How to Build Habits That Really Stick

Learning a new language or just drinking more water and building lasting habits can be a bit of a puzzle.

3 Min Read
Stay on track with creating new habits.

Have you ever wondered why some habits stick and others just… don’t? Whether it’s getting into a fitness routine, learning a new language, or just drinking more water, building lasting habits can be a bit of a puzzle. But don’t worry! I’m here to walk you through some super-friendly and approachable ways to make your habits stick.

Understanding Habit Formation

First off, habits are like our brain’s shortcuts. According to researchers Wood and Neal (2007), when we do something repeatedly in the same setting, our brain starts doing it automatically. It’s like our brain’s way of saying, “I got this; you can chill now.”

Small Steps, Big Changes

1. Baby steps are the best!

Stanford’s BJ Fogg, a whiz at behavior science, tells us to start tiny. Want to read more? Start with a page a night. It’s like putting training wheels on your bike.

2. Consistency is key

James Clear, the habit guru, says in his book “Atomic Habits” that it’s not about going big or going home. It’s about going small and steady. A little bit every day adds up to a lot!

3. Your space matters

Make your environment your habit, buddy. Want to work out more? Keep your sneakers by the door.

4. Treat yourself!

Rewards are like the high-fives of habit-building. Schultz (2000) found that our brains love a good reward. So, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for each step you take.

Tackling the tough stuff

1. Resistance is Part of the Journey
Change can be tough. BJ Fogg suggests sticking new habits onto ones we already have. Like doing squats while brushing your teeth – weird but fun!
2. Setbacks? No Problem!
Charles Duhigg, in “The Power of Habit,” reminds us that slip-ups are normal. It’s like tripping on a sidewalk. Just get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Building habits isn’t just science; it’s an art. Start small, be regular, make your environment work for you, enjoy rewards, and be kind to yourself when things don’t go as planned.

Remember, it’s the little efforts that lead to big changes. You’ve got this!

Evidence-Based Information
• Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits. Avery.
• Duhigg, C. (2012). The Power of Habit. Random House.
• Fogg, B.J. (2019). Tiny Habits. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
• Schultz, W. (2000). Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 1, 199-207.
• Wood, W., & Neal, D.T. (2007). Psychological Review, 114(4), 843.

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