Full Consistency Guide: The One Tweak That Changed Everything

Today, you’re going to learn my exact 7 step system for how I learned to stick to my habits, consistently, forever.

To start living a life where I actually value those good habits, going to the gym, reading, meditating. Where I actually began choosing delayed gratification over instant gratification.

I want to hold your hand and walk you through each step, in detail. Specifically after the 4th step is when I saw the immediate results.

  • As a BONUS I’ll walk you through the 4 steps of integrating new habits and how to obliterate old habits.
  • I’ve ALSO added a whole section on getting over the 4 problems I ran into after implementing this system.

Let’s go!

Watch this guide here:

My Story

My story starts alone in the middle of the Oregon forest, outside Mt. Hood, where it finally clicked. I made the decision, and that decision changed the course of my life and my habits, forever. Instantly I felt different.

  • I got back into meditation and yoga.
  • I got back into reading.
  • I was running and walking every single day.
  • I finally started doing the things I knew I should be doing for so long.

I’ve been consuming self-improvement content for something like 4 years, but I never seemed to see any meaningful results until this day.

It wasn’t until I fixed the real root of the problem, the thing that I missed all those years. It wasn’t until I made this one change that made all the difference.

This is the key you may be missing, because it’s what I missed all this time.

The Real Problem Is Deeper

For those 4 years of consuming content, trying and failing at sticking to new habits, I was focused on the symptoms, not the real root of the problem.

You’re probably like me in that you generally know how to start habits, but you have trouble sustaining them long term. I used to watch these motivational videos, these YouTube videos, I’d feel inspired, I’d start the new habit and do it for like 2 days. I struggled to be consistent.

You’ve probably already heard this advice…

You just need to…

  • “Be more disciplined”
  • “Keep moving forward”
  • “Increase your willpower”

These are surface level solutions.

None of this helps create long-term change if you root of the problem is not addressed. What I learned is how to fix the ROOT of the problem, and that’s what I’m going to share with you.

An apple tree with rotten roots will never produce good apples. The roots create the fruits. If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots.

What I didn’t understand was that change doesn’t happen at the behavior level.

Simply deciding to start a new habit isn’t sustainable long term. It goes deeper than that. This is the part that’s rarely talked about, the fundamentals of how long term change actually happens.

The 4 Parts Of Behavior

Let’s break down the stack of behavior and action into 4 parts.

We’ll start with our surface-level Actions.

Your actions are what you do every day. Take a second to think of why you do certain things, why do you do certain actions. What happens inside of your body before you decide to eat, you feel hungry.

We act based on our Feelings.

Our emotions dictate how we feel. Our emotions are what drive behavior. When our subconscious mind must pick between deeply rooted emotions and logic, emotions will almost always win.

A couple years ago, I created this website to generate highlights based on livestream chats. It’s to this day one of my most proud accomplishments. I was trying to take it one step further, so I reached out to a livestreamer that I followed and admired to see if he’d be interested in just checking it out.

His editor got back to me saying that he didn’t want to check it out.

I took that so personally…

I spent most of the day ruminating on how I got rejected, how I failed. It dug up insecurities about not feeling accepted, not being good enough, and I ended up not continuing that project.

I literally journaled about how important it was to reframe failures as learnings and continue forward. I still have the note.

This was an attempt to be logical, but it didn’t work. I quit after that.

The deeply rooted emotions always take control.

But change goes even deeper than our feelings because we can’t really control our emotions, they’re often rooted in something deeper, or they just come and go like clouds in the sky.

So, what drives our feelings? Our Thoughts.

If you take a second a think about the thoughts that pop into your brain, you may realize that it feels almost random. This is something I’ve learned from meditation. Change has one last level to it.

What drives our thoughts? Our Identity.

Our identity is who we tell ourselves we are, it’s our beliefs and perceptions about the world. It doesn’t matter if these beliefs and perceptions reflect true reality.

In 5th grade I found out that I was behind the curve in reading. I needed extra help reading, so I took after-school classes, sitting there, reading with my teacher. Whether they meant it or not, I was told to believe that I’m not good at reading.

But now, I read almost basically every day, because my identity is tied to someone who reads and learns.

My identity controlled how I thought, which determined how I felt, and dictated my actions.

So in summary

  • Behavior Stack: Identity –> Thoughts –> Feelings –> Actions

Our identity controls everything we do. You probably haven’t thought about change and habits this deeply. And this is the great news, you can change your identity.

