There I was, stuck outside the gym at 5:30am in the morning, watching the class I was supposed to take through the window.

Why was I watching kettlebell swings instead of doing some myself?

When I heated the car that morning I neglected to hit the defrost button. This meant my car was getting toasty without my window getting any less icy (it was early!!).

That was my excuse. But really, I just hadn’t given myself enough time. 

You see, this happened before…

Pretty much the EXACT same thing happened the day prior. Yes, even down to the defrost mishap.

You know what they say. Once is a mistake, but twice is a pattern.


Last week, I talked about how we learn some lessons multiple times. You can’t expect yourself to change immediately when you make mistakes, and you don’t need to beat yourself up over making the same mistake more than once. 

But it got me thinking. How many times should you learn a lesson? And what can you do to help yourself learn more quickly?

You have to identify your patterns

It’s one thing to accept that improvement takes time, but it’s another to ignore a continued pattern of self-inflicted struggles.

The difference is in the awareness–and intention for the future.

Problem is, we’re generally not very good at identifying our own patterns. It’s not like watching a scary movie and knowing the girl shouldn’t check that noise outside. We’re busy living our lives instead of analyzing them, and I think that’s good to a degree.

So what can we do to get better at spotting our patterns?

The first step is to simply be open to considering whether your mistakes or annoyances are part of something larger. When something frustrates you, start by asking: is this part of a pattern

For me, back-to-back days of showing up late to the gym made a clear pattern. Your examples may be less obvious, but by opening your mind to pattern-spotting, you’ll be more likely to see some for yourself.

To being better without doing taxes on the day they’re due every year,