Good Habits

How to Build Good Habits in 7 Simple Steps

Good habits are the key to a healthier and happier, more productive and successful life. Every day we see or hear about habits we should build to achieve personal or professional improvements.

Mostly they are like “running 3 times a week”, “drinking 8 glasses of water every day”, “spending at least 1 hour a day with family”, “brainstorming for new ideas for 15 minutes every workday” …

Going big when picking new habits we’d like to build is the initial mistake. Because the bigger the task, the more likely we are to find excuses not to do it.

Maybe we will stick to it once or twice, but in most cases, we won’t be able to make it a habit.

To avoid that, we have to take a proper approach to build good habits by following 7 simple steps.

Strong Power of Habit

In life, every change for the better requires effort and devotion. The more work we have to do, the less likely we are to achieve the change.

Changes are stressful and we are resistant to them.

Routine is comfortable but as difficult as building habits is, they become routine when we finally manage to form them.

Well … do you remember the last time you forgot to brush your teeth? How hard is it for you to lock the door when you leave home? Do you wake up every morning at the same time?

This is the power of habit – you do things automatically, without even considering them. They’ve become a routine that you follow every day of every week.

Habits have very strong power in keeping us on track. By picking good ones, we can improve our life and well-being. But the real question here is how to build good habits.

7 Steps to a Healthier and Happier Life through Building Good Habits

Good habits are hard to form, but following the 7 steps, described below, you will be more likely to build them successfully.

1. Pick a goal

Pick a goal you want to reach by building a new habit. When we have a goal ahead of us, we know why we are doing something and motivation increases. It is also crucial to set realistic and achievable goals.

2. Make a list

Make a list of habits that can help you achieve that goal. For example, if you want to lose 5 pounds in the next six months, regular physical activity and proper nutrition would help. So the habits would be along the lines of cooking at least one healthy meal a week or running every day for at least 30 minutes.

3. Start small

Similar to the goal-setting technique, it will be easier to form a habit if we begin with small steps. To create a new habit, pick something so simple that you won’t be able to make any excuses. For example, going for a 15 minutes walk every day when coming home from work.

4. Repeat repeat repeat

To form a habit, you have to repeat the same activity over and over again. It is even better if you do it every day at the same time.

5. Increase the duration or intensity

Increase the duration or intensity of activity when you get used to it. Add 5 minutes to your walking routine every week and maybe even start running as well. Once you are doing your thing, it shouldn’t be hard for you to extend it a bit.

6. Get a routine buddy

Some support, competition, and company never hurt anyone. If you know someone who would like to join your routine or someone who already has a routine you’d like to join, try to get in touch.

7. Check the results

Now that you’ve built your good habit, check the results. Do you feel like you are on the right path to losing those 5 pounds? Seeing your own progress is also a good motivation. And if keeping this good habit feels so good, why not build another one?

Eva Kovač

Eva Kovac is a performance psychologist working in the field of talent management, organizational psychology, and performance psychology. She is educated as a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist, a medical hypnotherapist. Eva has rich global experiences working with international organizations on employee well-being programs and professional athletes, teams, managers, and talents. Eva is also a guest speaker at many international conferences on psychology-related topics. Stress managment facilitator for Apollo Hospitals, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, NSIC, AIMA, Roseate Hotels and many others.