The Underground Marketer Podcast

Episode 49 – Why You Fail to Build Good Habits and How to Fix It

The Underground Marketer Podcast
The Underground Marketer Podcast
Episode 49 - Why You Fail to Build Good Habits and How to Fix It

The Right Habits Will Get You Closer to Your Goals Faster 

In today’s episode, I talk about positive habits. Positive habits are sets of actions or systems that help you get closer to your goals while keeping you healthy. I discuss why it’s so hard to build and maintain them. I also examine the difference between intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation and how it affects you. Finally, I share my advice for people who struggle with perfectionism or who give up too easily. 

3 Big Ideas 

  1. Building positive habits is always hard – but it’s worth it in the end. You will become healthier, stronger, more disciplined, more confident, more secure. 
  2. Be compassionate to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for skipping a day or two. The secret is consistency, not perfection. 
  3. Focus on your present and your future. Learn from the past, but don’t beat yourself up for mistakes or failures. 

Show Notes

[02:10] Habits will help you get closer to your goals with less effort. 

  • Once you set up a habit, it will become easier to reach your goal because you won’t need as much motivation anymore. 
  • You already know that as long as you keep your habit, you’ll reach the desired result. Thus, you can focus on other aspects of your life. 
  • You need to start by figuring out your goals and what you want out of life. 
  • For example, if you want to lose weight, building a habit of going to the gym 3 times a week will help you achieve your goal. 

[05:30] Think about the why. 

  • Intrinsic motivation will make building and keeping a habit a lot easier. 
  • For example, if you work out to attract the opposite sex, you will not be motivated to keep this habit for life. 
  • But if you work out to be healthy, more disciplined, mentally tough, etc, it will be much easier to keep at it. 
  • When you do it for yourself, you’ll enjoy it more. If you do it for others, it will feel like a chore or punishment. 

[06:40] Find a model. 

  • Find someone who has already achieved that goal and try to follow in their footsteps. 
  • For instance, if you want to build muscle, find someone that can teach you the necessary workouts or meal plans to achieve that goal. 
  • It will be easier than having to figure it all out by yourself. 
  • You will also feel less lonely in your journey of self-improvement. 

[08:44] Have self-compassion. 

  • Even if you manage to build a system or a habit, the journey is not over yet. 
  • There will be moments when you’ll not be able to do your routine, for whatever reason. 
  • Those are the moments when instead of giving up and returning to bad habits, you need to show yourself some self-compassion. 
  • Don’t hurt yourself mentally by blaming or shaming yourself. Leave the past behind.

[11:56] Good is better than perfect. 

  • Going to the gym twice a week instead of three times is still better than not going to the gym at all. 
  • Figure out what went wrong and why you didn’t do your routine. Find strategies that will help you overcome that. 
  • Always focus on the present and the future. Use the past as a learning lesson. 
  • If you are able to overcome this ‘dark night of the soul’ period, the habit will become a part of you. 

[14:25] Summary of the episode. 

  • Be aware of your goals and values, what you want out of life. 
  • Figure out what habits and systems will get you closer to your goal. 
  • Research and find role models. Get inspired by them. 
  • Implement your habit. 
  • If you feel like giving up, don’t. If you are able to overcome this period, you will keep that habit for life. 
  • Develop self-compassion and don’t blame or shame yourself. 
  • Find strategies that will help you fix what’s holding you back. 
  • Learn from the past and focus on the present and the future

