The Habit Course

Notes from the Webinar. 2011-05-16. Leo Babauta with Louis Haus(?). Marie was listening to it, so I decided to take some notes to practice using [QuickCursor](, [MacVim](, and [MultiMarkdown](

The Habit Course: Create New Habits For Life

Reasons trouble having habits:
– Losing Motivation: 40%
– Life Gets In the Way: 29%
– Too Difficult to stay on track 22%

Brief Story

Started Zen Habits 1 year after he started to do habits. Tried to quit smoking (7 times fail). Finished running.

Other things
– wake earlier
– lost weight
– get rid of clutter

Then after that started writing ebooks and other blogs. Which came from creating habits.

Creating Good Habits Changed My Life Forever. Replicate habit success.

How to achieve Goal with HABITS

“Success starts with doing the things that lead to achieving your goals.” People set out goals but how do you get there? You have to
do the small baby steps that take you to those goals.

“By creating habits, you are building these steps in your daily routine — the habits will take you to your goals.” Ex. When you want to run a marathon, don’t increase mileage, instead just have a daily habit of running.

“You can’t achieve large goals without first instilling the small habits.” Tiny little habit of eating healthier adds up to a big weight loss later.

“Habit creation is *way* more important than doing something big today.” The simple habit will accumulate way more than an action today.

“Focus *first* on creating the habit then on results.”

Biggest Reasons People Fail (and how to overcome it)

“People fail because they think it’s easy or don’t think it through.” People think it’s easy to start exercising or get rid of debt, but they don’t think things through of what the habit creation is.

“Focus on one habit.” New Years resolution try to do too many things all at once (juggling). Instead, one habit at a time has the largest chance of success.

“Make the habit extremely small.” People try to do too much at once, that leads to failure. Make the habit extremely small (5-10 minutes is best range), and then later on you can expand it.

“Binding a habit to a trigger is the way the habit will stick.” People don’t understand what triggers are. These are what causes a trigger response. Ex. Drinking coffee causes urge to smoke (stress, meeting, drinking, sicking, someone else smoking). If you follow the trigger with the habit, immediately the habit becomes bonded to the trigger. The response becomes Pavlovian. This is true with bad and good habits (ex. trigger waking up to do 10 push ups and eventually you don’t feel right until you do those 10 push ups).

“Enjoy the habit.” People don’t understand the importance of positive feedback vs. negative feedback. If you go running, and hate it. Then you will fail. Or do a drug and you feel good, you keep doing it until it becomes a habit. You can do this with writing until you are addicted to doing it. So create a built-in positive feedback room

“People don’t make time for the habit.” Life gets in the way breaks a habit. So the solution is to make the habit as small as possible: it’s not hard to find five minutes in your schedule, vs. 30 minutes (running, meditation, etc.)

“Making the habit a priority by figuring out an alternate habit plan.” Things come up: work project, travel, death in family, etc. Things do come up so the approach 1) Make it the top priority and find an alternate plan what happens when an obstacle. 2) Accept that sometimes it is unavoidable and get back into it.

“Build up the habit in your mind.” People tend to dive into habit creation. “I am going to quit smoking today” doesn’t work. Instead create a start date a week later. And take the week to plan out the habits. And announce it to people and make it a big event. When you make it a big event you are committed to it completely.

“If you plan to overcome these obstacles with these simple solutions, you’ll give yourself the greatest chance of habit success.”

Simple Method for Creating Powerful Habits

1. “Come up with a plan.” Take the first week, don’t do the habit and come with a plan. Make a plan for alternate. What positive feedback is going to be. Who is your support system. Announce it.

2. “The more consistent, the stronger the habit.” Take a trigger you do once a day every single day (waking up, brush teeth, drive home from work, eating breakfast). Something you never skip. You create this bond. Do the habit immediately after the trigger.

3. “Have positive feedback for the habit built in your habit.” It could be a reward where every time you go running, write, etc.. Or focus on the things that make the habit enjoyable, Or get encouragement from others.

4. “Share your habit.” As soon as you do the habit report it to the social group. Blog, e-mail, twitter, forum post. This can also be positive feedback.

5. “Report on your habit to a social group.” Same as above but also about a support system. Who are you gonna call? If he had a time he was really wanting to smoke, he would call someone.

6. “Adjust the Habit.” If you are having a difficult time, can you make it easier?

Let’s Create Better Habits Today that will Change Your Life.

Introduce the Habit Course

The Habit Course: Create New Habits For Life. with/ Katie Tallow? and Berry? Davenport.

– Articles with specific strategies and actions for habit creation.
– Case studies from people from all walks of life who have succeeded in creating habits.
– Support via an on-going forum for members only.
– At the end of the week (each week) will have a webinar.
– Videos/podcasts, with guest experts
– Resources, worksheets, planning materials…

At the end you will have a new habit and the tools to create powerful habits.


– Steve Pavlina (Waking up Early)
– Danielle LaPort
– ?? Rubin of the happiness Project
– J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly
– Scott Young of How to change a habit
– Belinda Benn of Get Lean Fast
– Ian Ruby Clarke, professor of Psychology

[Limiting 250 members for first course.]( 20% discount today. $497 ($397).

$250 in bonus stuff.


100% money back if quit within first week.

