Guide to Good Habits: How to Build & Make Them Stick

Good habits are what keep people healthy, happy and productive. But how do you get them? How do you build good habits and make them stick? It is so easy to fall into bad habits and routines. We get stuck in our ways, and it becomes difficult to break the cycle. But what if we could develop good habits that would replace those old ones? It’s possible, but it does take some effort on your part. This article will provide an overview of the science behind habit formation. It’ll offer some practical steps for building new habits, as well as look at the common pitfalls that can derail even your best intentions to build better habits. So read on if you’re looking for tips on how to create lasting change in your life! Having a habit you can rely on is a wonderful feeling. It’s even more rewarding when it’s something positive and healthy. Habits are all formed from repetition, so if you want to form good habits, the first step is to start by doing one thing right for 21 days in a row. In this article, we will explore how you can create new habits and keep those already going well! There are many online resources to help with your journey of building better habits – be sure to check out our blog for some helpful tips too! How do you go about building good habits? Do they just come to you, or are there things that can be done to make them more likely to form? Some people believe in using commitment devices like the “don’t break the chain” method. Others advocate for mindfulness and awareness of your daily routines. The most important thing is that whatever strategy you choose makes sense, lasts over time, and involves a reward at some point. Most people want to be better. They want to do more, have more, and experience more in life. But the fact is that most of us are running on fumes day after day, just barely getting through our tasks at hand – never feeling fulfilled or satisfied with what we’ve accomplished. It’s hard to get motivated when you’re always exhausted, and all your efforts go unnoticed by others. This guide will show you how to make good habits stick so that they become a part of who you are instead of something you force yourself to do out of obligation or guilt. You may be wondering how to build good habits and make them stick. You’re not alone, but you’re in luck because this blog post is just what the doctor ordered! We’ll explore some of the best ways to do so and give you a few tips on keeping your new habit strong for as long as possible. Let’s get started!

How to Build Good Habits

Once upon a time, Aristotle stated: “What we do over and over defines who we are. Therefore, excellence is not an act but rather a habit.” The desire to remain in our current state motivates many of us to resist making necessary changes in our lives. Of course, you can blame it on inertia or anything else you want, but to get things moving, you need to push yourself. You need to develop healthy routines to achieve your success goals, accomplish more in life, and feel fulfilled. And doing so is a complex task. It would help if you were motivated, had a solid plan, and had an approach carefully considered to build good habits successfully. Our lives are made more organised and manageable by our habits. When behaviours are repeated frequently enough, they eventually turn into habits. At this point, they become second nature and require much less of the mental and emotional energy that was necessary for the beginning. The majority of us have yet to be successful in our attempts to form habits. Consider how many times you’ve set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year, only to forget about them by February. Consequently, we get a negative impression of ourselves and believe we lack the self-control, self-discipline, and motivation necessary to continue working towards our objectives. When we fail at something, our self-esteem suffers, and as a result, we are less likely to try it again because we no longer believe that we can be successful. However, scientific research reveals a very different picture. Study after study demonstrates that if one takes a particular strategy for the formation of positive habits, one is guaranteed to achieve success. It is because performing the habit requires less and less conscious attention as well as less and less internal motivation. If you take this approach, you’ll find that the habits you want to perform become second nature, and you’ll even feel strange if you can’t perform the habit for some reason. It will happen because the habits will become second nature to you.

1. Planning

Benjamin Franklin devised a creative strategy to kick his bad habits and establish new, healthier routines for himself. He enumerated thirteen qualities that he believed contributed significantly to his success in life. According to what he said, focusing on each of them for 13 weeks, focusing on one virtue per week, can produce very positive results. If he believed that he had successfully kicked his bad habit, he moved on to the next one; if he did not, he began the process all over again. Although spontaneity is one of the defining characteristics of an adventurous spirit, it is not helpful when trying to form a new routine for yourself. For the routine to eventually become a habit, you need to approach it correctly. It is the strategy that has a chance of succeeding for you. You should “goal” something that you want to accomplish in the future. Remember that your objective ought to be particular, attainable, practical, and time-bound simultaneously. Determine the routines that will assist you in achieving your objectives and that will fit in well with the routines that you already engage in. It will be much simpler for you to adjust to a new routine if you choose a practice that already fits into your day-to-day routine. Find the drive within yourself to see the task through to completion. Your motivation should be what gets you started, and your habits should keep you going once you’ve got going.