The 4 Steps Of Change

But first, how does change actually happen? There are 4 steps to change.

  1. Awareness
    • The first step is always just awareness, you can’t change something unless you know it exists.
  2. Understanding
    • Next is to understand where the current identity and change came from, by understanding where your way of thinking originates, you can recognize it has come from outside you, it was planted by someone else – our parents, the media, school, etc.
  3. Disassociation
    • Separate ourselves from the way of this thinking that isn’t ours.
  4. Reconditioning
    • Rewire our subconscious mind to become the type of person we actually want to become.

Limiting Beliefs?

Before I dive into this step by step process on how to use this information, I want to give you an opportunity to reflect on how you feel right now.

Maybe things are starting to click for you. Maybe you’re starting to recognize the beliefs you’re telling yourself about the identity you have. Or maybe you’re still skeptical. Maybe you think this isn’t going to help you because you’re special.

Most people have clicked off by now, looking for another motivational video about discipline and wanting it as hard as you need to breathe.

I’m fully convinced that belief and your mindset is the starting point to change. If you want to change, it must start from your beliefs, it doesn’t get any more foundational than that.

The people that have clicked off don’t believe they can change. They’re coming up with excuses as to why they can’t change their identity, why they can’t change their beliefs.

I saw a comment the other day that said,

How do I get my stupid lazy ass to be productive and consistent?

YouTube commenter

My question to you is, do you really think the answer to this person is that they just “need more discipline?” Or is it something more fundamental than that?

This is the self talk, the identity, the beliefs that need to change at a fundamental level.

Let me walk you through how I did this.

System Overview

First, an overview of the 2 things we need to do.

  1. Change our identity
  2. Reinforce this identity

Changing your identity is something you can and will do today, right now.

Reinforcing and rewarding takes time. We’ll do it through 2 steps

  • Offense: through reminding and reaffirming
  • Defense: through reflection and rewards

This will get you on the right track, but it unfortunately isn’t the full picture though. After we talk about the identity change process, I’ll discuss how to actually start habits effectively and then finish with how to overcome the problems that I ran into along this process.

The System

That day in the Oregon was the first day I officially and intentionally changed my identity. I decided that I was now officially on self-improvement, that it was part of my identity now.

That day, I wrote:

On that day, I instantly felt different. It happened immediately.

These are the 7 steps that will walk you through the process that helped me systematize this process for long term change.

Free Downloadable Worksheet!

Step #1 – What do you want?

The first step is identifying what you want. We’re starting high-level.

What type of life do you want to live? How do you want to spend your time? What is your dream life?

There’s a specific reason why we’re starting here at the end rather than where we are right now. We’re going to reverse engineer our goals. It’ll all click for you by step 4.

You want to bring emotion into this. Remember that your subconscious acts upon deeply root emotions and feelings.

If there’s a moment you feel matches with your dream life, write it down. If there’s a moment that just makes you feel disgusted, a moment you hate, right that down.

This will be different for ever person. You may not come up with the same things as me, but I’ll share what I wrote as we go along.

Some things I wrote:

Step #2 – What are the requirements?

Logically, what is required to achieve what you just wrote? What do you need to obtain, what things do you need to do?

Step #3 – What type of person achieves those requirements?

Next, detail out the type of person that achieves the requirements you just wrote about.

What do they believe about the world? What do they value? What do they have? How do they spend their time?

Forget about yourself entirely for a second. This is all about the goals and requirements.

Start with “Someone that…”

At this point, you should now have a clear picture of a type of person and have full confidence that that person achieves the requirements and thus the things that you want.

Before the next step, you need to be 100% confident in this.

Step #4 – Your identity

This step is the crux of it all. In this step, we define your new identity. This identity should match exactly the type of person you described above.

Start with “I am…”

The goal is to become the type of person that does things consistently. To become someone that does these as part of their identity.

A quick reminder about how strong our identity is…

  • Bees make honey and build hives… because they’re bees.
  • Beavers build dams… because they’re beavers.
  • A writer writes… because they’re a writer.
  • A reader reads… because they’re a reader.

Step #5 – Affirmations

Under each statement, write out statements of how this identity acts, affirming that you have and do things already. It doesn’t matter if this is different from how you currently act.

Here, you can also list out anything else that you want or need to remind yourself of, in the format that you already have it.

