4 Tips for Creating Habits

Have you ever been jealous of highly productive people? I know I have. You think, “how does she get so much done?”

I’ve come to the conclusion that highly productive and effective individuals have better habits than the rest of us. They have many more good habits then bad habits. This got me thinking, “how do I create good habits?”

It turns out that creating habits is not all that difficult. If you want to go through a course and learn what I’ve learned, you should check out BJ Fogg’s tiny habits course. It’s well worth your time.

If you are interested in creating new habits, it’s important to keep some things in mind:

  1. It needs to be easy to do. For me, I’m not attempting to write 1,000 words a day, just 100. If you want to develop a habit of practicing the guitar daily, start with just 3 minutes of practice, not 30.
  2. It needs to be something you enjoy. It’s almost impossible to create a habit doing something that you hate doing. For example, it is going to be very difficult for me to create a habit of waking up at 5am.
  3. Find a trigger that will signal to you it’s time to perform the activity. Good triggers are things like, “after I open my laptop in the morning, I will…” or “after I use the restroom, I will…” or “after I finish breakfast, I will…” After a few days, you will get in the routine and recognize that after you perform (insert trigger) you need to (insert activity)
  4. Celebrate accomplishing your task. It can be as simple as a small fist pump, or saying “I’m awesome!” We know that habits are driven off of triggers and rewards. A fist pump or the pleasure you get from seeing a chain of “X”s on a calendar are good rewards.

So get started building some healthy habits – and share any habits you have made. In my next post, I’ll show how I used this to develop a habit of doing pull-ups. I’m now doing about 60 pull-ups a day – it works!