Full Transcript

Read The Full Transcript

Introduction    00:00:03    Marketing, explosive growth, and revolutionary secrets that can catapult your business to new heights. You’re now listening to The Underground Marketer Podcast with your host Tudor Dumitrescu, the one podcast devoted to showing new businesses how to market themselves for high growth.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:00:24    Welcome to the underground marketer. This is the place where we deliver the real truth about marketing and explore big ideas that can help new businesses thrive and grow into big ones. I’m your host Tudor. And today I’d like to share some information about developing and building up positive habits into your life, whatever those are. So, uh, first I’ll define what I mean exactly by positive habits. So positive habits in my understanding of the term are those set of actions and systems that you have in your life, which get you closer to your goals while of course maintaining your relationships, family health, and so on. It’s very important to have such systems and such procedures because they save your mind from the need to do a lot of cognitive and very painful work of basically always figuring out what you should be doing. So the way you avoid that is by having habits, you don’t need to figure out every time what you need to do from scratch.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:01:28    You know, you already know you have a system in place, and you know that if you follow the system, you’re going to get closer to your goal, whatever that is. So the easiest way to explain this is through a fitness analogy. For example, having a fixed workout that you do, let’s say three times a week, every day is different, but you know, the exercises that you’re going to do, you know, when you’re going to the gym, you know where you’re going to the gym, everything is already figured out in advance and you just repeating that system over and over again, that’s a habit, right? So you no longer, once you have the habit in place, your focus is no longer on the goal. For example, let’s say the goal here is losing weight, or maybe the goal is building a muscular physique, whatever it is, right?  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:02:16    So once you have the system in place, your focus seems to be on the goal and your mind is free to think and do other things. And you just know that if you follow the system, and if you stick to your habits, you’re actually going to get closer to your goal every single week, sometime we’re actually going to reach your goal. And that’s where habits become really powerful. And it becomes really important to build up those positive habits in your life. That will actually take you closer to your goals, whatever your goals actually happened to be right. How do you actually go about doing this? What does it actually take for you to build those positive habits? So first you need to figure out your goals and your, so basically what matters to you in life? Where do you see yourself in the future and what do you want from your life and from what you’re doing?  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:03:09    Because without knowing these, let’s say bedrock fund fundamentals, it’s very difficult to choose the right habits and the right systems that you actually want to implement in your life. So for example, if you don’t want to have a sexy, muscular physique, or you don’t want to lose weight, it’s difficult to implement a habit like going to the gym because basically you don’t know why you’re doing it. So figuring out the why behind it, that comes first, for example, for myself, and I do actually work out three times a week and I have a fixed routine every day, every third, like Monday, Wednesday, Friday when I work out with the list of exercises that I do every single day, right? So I know what they are in advance. I have a system, but that system started because I had a Y you know, I didn’t just start exercising because, you know, I need to exercise or some external motivation like that.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:04:03    I wanted to do it because I wanted to become a stronger person. Right. And to develop my toughness and my mental resilience so that I can withstand hard things in life. Right. Because ultimately it all comes back down to you, right? So you have to actually push through those things and your internal strength is going to determine your success in everything. So I wanted to develop this toughness, you know, and I knew that when I was younger, for example, I would often quit when it got painful. So I wanted to overcome that. This was, and again, this is very important because it’s an intrinsic motivation, right? So I’m not working out for any reword out there. You know, I am not working out to get the girls. I’m not working out to get money. I’m not working out for any of those reasons. It’s an internal reason.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:04:50    I want to be stronger. And the reason why I want to be stronger is rooted in my history and my past. When I failed, for example, to push through hardship in the past, because of weakness, I set out to root that out. And that’s why I was able to develop this habit and stick with it because I had a very strong reason, you know, an internal reason that was driving me and the reason that was personal. And that’s pretty much tied into my history and to who I am and what actually matters to me, what I value in life. So you need to find, and to spend some time thinking, and you know, maybe writing on paper, journaling is effective to figure out what those reasons are and why they actually matter to you. And what’s actually meaningful to you. And when you do this, it’s important that you don’t put your year two and you start listening to what everybody else says is important.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:05:46    You know, you need to figure out for yourself what’s important for you. Doesn’t matter. What’s important for other people, you know, what’s important for you, what matters for you? What will make you happy? You know, and that’s what you have to figure out before you actually go about building your positive habits. Because if you don’t know, and that’s all foggy, then you’re going to struggle to set up the right positive habits. So getting the foundation, right, that’s super critical and making sure that you actually have an internal motivation, something that comes from within you and not an external motivation, which is some reward or punishment that the outside world is going to deliver to you. If you, for example, fail to stick with habit, that’s the foundation. Now, once you have your foundation in place, obviously it becomes much easier to figure out what you actually need to do to achieve that.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:06:35    So you can start simply by, for example, doing some research about how other people have achieved similar results to what you’re looking to achieve. Right? So in the case of working out, that’s very simple in the case of starting a business, again, you’re going to look at people who wanted to start a business similar to yours and what steps they took and how they got their clients and so on. And you’re going to be able to basically implement similar strategies in, um, neuro-linguistic programming. This is actually called mirroring, right? So you’re going to find people and modeling. So you’re going to find people who already did what you’re and achieved, what you’re looking to achieve and developing yourself. And you’re going to look at their process and the habits that they had themselves. And then you’re going to mirror and model those habits and apply them yourself to achieve similar results.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:07:28    So, for example, in my case with working out, I researched the right workouts that would help me build muscle and develop pain tolerance the fastest. And obviously I chose one of them and then started implementing it. I tailored it several times because I found out that one thing that was very difficult for me was if it was very long. So for me, it was better that it’s high intensity and shorter than low intensity, but very long. So that’s exactly what I’ve done. And it also helps me because I save a lot of time, right? So I don’t, I only need to work out 30 minutes a day. I don’t need to work out for two hours. You know, some people, they go two hours and they sit at the gym. And most of that time, one hour plus is time that they spend resting, chatting, looking around, basically not working out.