Step #6 – Reinforce them

Chances are good you’ve held your current identity and beliefs for years, maybe decades. Seeing the results of change will take time. The best way I’ve found to fast track this is to reinforce my identity daily.

My goal here is to be reading and speaking the identity and affirmation statements I outlined above every single day.

Here are some actionable ideas on how to help you do this:

  • Make a repeating calendar event every morning, afternoon, evening
  • Set up a reminder app
    • I’ve been using Randomly RemindMe on Android (free). It pushes a notification to my phone at random times during the day. I have it set to pick a random identity/affirmation statement. I see it, read it, and speak it out loud.
  • Take a screenshot and set it as your lock screen on your phone.
  • Write them down on a piece of paper or print them out and stick them on your wall or ceiling.
  • Create a daily repeating todo-list task.
    • I use Todoist on my phone and laptop (free). I set up a repeating task called Daily Affirmations that reminds me to check, read them, say them out loud.
  • Habit stack
    • Make it a habit to read and speak them every day.
    • One of the best ways to implement a new habit is to stack it onto another habit.
    • Every night just before I set my alarm and close my phone (an existing habit), I read them out loud.
    • Every morning as soon as I wake up and open my phone (an existing habit) I read them out loud (I’m still working on getting this habit engrained).

Step #7 – Take action and reward it

The last step to this is to take actions that match your identity and specifically reward those actions and small wins.

I have a note in my Obsidian called “I am a problem solver.”

Every day, I put a problem that I found that day inside. Seeing the list grow gives me a bit of dopamine (reward).

  • 11/24/22 I want to control my mindset. I keep falling back to bad habits. I can never stick to any changes.
  • 12/5/22 I’m in a rut and don’t know how to get out. What exactly are the steps I should take?

I have another note called “I take action on ideas.”

Every so often, when I think of an idea and then pursue it, I throw it in there as an example.

  • Last night I…
  • Today I…

For me, thinking about an action I took and writing it down as if I’m sharing a success with a friend makes me feel good about it. It rewards the behavior that I want.

Side note, I made a DailyV related to this if you want to check that out:

And here’s one on rewarding a win I had:

Bonus 1: Integrating New Habits

Congratulations! You made it through, if you followed along, you probably feel quite good and motivated right now. That’s how I felt.

I want to help walk you how to actually this motivation because you probably want to make some changes immediately.

Changing how you act means integrating new habits. This is everything I know about integrating new habits. Right after that I’ll give you some essential tips I’ve learned about new and old habits.

Habits follow a pattern of 4 steps.

  1. Cue – what happens in the environment that causes your brain to start a craving
    • I see an Instagram notification, so I start craving the feeling of opening the app
  2. Craving – the motivation to initiate a behavior, this is the dopamine causing you to act
    • I start craving seeing the notification, so I open up the app
  3. Response – the actual habit, thought, action
    • I see the message, I start scrolling.
  4. Reward – the end goal, the response delivers the reward
    • I get a hit of feeling satisfied having cleared and seen the notification

To design good habits, we want to take advantage of these steps.

  1. Cue – Make it totally obvious
    • I put my book on my pillow
  2. Craving – Make it attractive
    • I pick a book I’m interested in reading
  3. Response – Make it easy
    • I tell myself I’m only gonna read for 5 minutes every night, that’s it
  4. Reward – Make it satisfying
    • I check off a box that I read for 5 minutes today

To break bad habits, we want to inverse these steps.

  1. Cue – Make it invisible
    • I put my phone on do not disturb, I remove notifications, I delete the app from my phone
  2. Craving – Make it unattractive
    • I have to reinstall the app
  3. Response – Make it difficult
    • I have to go into the other room to get my phone
  4. Reward – Make it unsatisfying
    • I remember the loss of focus and feeling of discomfort having scrolled for an hour

Bonus 2: 4 Essential Tips

In this last section, these are all the difficult things I ran into and ideas for how to get through them:

How to get through the valley of despair

There are 5 stages of an emotional change:

  1. Uninformed optimism
    1. You’re excited, you image the benefits, and you don’t see the downsides
    2. You’re probably here now
  2. Informed pessimism
    1. Once you start actually learning what it takes, pessimism sets in, the benefits don’t seem as important or real anymore and the costs start outweighing the benefits
    2. You look for reasons to abandon ship
  3. Valley of despair
    1. This is when many people give up
    2. Benefits seem far away and unimportant
    3. You can persevere if you really understand why you’re making the change and have a clear and compelling future vision of what you want to achieve
    4. This is where you may have been just before this
  4. Informed optimism
    1. The possibility of success increases
    2. The benefits start realizing and the cost to change feels worth it
    3. Keep going, don’t stop
  5. Success and fulfillment
    1. The benefits are fully experienced and the costs are worth it
    2. The things that were difficult and uncomfortable are now routine

Getting through the valley of despair is so crucial.