2. Micro Quotas and Major Goals

The adage that “slow and steady wins the race” is something everyone is familiar with. There will be no abrupt or significant shifts in your life if you set goals that you can achieve and integrate them into your day-to-day routine. Despite this, there is no doubt that it will be profitable in the long run. It is critical to developing appropriate intrinsic motivators for oneself. For instance, you may not want to participate in a certain activity because you will be punished or rewarded for it. You want to do it rather because it is something you want for yourself. Imagine that you have decided to reduce your weight and run five miles first thing in the morning every day. Imagine for a moment that the only reason you made a choice was because of the pressure put on you by your loved ones. Even before it got underway, the plan was already doomed to fail. Set goals and quotas to guide you. It is one possible way that it could go. Your goals should represent the pinnacle of success that you envision for yourself, such as getting the highest grade in the class. Quotas are the daily tasks that need to be completed to progress towards a goal, such as completing your homework consistently. Take on no more than you are capable of chewing. If you set goals that are impossible to achieve, the experience will leave you feeling disheartened and negatively impact you.

3. Be Positive


Instead of asserting that something cannot be done, try asking how it can be done. If you want to improve your abilities and accomplish more, it would be best to have positive thoughts to help you. Not only does thinking happy thoughts cause brief periods of joy, but they also improve our ability to form healthy routines and learn skill sets that will come in handy later in life. As a result, you should not think about the past but instead, concentrate solely on the here and now. The things that keep you up at night and consume your thoughts for days on end may never even come to pass. But, even if they do, you can do nothing about it, so there is no point in ruining the present for nothing. The fact that we will all eventually pass away does not mean that you should let fear of death control how you live your life. Instead, it would help if you tried to keep your worries to a minimum and let go of the negative feelings.

4. Eliminate Excessive Options

Have you ever wondered why Barack Obama favours wearing only black or blue suits and never any other colour? There is a compelling justification for doing so.cLocate the parts of your life that are repetitive and do not bring you any sense of fulfilment, and eliminate them. In a study conducted in the 1990s by Roy Baumeister, a professor at Florida State University, it was observed that making repeated choices can prevent you from making smart decisions, even if the choices you make aren’t that taxing by themselves. It was the case even though the choices that you make aren’t that taxing on their own.

5. Find healthy ways to reward yourself

Do you remember the days when your mum would reward you with candy if you finished your homework? Of course, you do. Didn’t the possibility of getting an additional piece of candy give us the fortitude we needed to take on the challenges presented by the math problems? What if, when it comes to forming healthy routines, we apply the same guiding principle? When we first start engaging in unhealthy behaviours, it’s because they make us feel good, even if only temporarily. When we are going through a difficult or frustrating period, or when we are just feeling out of sorts, we cling to that feeling of happiness, thinking that it will calm us down. For instance, you have resolved to initiate a programme to improve your health, but today is not your day. As a result, you overeat to alleviate the stress of the day, leading to your experiencing depressed feelings the following day. The same is true for engaging in excessive amounts of smoking or drinking. You are calm and at ease, and when you finally come to your senses, you solemnly promise to end the act as soon as possible. But as soon as another challenging day comes, you forget about your vow. Put an end to this never-ending cycle by praising and rewarding yourself whenever you achieve even a small victory over a bad habit. Give yourself some of what you enjoy doing the most. It could be anything from a freshly released book to a recently watched movie or even one of your favourite games. Invest in ensuring you have the mental energy to commit to new habits. The formation of healthy routines only takes place in stages rather than over time. But, it’s a change that will help you relive your life and forget the past so that you can have a better time here and now and in the future.

How To Make Good Habits Stick

Have you ever wondered why some people seem able to accomplish so much and how they form such positive habits? They follow through on their intentions when they say things like “I’m going to…” begin an exercise routine, eat more healthfully, become more organised, or read more. But things take a turn for the worse when you attempt to achieve the same objectives. You can follow through with them for a while, but eventually, you will become unmotivated and give up. When something like this sometimes happens in a row, it’s easy to become frustrated and disheartened. But forming and maintaining healthy habits doesn’t have to be as challenging or unpleasant as you might think. It’s not always hard to do. And even a good deal of enjoyment.

1. Start Ridiculously Small

The majority of people aim to bring about significant change as quickly as they can. They want to go from never going to the gym to going four times a week, switching to a healthy diet in an instant, and meditating for 20 minutes every day, although, in the past, they could hardly meditate for five minutes at a time. The challenge, of course, is that this calls for an incredible amount of self-control on your part. In addition, studies have shown that one’s willpower operates in a manner very similar to that of a muscle. Therefore, the more you use it, the more worn down it will become. And when it does, you will have a high propensity to give up.