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:08:17    And then they only actually work out for a couple of minutes. Whereas if you make it super short, then you force yourself to do it at high intensity and train as hard as you can for that time. So that you actually finish as fast as you can. The next step is basically finding out the system and the habits that you want to implement after you have the system and the habits, you have to start implementing it. Step-by-step and to have self-compassion so that you forgive yourself. When you start falling off or you miss a day, or you fall behind for whatever reason. And this has happened to me as well, right? You will start implementing typically you will be able to implement your habit easily the first few times, maybe for example, if your habit is working out every week, you’re going to be able to do 20 weeks of working out, whatever, right?  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:09:10    You have that high motivation initially, and you can just do it after some time. You’re going to find out that you start to procrastinate and maybe you take more time before you get started. Maybe you try to do other activities, so you don’t do it. And it will get to a point where at some point you’re going to fall behind, you know, maybe you miss a day and the risk here, if you don’t develop self-compassion is that you’re going to basically start hurting yourself mentally and blaming yourself for failing. And you’re going to struggle to actually maintain the positive habit, because you’re directing a lot of negative energy back at yourself, and that’s not helping you in any way. What you need to do instead is that you need to develop self-compassion. So if you fall every now and again, that’s no problem. Yeah. You know, you always leave the past behind, ask yourself, why did I fail?  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:10:07    What actually happened? Maybe for example, I procrastinated before working out to the point that it got so late at the gym closed or whatever, and I couldn’t do it, figure out what went wrong and then find out strategies to help you overcome that. But like, for example, um, I don’t feel like going to the gym. I’ll just put my shoes on and head out the door and I’ll see what happens by the time I reach the gym. So maybe that’s what you do. Whatever you do, you have to find strategies and figure out strategies that are going to help you overcome those roadblocks that you met when you started failing. So that failure is actually essential. You know, a lot of people who don’t develop self-compassion, they start blaming themselves for that failure. But actually in that failure, you can find what you need to actually make your in, to actually build your positive habit and make it permanent.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:11:00    The answer is always in that failure and you have to dig the answer out, right, and make sure that you apply it in the future. So your focus should always be on the present and on the future and on using the past, not to blame yourself, but as a source of drawing lessons and learning, and basically improving yourself. And if you do this for long enough, then you’re going to pass that period. Because as I said in the beginning, it’s always easy to maintain the habit, or at least for most people, there comes a period in the middle, which is like the dark night of the soul, where every day you dread it and you feel like giving up and you feel like you can maintain the habit. And most people, they start failing one or two times then. And because they don’t have self-compassion and they start blaming themselves, it all spirals downwards.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:11:50    And they forget about the positive habit. And they go back to old way of being right. That’s what happens to most people. So the way you circumvent that is that you develop self-compassion. You look at learning from the past, you damn don’t blame yourself. And you focus yourself on the future and on developing the strategies that you actually need to be more successful in the future, and to prevent the problems that you encountered in the past. And after you do this, and you go through this period of, let’s say failure for a couple of weeks, but it’s not complete failure. Like sometimes you fail, right? But then other times you’re still successful. And you’re still trying to maintain your habit despite the failures. And that’s the key. If you pass through this period, let’s call it. You know, in spiritual terms, they used to call it the dark night of the soul, where nothing seems to be working.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:12:41    Everything seems hopeless, hopeless. If you persist enough through this period, you’re actually going to move beyond it. And once you move beyond it, there’s actually a shift that happens in your identity. And it’s not something that happens just cognitively. You know, it’s something that physically shifts you. You just become a different person and your habit after this becomes a part of you and who you are. And then it’s much easier to actually maintain it and increase it. And the more you practice to control and to discipline your mind, to follow the habit easier, it’s going to become. And the less you practice, the more difficult your life is going to become, because you’re going to move further and further away from your goals and live in regret, right? And nobody wants to do that. And that’s why you have to go through this process of building up your positive habits and of making sure that you actually are moving.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:13:39    You actually know what your goals are, and you’re doing your best to move ahead towards your goals. Even if it means pain or positive habits are going to be painful, brushing your teeth every night, that’s painful. You know, it’s never going to be pain-free. So the pole point of this is that you have to discipline your mind to the point where you can take control of your mind, and you can get yourself to do the positive habit despite the pain where you either. I mean, there’s a lot of ways to actually deal with pain when it comes to positive habits. And we’re going to actually cover this in a later episode about dealing with pain when it comes to building positive habits, because there’s a lot to say there, and we’re already at the end, pretty much of this episode to summarize briefly, to develop positive habits.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:14:29    First, you have to be aware of your goals and your values so that you understand what’s important to you and where your life is headed. Once you’re aware of that, then you can start to figure out what habits or systems you need to put into place to make sure that you are always moving towards your goals and your values every single day. After that, it’s very useful to research other people who have already achieved the results that you’re looking for and start modeling them. Look at what they’re doing. Look at what, for example, if it’s related to fitness, what workouts they’re using, if it’s related to business, what sales or lead generation system they’re using and whatnot, to get those results. And then you would be modeling that and applying the same thing in basically your own life. And apart from that, apart from modeling, the next step is to actually start doing your habit and try to never miss a day.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:15:24    But at the same time, be aware that there will come a time when it will get harder and harder to maintain your habit. That’s the dark night of the soul, right? Any existing spirituality when you’re meditating, for example, and whatnot. And it also exists in sports, even though nobody talks about it, I’ve encountered it every single time in my own life, right? So you need to be able to pass through this dark night of the soul when everything seems hopeless, when you start failing, when you start not being able to stick to your habit. So how do you actually pass through this period? And the way you pass through this period is by developing self-compassion right? So you look at the past as a way to learn, not as a way to blame yourself. And then you develop new strategies to circumvent, whatever was holding you back and whatever made you miss out on your habit. 