What advice do you give for getting rid of bad habits? These same things work, (ex. quitting smoking). Find the triggers (ex. after meetings he went smoking), and replace habit with a positive one to that trigger (type up meeting notes,).

Application to bulimia? Can’t help with bulimia, but can help with eating. Need to work on root issues fo bulimia with professional.

What time courses to be held? Every monday you get the module and you have a week to process. Finish by Friday you have a live webinar. 5PM EST friday live

How do you do it with six kids? And how do you do it if spouse doesn’t support? Big help was his wife and the key is 5-10 minutes/day in a habit. As for support, it will be in the course. Don’t force changes on other people (ex. when he became vegetarian he didn’t force it on his family), instead do it by example. Instead go to them beforehand and ask for help for them to be on your team.

If you remove the triggers for a habit, can you re-introduce triggers? Examples? One of the triggers for smoking was going out with other people, but that trigger went dormant. He had to be very conscious when he went out with friends. Quitting smoking or other bad habit is more difficult than creating a positive habit. Instead focus on creating a habit and later, when you are good at the habit forming skill, work on bad habits.

How do you deal when you break a habit and the negative self-talk? Something written about on Zen Habits and usually we are not aware of it so one of the best thing is to be aware when you are doing negative self-talk (start to listen to yourself). When running, he hated. Became aware of it and saw it as a bug and then visualized squashing it. Thinking of how others have started running or quit smoking.

What are the triggers you used personally to stop overeating? The negative self-talk for that is huge. Rationalize overeating with social stuff (just one time, gotta enjoy life, start tomorrow). Social outings is a huge trigger for most people. We talk and eat while we talk and are unaware of eating as we do it. Stress is another huge one (bored, busy, etc.) and other emotional triggers. Use eating as a reward when they’ve done well (I’ll get myself an ice cream cone). Again, positive habits are much easier than negative ones!

Are you currently working on any new habits? Walk and work (at coffee shop) “Sprints”. And lifting weights again. Louis is a former professional athlete so he’s glad that they’re doing it online instead of together because he looks like weakling.

What support is best? Love forum social support but family is the better. Motivator of smoking was not to create habit in daughter. Went to running forum etc. There is a forum for nearly any habit.

How do you overcome sheer laziness? Laziness comes from it is easier not to do habit. This is positive feedback (you feel pleasure in doing nothing). So you need to reverse that. Sitting couch makes me look bad and running allows me to post on the forum.

Regaining habit that you’ve lost? Start as small as possible. You haven’t done it in a while so you can’t do it anymore. For instance, get on bicycle for a few minutes (so easy) that you can’t skip it.

Can your course help with decluttering your life with physical stuff? The first habit is stop yourself from buying more stuff (same with debut). If you are in a hole, stop digger. Then purging stuff which became a positive thing after a while. Don’t worry about purging your house or getting out of debt, focus on the tiny habit.

What are some non-destructive rewards you use. When quitting smoking, didn’t want to stuff self with sweets. Eating and smoking are oral habits so what he would do was freeze grapes. Treat self to frozen grapes and berry. Later running became the reward because it clears head. Sometimes get books and reading it.

Which is the most valuable, which should we learn first? There are so many so the most important is consciousness. Paying attention to triggers and process body goes through as we make changes. As you do you empower yourself to change. Ex. Every time he had urge to smoke, he made tally marks in a notebook, so he became more aware of the urges. Another habit he likes the habit of blogging. It forces you to be aware and reflect.

Is it possible to do more than one habit at once? The word “guilty” is a big thing which leads to negative spiral. Never make yourself feel guilty for messing up. Can you do? Yes it is possible. People who are good can do two, three, even four. People who fail at habits don’t have the skill yet. So just pick one: not one in your work life, one in your social life, one in your personal life. Instead, you pick one and learn the skill of forming habits. Then you can do it again, and eventually you can do more at once.

Do you have tips for irregular lifestyle? Assuming schedule is regular. If you don’t have a routine, have a routine would be good because then you have triggers. Tie the habit something that you definitely do every day (ex. always wake up, always have a first meal of the day, or brush every day).

How long does it take? There is no definitive research, but the average is 68 days. However, that is all habits, so easier habit it is easier to form. Instead give it four weeks and asses is it automatic? Look at record, have you been consistent? If it is, then you can say it’s time to move on.

Do you realize how many people you are changing/inspire? Plans to expand to radio? He is a writer but does webinars to make a personal connection. The reason he does this is he enjoys inspiring. Never expected it to be this big. One time in Las Vegas: “Not only have you changed my life, you saved my father’s life.” Father had stroke and son printed articles on living slowly and got healthy.

What is the thing you’d most like to change? A few years ago it was easier to answer that, right now he is content and living the life he wants to live. Has a simple, positive life.

I was looking for slides for the talk before the webinar and I stumbled on the site, when the Q&A was going the site went down.. 😀

[Marie]( has registered for the course. 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Habit Course

  1. Thanks for posting this. I signed up for the course. I used his Zen to Done ZTD to get my time management under control, so I am looking forward to the course. Now I can pass this link onto friends on Facebook, etc.

    1. Jacki
      What are your views of the course? Did you find it worthwhile? I’d be interested in hearing your point of view.

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