The first couple days after I went through this process, I kept forgetting to read out my affirmations, I kept skipping habits. It was inevitable. This was a new habit I was forming, a change.

Do remember that our goal is that we WANT internal friction when we’re doing the bad habits or not doing the good habits. When I skip a meditation, reading, going to the gym, I feel conflict because I’m reinforcing this identity.

Side note, if you want to see my thought process in real time, I made a DailyV going through this process:

Ideas for getting through it:

  1. Design your habits, your success metric around your laziest days, your down days – they should be dead simple to complete
    • “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear
  2. Make a tweak to the cue, craving, response, reward cycle.
    • Can I make this habit more obvious to me?
    • Can I make this more attractive?
    • Can I make this easier to complete?
    • Can I make this more satisfying?
  3. Keep rereading those affirmations.
    • Lean back on the process, lean back on your identity, lean on your confidence that the identity you’re reinforcing achieves the goals you want.
  4. If it’s towards the end of the day, set yourself up for success tomorrow, don’t dwell on today.

How to get over the mental hurdle of just starting

A couple years ago, I consistently had trouble getting over this mental hurdle of starting, of picking up the book, sitting down and writing.

  1. Pick a really really small task to complete, like just standing up, like putting away a single dish from the counter.
    • If you still don’t feel like doing that, your task is too big, make it smaller and easier.
    • There’s psychology behind this, when you complete a task, no matter how big, you complete a dopamine circuit in your brain.
    • Completing that circuit literally produces adrenaline, which gives you the ability and motivation to complete more tasks.
    • This could be it’s own video honestly.
  2. If I recognize myself starting to procrastinate, if I’ve already sat down or picked up the book, I set a timer.
    • This has worked wonders for me. I immediately feel the urgency of the timer ticking down.

How to see results fast

First, understand that results take time. We’re working to reverse decades of behavior and internal programming.

I’m putting my focus on the systems, on my identity, on my affirmations, not on the results. I’m trusting the process.

If you DO want to see micro results quickly

  1. Think about how you can reward the habits and systems.
    • Check off a box that you did the habit every day.
  2. Drastically change your environment that makes all your old habits invisible.
    • Wake up earlier and go to bed earlier
    • Move your desk or bed to another part of the room
    • Book an Airbnb or hotel for the weekend somewhere new
    • Visit a new place you’ve never been
    • This helps recalibrate your mind when you’re in a whole new place.

When I started van life, my nighttime routine was completely different, I had to relearn everything and where everything was. That said, I had the opportunity to re-learn habits, implement new habits, and quit any of my bad habits. It took me a solid 2 weeks just to relearn my nighttime routine.

Changing your environment means your old habits become invisible.

Content consumption

We’ve all heard that quote

We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

The equivalent nowadays is

We’re the average of the 5 people whose content we consume online.

Our community of people, our tribe that we identity is so important to our future success.

I try to keep this community of people, this type of content aimed at continual improvement. I’m trying to limit who I learn from to be people who have what I want or are on the same journey as me.

Next Steps

I want to end this with saying thank you for watching/reading and to talk about what’s next.

I’m starting to synthesize 2 other steps that are crucial to sustaining change.

  1. Mental health
  • This is a life long journey, but if you’re still having trouble focusing and making changes after all this, it might be mental health that needs the most attention.
  • Exercise, meditation, expressing gratitude, and decreasing my social media use/instant gratification really helps my focus and ability to work.
  • You can read Hamza’s full mental health guide here: Hamza’s Full (Written) Mental Health Guide For Men
  1. Becoming rational, stoic, not letting emotions influence you
  • I’m still working on this, on not letting my emotions get in the way of my path to my goals. That said, I’ve heard from numerous authors and successful people, from many time periods, on the importance of becoming rational and stoic.

If you learned something new or helpful, drop a comment down below. Let’s get through this together.

I’m grateful that you’ve taken some of your most precious resource to read/watch. I’ll catch you in the next one.

Guide Inspiration

Some of the external content that went into this guide


  1. Thanks for the guide it means a lot.

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