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:16:12    So for example, I gave you my own example with weightlifting. Let’s say that you procrastinate doing it to the point where it gets too late when the gym closes, and you can’t do it. So you missed it for that date. If that happens, you know, then you know what happened, what happened was that you started to procrastinate. So what caused you to start to procrastinate? What did you do next? What can you do next time in preparing events? So when the same thing happens, you know how to react and you know how to overcome it. So that’s what you need to figure out, figure out a new strategy, basically implemented, start getting some, a few more wins around your belt. Again, maybe you’re going to fail one more time. Doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You’re going to get back up and you’re going to try to learn from me and you’re going to try to prevent it in the future.  


Tudor Dumitrescu     00:16:59    But by all means, don’t start blaming yourself. You know, never blame yourself and never get negative on yourself and always focus on the present and the future. And of course, after you do this, as I said, you’re going to reach a period where it’s, you’re going to have a shift in your identity, and it’s going to become a part of you after you pass through this dark night of the soul, if you persist. So that’s why it’s very important that you do this. There’s also much more to be said about using your mind to push yourself through pain because all positive habits involve pain. And, but then, we won’t be able to have time to fit it into this episode. So, I mean, that’s pretty much what I wanted to share for today. So as usual stay tuned for the next episode. And until next time, remember, keep growing your business and providing massive value to the world. You are the reason why we’re all growing richer. Our freedoms are expanding and we are all living in greater prosperity. Thank you. 


The Underground Marketer Podcast

Stay Connected!

Just enter your name and email below, and we’ll email you every new episode of The Underground Marketer Podcast straight into your Inbox. Otherwise, if you prefer, you can subscribe straight from your favorite podcast app below!

New episodes!

We publish weekly on Mondays. Click below to see all episodes:

Join Us On Social Media

Think You're A Fit To Join Us on The Show?