This is a legacy post from andreiathoughts.com, the precursor to andreian.com. It has not been updated and may not be relevant anymore.
“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”
The Power Of habit | Charles Duhigg
What if I told you, that you could become the best version of yourself in just 66 days.
Is it possible?
Of course it is.
Will it be difficult?
Yes, but isn’t everything valuable resting on the top shelf? Forcing you to reach, to stretch your metaphorical arms, standing on your tip toes to get what you want. This is what change is. What self-improvement is.
Self-improvement is reaching for the “special” cookies on the top shelf. The name brand Oreos, while the generic expired store brand sits at eye level. You become tired of eating the same cookies and want something new, something better.
It’s difficult to reach what you want. You’ve never been there before, you could fall down on your way up. You could hurt yourself. No matter what you’re going to get a few scrapes and bruises. You could fail.
would it be worth it?
Would it be worth it to fail, to reach a level of happiness you only saw on Instagram in the rich and famous?
That’s for you to decide. But I’m telling you, screaming in your ear you can do it. You can be the greatest version of yourself. Everything you imagined about yourself as a child when your teacher asked what you wanted to be. You can do it, in 66 days.
How To Become The Best Version Of Yourself In 66 Days
Take five minutes right now.
Close your eyes, ground yourself using a breathing method and imagine.
Imagine the perfect ideal life for you.
What does this life look like?
Do you have a mansion, a castle, a cabin in the woods completely isolated from the world?
Where do you live?
Are you married or single? What does your other half look like?
Are you employed at a company or an entrepreneur? What would be your product or service? Are you an author writing science fiction?
What do you want to be doing in your ideal life?
It can be whatever you want. It must be your deepest desire. Your true wants, not what others want for you.
Take five minutes and paint a picture of your ideal life.
Make it real. Visualize every sense of your ideal life.
- What do you see?
- What can you touch?
- What can you smell?
- What can you taste?
- What do you hear?
Imagine your greatest self as a separate entity, living your greatest life. Imagine your greatest self not as you, but as a different person. Because they are, this person doesn’t exist yet. Well, they do, but in your mind. You need to see your great self as a separate entity. Whatever you feel most comfortable seeing this person, this, you, as.
Great you can be:
- A god.
- A ghost.
- An imagination.
- A spirit.
- A… whatever. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you realize this isn’t you… right now. The great you isn’t you, yet. It can be, and you’ll find out how to become that person in a moment. If you see yourself as this person right now, you won’t change. Your brain will think you’re already there.
Remove yourself from your greatest version. You’ve done nothing to become this person. Give this person a different name, or a separate title like the great self. Or, King (insert name). Separate this person completely from you.
Once you have this person in your mind, as clear as a starry night sky in a Bob Ross painting, you’re ready for the next step.
You’ve now visualized your greatest self.
If you need longer than five minutes, good. If you don’t, you haven’t tried hard enough, and you take direction too hard. Be free to always overachieve and over dream. You only have one life. Five minutes isn’t enough to see it in the best way it can be. You aren’t ready yet. You aren’t ready to transcend into the next level of the game.
Now, this is the important part. Nothing matters more than this next step. More than this question.
What are the habits of the greatest version of yourself?
This is the question that will give you the key. The key to unlocking every door that prevents you from becoming the person you need to become.
You have a visualization of your ideal life.
You thought about all the exciting parts. driving nice cars, making business deals, going to exotic locations, all the good stuff.
Now, imagine the day to day. This will show you your greatest self’s habits. Your habits, are what make you into the person you want to be. If you can change your habits to match the habits of your greatest self, you can become this person in 66 days.
Why 66 days? This has shown to be the average length of time to develop a new habit. This is also known as “automaticity”. Taking an abnormal behavioral pattern, repeating it until it isn’t abnormal anymore. While 66 days is an average, some have been able to form new habits in 21 days. Brain Pickings reminds us how habits are as simple as deliberate practice.
This is the best advice you will ever hear.
To live the life you want all you have to do is copy the habits of the ideal version of yourself.
Habits are your framework for living. If you change them, upgrade them to your best version, you will become your best self. By changing your habits. It’s that easy.
But it’s not easy.
changing your habits is one of the hardest tasks you will ever take on. Smoking is a habit, albeit an addictive one.
- Your smartphone is a habit.
- Alcoholism is a habit.
- Watching TV is a habit.
- Audio Books & Learning are habits.
- Your habits are your experience.
A habit is a polite word for an addiction. Could you go a month without your smartphone? Might be difficult since it’s a habit you’ve taught your brain to follow. Changing this habit will be difficult. that street is a highway, and now you’re forced to take a back road. But what if the back road is better and faster? This is what changing habits is like: You need different roads to follow.
