7 Steps to Create A New Habit

What habit would you like to add to your life that would enrich you and create action to help you accomplish your goals? Here is my 7 step-outline to help you put those habits in motion.

7 Steps to Create New Habits

I love helping clients create action that leads to positive outcomes. Often that means looking at how we spend our time and making adjustments to add new habits or take away bad habits. I wrote a post about five strategies to break old habits here.

Here is my go-to list to create new habits.

First, a few important things to know about habits. Habits are things that when you don’t do them it doesn’t quite feel right. This isn’t like the routine of emptying the dishwasher, making dinner, or commuting to work. When we go on vacation we love getting away from our routine, but we miss or feel out of alignment when we break our habits. For example, when I go on vacation, I don’t miss the routine of waking up early at all! But I am always happy to get back to my habit of exercise.

I want to help empower you to create the space for good habits that help you have a more productive day, take action to accomplish your goals, or bring a little more joy to your life.

Without knowing what you may or may not want to achieve by creating a new habit, a few that I hear quite often are (1) exercise more, (2) read more, and (3) write more. I am also going to throw in a fourth one that is so important to me. (4) Show kindness every day.

Ok, so here’s how it works.

  1. Pick the habit you want to create. I’ll use reading more as an example.

  2. Write it down. Habit: I read 30 minutes every day at (6 am/12 pm/ 9 pm). Pick a time that works for you most of the time. Make it as easy as possible to allow yourself space to succeed.

  3. What can you do in 30 seconds or less that will set that habit in motion? I will pick a book and set it on my night stand where I see it every morning. If you read on Audible or Kindle put your device in a location that is easy to access. Select the book and make sure it is ready to read. To create an exercise habit, you might pick out your workout clothes the night before so they are ready when you wake up. For acts of kindness, decide how you will spread kindness the night before, set your intention, and when you wake up you will be ready to implement that act of kindness as much as possible.

  4. Set a calendar reminder. If you use your smart phone for your schedule, add your new habit to the calendar on your phone and set a reminder. Be as specific as possible. Write down the name of the book and maybe a schedule for how many days you will allow to finish reading it. Are you going somewhere to workout? Add the location and allow time to get there.

  5. Share it with an accountability partner. It is always easier to form a new habit with someone who is cheering you on or someone who does it with you. Pick that person. Write down their name next to your habit. Share it with them - call, email, in-person. Ask them to hold you accountable. Agree on some sort of check-in system.

  6. Visualize it. You have written it down, scheduled it, prepared for it, and shared it with a partner. Now close your eyes and picture it. What does it look like with your habit? How does it feel in your body? What is possible with this new habit? Embrace that feeling and remind yourself why you want this habit and what it will give you in life.

  7. Go for it! This is a brand new day. You are all set for success. Get ready to move forward with great habits that will get you that much closer to your goals!

Many behavioral scientists say it takes 21 days to form a habit. If you miss a day don’t worry about it. Just get back on track for the next day. Did you try out a habit that is not really working for you? Consider how much you want it. Is this a habit you really want or is it a habit you think others want for you? Maybe the time is not right. Maybe another habit would serve you better in life right now.

Need a check-in? Let me know how it’s going!