apply that virtue, he felt the paper in his pocket and took action on it. Next week, he focused on the next virtue.

The Long Term Plan

That’s great! What happens after 13 weeks then? You start at number 1 again. What does that mean? It means that you have to really sit down and define the 13 habits that are key for you and your vision. You want to go through the 13 weeks 3-4 times before you start moving on. And you have to be consistent with your actions, every single day. These habits will become a part of you only if you really stick to them. Is one of your habits waking up early? How early? How will you track it? Can you find a habit-building buddy to develop a sense of accountability? Make it efficient, make it simple and make it measurable. Eliminate all the reasons why you might quit. Track your progress and you will see progress. Go without tracking and you will get lost easily.

Frank from TRLE Team

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