Rules for new habits

Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:

“Remember this always—the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the old undesirable ones. Form new mental paths over which to travel, and the old ones will soon become less distinct and in time will practically fill up from disuse. Every time you travel over the path of the desirable mental habit, you make the path deeper and wider, and make it so much easier to travel it thereafter. This mental path-making is a very important thing, and cannot urge upon you too strongly the injunction to start to work making the desirable mental paths over which you wish to travel. Practice, practice, practice—be a good path-maker.

The following rules will help you in your work in forming new habits:

1. At the beginning of the formation of a new habit, put force into your expression of the action, thought, or characteristic. Remember that you are taking the first steps toward making the new mental path, and it is much harder at the first than it will be afterwards. Make the path as clear and deep as you can, at the start, so that you can see it readily the next time you wish to travel it.
2. Keep your attention firmly concentrated on the new path building, and keep your eyes and thoughts away from the old paths, lest you incline toward them. Forget all about the old paths, and concern yourself only with the new one that you are building.
3. Travel over your newly made path as often as possible. Make opportunities for doing so, without waiting for them to arise. The oftener you go over the new path, the sooner will it become an old, well-worn, easily traveled one. Think out plans for passing over it and using it, at the start.
4. Resist the temptation to travel over the older, easier paths that you have been using in the past. Every time you resist a temptation, the stronger do you become, and the easier will it be for you to do so the next time. But every time you yield to the temptation, the easier does it become to yield again, and the more difficult does it become to resist the next time. You will have a fight on at the start, and this is the critical time. Prove your determination, persistency, and Will power now, right here at the start.
5. Be sure that you have mapped out the proper path—plan it out well, and see where it will lead you to—then go ahead without fear and without allowing yourself to doubt. “Place your hand upon the plow, and look not backward.” Your goal is Financial Success—then make a good, deep, wide mental path leading straight to it.”

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