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What is The X Effect

I’m a piece of s**t. No more games, No more lies, No more excuses. I need discipline. I need help.

That was the title of the post on Reddit that started the “X Effect.” The poster went on to say:
“I desperately need to be disciplined. I need time management skills, I need something to get me very simple life even simpler. Their are other people out there with real problems, and I can barley handle the simplest tasks. I’m a lazy piece of s**t, I want to change. I need to change for my own good. Please help me brothers/sisters of Reddit. I’m a fool who needs to be guided on the right path.”
They had hit rock bottom and desperately wanted to change. One of the commenter’s shared some some advise on habit formation that went on to inspire a whole Reddit community.

What is the X Effect

The X Effect is a tool for creating habits, the basis of which is marking an X on a grid every time you do your habit.
  1. Get some index cards, a pen and a marker.
  2. With the pen draw 6 vertical lines and 6 horizontal lines to create a 7×7 grid of 49 squares.
  3. Decide on a daily habit you want to create.
  4. On the back of a card write why you are creating this habit.
  5. Now start! The 49 squares represent 7 weeks. Every day you do the habit take the marker and put a big X in the next square.
  6. After a week you’ll have 7 X’s on your card. Take a picture and show it off.
  7. After 7 weeks you will have completed 49 days! On day 50 not only will you have a new habit but you will have physical proof that you did it.
  8. Now make a new card and either continue the habit or find a new thing you want to do.

Now your turn

As habit formation tools go, the X Effect is pretty straight forward. It has also has many thousands of followers. Give it a go, see if it can help you too. There is even an online tool to help you create your X Effect sheet.
Learn more about how habits work.


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