Go back into your visualization. list a minimum of five habits that your great self is doing, that you aren’t right now.
Five, because any more and it’s too difficult to track.
You’ll get lazy because it’s too much extra work. less than five habits can work, but you will take longer to change.
Find your discipline. Find the reason why you want to change. Beyond money, beyond fame, why is it you want to become your great self? Why do you deserve to become your greatest self?
Use that energy to power your discipline to accomplish five unique habits.
Below are some habit examples for you based on other Andreia articles, but pick your own. Pick what is important to you. These are general habits that can improve the lives of everyone. You need habits that will take you to the top shelf. To the Oreos you deserve.
What To Do With Your Habits
Once you have your habits, you need to follow them every day like they’re guiding you out of the valley of the dead. Sound dramatic? Reinventing yourself often is.
If you decide to quit watching TV, you need to track every day that you don’t watch TV. Metrics are everything. Metrics and data show you your standing. Data wipes away the fog from the mirror so you can see yourself, and your progress. Without data, you’re trying to shave with a sword in a foggy mirror: You’re blind, and you’ll likely fail.
You need to cement your habits in physical spaces. They cannot live in your memory or you will fail. You can use pen and paper like a notebook, a journal, a sticky note on your fridge. Or, if you want to get Nostalgic, try using a paper cuff ring. Remember from childhood? The kind where you would take paper rings, link them together, and rip them off to countdown to Christmas?
Digital tracking will work too. Evernote is fantastic, or get an application to track your habits. I use Habitbull for Android and have done so for ages. It’s never let me down yet.
After 66 days, your new habits will become normal to you. You’ll have a new framework. A new operating paradigm, you’ve upgraded your software. The newest, fastest, version. That’s what we’re doing right now.
Think of yourself as an iPhone. If you have the same habits you’ve had ten years ago, you’re like a first generation iPhone in 2017. You don’t work that well, aren’t that useful, and may not even be that pleasing to look at.
So what can you do?
Upgrade to a newer version. In 66 days, more or less.
Listen To The Voice Of The Great Self
Remember, the great self isn’t you. It’s a guidance counselor showing you where to go. Get deep into your visualization. Don’t do it one time. Include it every night in your routines. Don’t let go of your great self. Don’t forget why you want to change, or how wonderful life will be when you do.
Whenever you’re thinking about failing, thinking about eating another piece of candy while trying to lose weight, smoking another cigarette think about what the great version would do. Would they break? No, they wouldn’t. Your great self is willing to do whatever it takes.
Let The Great Self Speak To You.
Instead of an angel and a devil on your shoulder, you have the great self. The great self is standing in front of you, telling you you’re making a mistake, or on the right path. Listen to them, and obey. The great self can be a mother or father figure. A brother or sister, someone you can look up to. The great self can even be yourself, as a child. It can be anything it needs to be for you. All you have to do is listen.
The great self wants you to succeed. You must listen to make that happen. You need to listen for 66 days. Don’t do it for yourself. Do it for your family, your friends, your great self, find the reason why you want to change. Tattoo it into your mind. Make it permanent.
For all you have to do is listen to the voice for 66 days, and afterward, you have installed your new life.
what would best me do?
“A habit is a polite word for an addiction.” That was powerful.
Looking back at all the habits I have accumulated and trashed, I would say for me the number lies between 30 and 66 but 66 is a good number to aim for.
5 habits seems like A LOT to instill concurrently. I would say 2 or 3 at most but I confess I do not have the greatest willpower around. I would love to hear about your personal experiences and if you have ever changed that many habits and tracked them all at once.
Good points all round and yes it’s amazing how someone who is in a desperate need of change can benefit from just a handful of habit changes.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg certainly woke me up to the fact that most of our day to day actions are done by habit. The examples you gave are habits that one wouldn’t normally think of as habits. I laughed when you listed excess Amazon spending as I have a huge problem with buying books and not reading them.
A little off topic but you say you journal every night. Have you ever practiced journaling in the morning and if so how does it compare to journaling at night?
Amazon is a tough habit to break simply for all of the affordable books that I want. I was able to head off a lot of my Amazon purchases by letting my prime lapse. It’s amazing what you’re suddenly not willing to pay for when you have to pay for shipping lol
I feel as though people say how fast time goes by all the time yet when confronted with a challenge that could change their life in a brief amount of time it is “too difficult” for them.
In fact, new year’s resolutions were set roughly 66 days before you wrote this post. I’d love to see how many made it. The ones who did are probably high on life with their new found self while everyone else seeps back into mediocrity.
My uncle wanted to stop smoking a year ago and he managed to do that this year, otherwise I have never seen one acting on his NYR.
The ones that are winning are on this website and in the manosphere.