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How to Build Great Habits

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

It’s finally here – SUMMER! And we’re halfway through 2022! Thought I’d check in on how your goals are coming? Or, like me, have you stumbled? Whether it’s getting in shape or learning a new skill, today you’ll get insights on how to build a good habit. It isn’t always easy. In fact, overcoming the stumbling blocks is half the battle.

Here’s what I’ve learned while establishing a habit of walking early mornings—every morning.

Before You Begin

Once you have a goal, consider what you’ll have to change. If you’ve attempted it before, and didn’t succeed, do some soul-searching. Ask yourself why.

  1. What was just too hard to commit to?

  2. What old habits were too hard to ditch? Why?

  3. How many times did you try before giving up?

  4. What’s it worth to you to succeed? How much do you want it?

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Always visualize the result. Know why changing is worth every minute of effort. When you do this, your goal will be both doable and fun.

Changing Out Habits: Make a List

You may find it’s a cluster of habits to change. That’s hard. The solution? List the habits you need to stop. List even the smallest habits you barely realize you’re doing.

For example. Many want to lose weight. Often there’s a variety of habits to change—that’s tough. Too much snacking? Too little portion control? Not enough exercise? What you’re doing is assessing how many things you must change to succeed.

Be Realistic—Start Small

If you identify too many “bad” habits—look out. You may set yourself up for failure. Instead, start with one or two smaller habits to change. For example. No more snacking while watching TV, and smaller portions at meals.

Or if it’s exercising, start smaller. Walk three blocks instead of three miles to start. Make it so easy to do that you almost can’t fail. Then gradually up the ante. Experts say it takes 30 consecutive days to form a new habit. But if you’re replacing a longtime habit, it may take longer. That’s OK. Just keep your eyes on the prize.

Do it Daily

What’s critical is that no matter how small, you do your new activity daily—without fail. But if you do miss a day, don’t quit. Simply resume the next day. Do make it a rule to never skip more than one day at a time. As a Forbes article states, “If you follow the rule of ‘Never Miss Twice’ you can ‘fail’ your way to any goal you desire.”

Reward Yourself

Forming new habits and trampling old ones is hard work. Reward yourself each time you act. Even the smallest thing to look forward to is good. Just block calendar time to enjoy something special for YOU. Acknowledge your success.

Forbes sums up forming new habits simply:

  1. Make it So Small You Can’t Fail

  2. Never Miss Twice

  3. Be Patient

  4. Find a Sustainable Pace

And don’t forget: Celebrate each day you succeed. Then reward yourself.

If you do this, you just may have the ticket to replacing a bad habit with a good one.

Good luck. I’ll let you know how my new walking habit is coming along later this year.


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