There is nothing wrong with making mistakes.

After all, making mistakes is one of the key ways we learn, grow and build all sorts of important qualities like persistence and resilience.

Mistakes only become a problem when we keep repeating the same ones.

I’ve always said that it seems I have to learn things the hard way — and the expensive way! And I must admit, I’ve often made the same mistakes over and over again before I finally get it.

When we continually repeat the same mistake, we aren’t learning anything from it. Worse yet, repeating the same mistakes stalls any positive progress we may be making in life. If this sounds familiar, and you are ready to stop making the same mistakes, consider these nine tips.

1. Identify the Mistakes You Repeat
You can’t take action on your mistakes until you identify and acknowledge them. Strive to be more aware of the present moment. If you make a mistake, ask yourself if this is something you keep doing. Once you have an idea of the mistakes you keep making, you can correct them.

Do you continually run an overdraft on your checking account? Do you hit the snooze button again and again? Do you eat or snack mindlessly? Do you go to bed way too late for when you need to get up? Do you forget to call your mom? do you get up too late to take a walk?

2. Why Does This Keep Happening?
Once you have singled out a mistake (or more) that you keep repeating, ask yourself why this keeps happening. Getting to the root cause of why you are repeatedly making the same mistake is important because it allows you to address the underlying cause.

3. How Do My Mistakes Harm Me?
A great way to avoid making the same mistakes again is to carefully consider how they are harming you. When you identify your mistakes’ negative impact, you will naturally feel more motivated to stop them.

For example: snacking mindlessly can lead to weight gain or high blood sugar, staying up too late can make you rushed or late in the morning.

4. Learn a Lesson from Your Mistakes
A mistake isn’t a problem if it teaches you a lesson. Make sure that you take a lesson from each mistake you make. When it comes to recurring mistakes, the lesson should be identifying ways to avoid making that mistake again.

5. Make a Plan
If you’re struggling to avoid certain mistakes, make a plan of attack. Take the time to write down steps you can take to address the mistake. This simple act not only gives you a plan to take action on, but it also helps your subconscious recognize the mistake (hopefully) before it happens again.

6. Change Your Habits
If you keep doing the same things, you are going to keep making the same mistakes. It might be time for you to switch things up a bit. By building positive habits (or avoiding negative ones), you change the way you do things. Ideally, this means you will get different results, which may be enough to avoid certain recurring mistakes.

So if snacking continuously all day is one of your “mistakes” perhaps make it a rule for yourself that you will only snack at certain times of the day.

7. Address Your Weaknesses
Once you have identified your recurring mistakes, check to see if they are caused in part by any weaknesses you have. If so, consider taking the steps needed to address those weaknesses. If you can’t address a weakness on your own, consider asking a close friend, a coach, or a therapist for help.

8. Apologies Must Mean Something
If you repeatedly make the type of mistakes that you have to apologize for, remember that an apology has to mean something. Take time to consider how you may have harmed someone else, and when you apologize, do it thoughtfully and sincerely. When you recognize the severity of your mistakes, it’s easier to avoid them.

9. Surround Yourself with Honest Friends
A great way to break the cycle of repeated mistakes is to have friends that aren’t scared to tell you how it is. When you have loved ones that feel comfortable calling you out, it helps you avoid making the same mistakes repeatedly. They will tell you the things that you might not want to admit to yourself.


1. Take 20-30 minutes to brainstorm a list of mistakes that you repeatedly make.

2. Identify 2-3 of these mistakes that you’d like to stop making. To begin, choose the ones you feel are easiest to address.

3. Write out an action plan to deal with each of the mistakes you just chose.