The best approach to solving this issue is, to begin with, something so insignificant that it requires almost no willpower at all:

  • Start with five or even just one pushups per day rather than trying to do fifty every day.
  • Instead of going on a completely new diet, try substituting one vegetable for another at each meal.
  • Begin by jumping on a rebounder for two minutes each day rather than for the recommended twenty minutes.

Always give your full attention to developing the actual behaviour of the habit first. It would help if you never made an effort any greater before it has turned into a normal part of what you do.

2. Begin with One Habit at a Time

Do not attempt to change more than one habit at a time if you are starting with this strategy for developing positive routines. For example, reduce your weight by ten pounds through physical activity and dietary changes. Please choose one of these new behaviours to start with and work on making it a habit before moving on to the other. Doing both at the same time is unlikely to be successful. Pick the option that will be less difficult. Start by reducing the number of calories you eat daily if it seems less difficult than beginning a regular running routine. The first habit you form may become a “keystone habit” that reinforces and motivates you to form subsequent habits. Dieting will leave you feeling so motivated that you will look forwards to establishing an exercise routine to support your success in reaching your weight loss goals.

3. Get Hooked on Your Habit

Have you ever experienced how challenging it is to move on from a project after devoting a significant amount of time and energy to it? We can take advantage of this tendency by employing a tactic that comedian Jerry Seinfeld refers to as the “Don’t Break the Chain” strategy. Seinfeld utilised this strategy to become a better comedian by writing a new joke daily. After that, whenever he had finished his writing for the day, he would mark that day on his calendar with a large cross in red. Within a short period, he established a chain he did not intend to break. It is a very astute tactic that you can use to create a visual reminder of how much effort you’ve invested in your routine, and you can put it to use in different ways. But, alas, you will likely discover that the longer the chain grows, the more difficult it will be for you to fight to keep it going. Therefore, acquire a calendar, place a marker next to it, and initiate the process of developing your habit. Your only task at this point is to keep the chain intact.

4. Attach the Habit to a Trigger

Have you ever taken notice of the fact that smokers frequently light up in response to predetermined triggers? After a meal, with a cocktail, or even with their first cup of coffee in the morning, they might feel compelled to light up. The association between the trigger and the smoking habit is so powerful that it is almost uncontrollable when it occurs. You can develop this same association for positive habits by attaching them to existing automatic behaviours that cue you to perform the habit. One such behaviour is brushing your teeth before going to bed at night. Getting out of bed in the morning, taking a shower in the morning, brushing your teeth, or any other behaviour you do daily consistently could be considered a trigger. As soon as you have completed the routine or activity you already do each day, starting the new habit would help. However, you’ll find that, after some time, you don’t even think about it anymore. It is because the results of one action lead logically to those of the next. Avoid selecting triggers that don’t occur simultaneously each day. It would help if you instead strived to establish a reliable and unchanging routine.

5. Have Clear Intentions


The expression “I’ll try to hit the gym three times this week” will not cut it if you’re serious about forming a new habit. According to the findings of some studies, if you plan precisely when and where the behaviour will take place, you are much more likely to carry it out as intended.

Here are three effective strategies for accomplishing this goal:

  • Establish what is called an “implementation intention.” Consider your routine in terms of an “If-Then” statement. As an illustration, you could say, “Once I’ve finished my breakfast, I’ll do five pushups.”
  • It’s called “habit stacking.” By filling in the blanks with the following, you can link your new routine to the behaviour you already engage in (as discussed in the section on triggers). For example, “After/Before I [already have this habit], I will [start a new habit].”

For illustration, “When I get home from work, I’m going to go for a brisk walk.” As you gain more experience in the art of habit formation, you will find that you can combine several of the habits you have developed. Meditation in the morning may prompt you to eat a nutritious breakfast, which may prompt you to go for a run first thing in the morning. Implement scheduling. Although it might appear self-explanatory, only some people employ this strategy. What gets scheduled gets done. If maintaining your routine is truly important to you, then your calendar should reflect that priority. Give it the same amount of time and attention you would give to an important business meeting.

6. Create An Accountability System

The actions and routines of your partner have been shown to impact how you behave and what you do significantly. Therefore, commit to your partner working on a healthy habit together and acting as accountability partners for one another by making a pact to do so. Each day, report back to one another on whether or not you practised your habit (even if it’s different) and discuss why you didn’t follow through with the habit if you skipped it. Your motivation to finish what you start can be increased by participating in a healthy competition and using a reporting system. Find someone or something else to use as a form of accountability if you do not have a roommate or partner who lives with you. You can even post updates about your daily activities on various social media platforms.

7. Celebrate Your Small Wins

If you’re like most people, you’re much better at berating yourself for poor performance than rewarding yourself for a good one when it comes to your own actions. When it comes to self-management, for some reason, we tend to choose the “stick” approach rather than the “carrot” approach. It’s a shame because studies have shown that celebrating small victories along the way can have a significant impact on one’s level of motivation. The reward circuitry in your brain is activated whenever you reward yourself for making progress, regardless of how minor the achievement may be. That triggers the release of certain key chemicals, which give you a sense of accomplishment and pride in your accomplishments. These feelings, in turn, give you the power to act and create larger successes in the future for yourself. Therefore, you should congratulate yourself after every step you take in the right direction, regardless of how small those steps may be.

8. Design Your Environment

Your environment influences your behaviour in many different ways. For example, have you ever gone into your kitchen, seen a plate of cookies sitting on the counter, and then eaten those cookies simply because they were in front of you? In that case, you already understand what I mean. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor of psychology and bestselling author, offers an excellent framework for moulding your environment to support the habits you want to cultivate. He suggests that you make a concerted effort to alter the “activation energy” of your routines consciously. The concept behind this is that every one of your routines requires a certain amount of effort to be carried out successfully. And the greater the activation energy it requires, the less likely you will carry it out.

Let’s say you want to read more books, but you find yourself watching more TV than books most of the time instead. Therefore, here is what you have to do:

You can steer yourself in the right direction by adjusting the activation energy of your behaviours.

9. Surround Yourself With Supporters

Surprisingly, the people in our immediate environment have a significant influence on the way we behave. Even if your friend lives hundreds of miles away, having a friend who is obese raises your risk of becoming obese by 57 per cent, according to one study. It is true even if your friend is already obese. Other studies have shown that we are most likely to adopt the attitudes and goals of the people with whom we spend the most time and feel the same way about those things. Therefore, having the right people on your side is one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of success dramatically. If you want to start leading a healthier lifestyle but all of your friends lead unhealthy lifestyles, it’s time to expand your social circle. And if you want to make big things happen in your life but you’re surrounded by pessimists who drag you down, it’s time to create a support group that inspires you and picks you back up when you fail. If you want to make big things happen, it’s time to create a support group. Be selective in the people you choose to spend most of your time with because you will become an average of the five people you spend the most time with.

10. Pre-Commit To Your Habit

Imagine it is six o’clock in the morning, and your alarm goes off. As soon as you start to think about it, your brain will talk you out of going to the gym in the morning before work. I’m quite exhausted at the moment. Is exercising beneficial when I’m in this idle state? After work, I’d have time to work out at the gym. Alternatively, I could get up early tomorrow and work out at the gym. I’m going to go ahead and hit the snooze button.” Then, however, you recall that you have committed to meeting a friend at the fitness centre at 7:00 in the morning. Or that you’ve committed to your exercise routine by promising a friend that you’ll give them fifty dollars if you don’t make it to the gym in the morning before work. Or that you’ve made a public commitment in front of your family, blog readers, or Facebook friends to follow your exercise routine for the next thirty days. Or, if that doesn’t work, all of the options listed above. Suddenly, going back to sleep won’t be such an appealing option. However, you can add a layer of accountability to the situation by pre-committing in this way, which will encourage you to keep going even when it’s difficult.

11. Change Your Mindset


Adopt the mindset of a “scientist and subject” when developing a new routine. Think of everything you do as a behavioural experiment, where each failure provides you with valuable data that you can use to inform your next move. You need to redirect your attention away from the long-term goal and instead concentrate on consistently engaging in the habit you want to form and showing up for it. Don’t be the one to spoil the chain. If you remain committed to the procedure, the outcomes you seek will eventually materialise as an unintended consequence of your actions.

Ready to start building good habits?

Please don’t let the length of this list intimidate you. If you have a plan in place, you can ensure that you will approach your next habit goal in the most effective manner. Remember.

You will continue to make progress in the right path with the help of these three primary efforts. And even if you stray from your routine on a particular day, you shouldn’t let that derail you completely. Instead, start fresh the following day and try not to worry too much. Give your new behaviour a few weeks, or even a couple of months, depending on how difficult it is to break the habit, so that it can become second nature to you. The next step is to practise self-compassion and gratitude for even the smallest victories. You’ll have mastered the art of habit formation before you know it!

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