10 Ways to Build New Habits: Tips and Examples to Make Them Stick

Building new habits can be challenging, but it’s essential for personal growth and success. Throughout history, many influential figures have developed habits that helped them achieve great things. In this article, we’ll explore ten ways to build new habits, along with historical examples of how they can be applied in everyday life.

1. Start Small

When it comes to building new habits, starting small is critical. By breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps, we can make progress towards our goals without feeling overwhelmed. One example of this is the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway wrote for six hours each day, but he didn’t sit down to write for six hours straight. Instead, he broke his writing sessions down into two or three-hour blocks with breaks in between, allowing him to focus on writing while avoiding burnout.

2. Set Goals

Setting clear and specific goals can be incredibly motivating and help us stay focused on building new habits. The goal should be challenging but achievable, and we should be able to track our progress towards it. An example of someone who set ambitious goals and achieved them is the American astronaut, Neil Armstrong. Armstrong set his sights on becoming an astronaut at a young age and worked hard towards that goal throughout his life. His perseverance and dedication eventually paid off, as he became the first person to walk on the moon.

3. Make a Plan

Making a plan is essential for building new habits. We need to identify the specific steps we need to take to achieve our goals and schedule them into our daily routines. A historical figure who exemplifies the importance of making a plan is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was known for his meticulous planning, and he created a daily schedule that helped him stay productive and focused on his goals. He even created a chart to track his progress towards building new habits, such as waking up early and practicing virtues like frugality and industry.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful motivator when building new habits. We can reward ourselves for making progress towards our goals, which can help us stay motivated and committed to our habits. A historical example of someone who used positive reinforcement to build new habits is Marie Curie. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win it twice in different fields. She would celebrate her scientific discoveries by treating herself to her favorite food, chocolate.

5. Find a Buddy

Having a study buddy or a friend who shares our goals can be incredibly helpful when building new habits. We can offer each other support and accountability, and help each other stay on track. A historical example of two people who supported each other and achieved great things together are the Wright brothers. Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first to successfully fly a powered aircraft. They worked together to design and build their airplane, supporting each other through setbacks and challenges.

6. Visualize Success

Visualizing success can help us stay motivated and focused on building new habits. By imagining ourselves achieving our goals, we can create a mental image of success that can inspire us to keep going. A historical figure who used visualization to achieve great things is Muhammad Ali. Ali visualized himself as the greatest boxer in the world, and his self-belief and mental preparation played a significant role in his success.

7. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to building new habits. We need to be persistent and committed to our habits, even when it gets difficult. A historical figure who exemplifies the importance of consistency is Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vinci was known for his incredible work ethic and persistence. He would spend hours studying, practicing, and experimenting in pursuit of his artistic and scientific interests. His commitment to consistent practice allowed him to become one of the most brilliant and innovative thinkers in history.

8. Track Your Progress

Tracking our progress towards our goals can be incredibly motivating and help us stay accountable to our habits. We can use tools like journals, apps, or habit trackers to monitor our progress and identify areas where we need to improve. A historical figure who exemplifies the importance of tracking progress is the legendary musician, Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven kept a diary where he tracked his progress on his compositions, noting the dates he began and finished each piece. This helped him stay focused and motivated, and it allowed him to see his growth and improvement over time.

9. Stay Accountable

Staying accountable to our habits can help us stay motivated and committed to our goals. We can share our goals with others and ask them to hold us accountable or join a group or community that shares our interests. A historical example of someone who stayed accountable to their habits is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was known for his daily habits of meditation, prayer, and fasting, which helped him stay centered and focused on his mission of achieving Indian independence.

10. Embrace Flexibility

Finally, we need to be flexible and open to adjusting our plans as needed. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. Being willing to adapt and make changes to our habits and routines can help us stay on track and continue making progress towards our goals. A historical example of someone who embraced flexibility is Thomas Edison. Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” His willingness to experiment and try new approaches allowed him to make groundbreaking discoveries and invent some of the most transformative technologies of his time.

In conclusion, building new habits can be challenging, but with persistence, dedication, and the right strategies, it’s achievable. By starting small, setting clear goals, making a plan, using positive reinforcement, finding a buddy, visualizing success, staying consistent, tracking progress, staying accountable, and embracing flexibility, we can develop new habits that will help us achieve our goals and make our dreams a reality.

Transform your life with Atomic Habits and James Clear's proven framework

Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits is a book by James Clear that provides readers with a framework for building better habits and breaking bad ones. The book focuses on the idea that small changes in behavior can have a significant impact on our lives over time. In this article, we will explore the key takeaways from Atomic Habits and how they can be applied to improve our daily routines.

The Four Laws of Behavior Change

James Clear presents the Four Laws of Behavior Change, which are the foundation for building atomic habits. These laws are:

1.Make It Obvious :

The first law is to make it obvious. This means that we need to create cues that remind us to take action. For example, if we want to exercise more, we could place our workout clothes near our bed or set a reminder on our phone.

2. Make It Attractive:

The second law is to make it attractive. This means that we need to create an environment that makes our habits appealing. For example, if we want to read more, we could create a cozy reading nook with comfortable furniture and good lighting.

3. Make It Easy :

The third law is to make it easy. This means that we need to reduce friction and make our habits as easy as possible to perform. For example, if we want to eat healthier, we could prepare healthy meals in advance so that we don’t have to spend time cooking every day.

4. Make It Satisfying

The fourth law is to make it satisfying. This means that we need to create a sense of reward for our habits. For example, if we want to save money, we could create a visual representation of our progress, such as a savings jar, and reward ourselves when we reach milestones.

The Power of Habit Stacking

Another key concept in Atomic Habits is the idea of habit stacking. Habit stacking involves linking a new habit to an existing one. For example, if we want to meditate every morning, we could link it to our existing habit of brushing our teeth. This creates a mental association that makes it easier to remember to perform the new habit.

The Importance of Identity

James Clear also emphasizes the importance of identity in habit formation. He suggests that we should focus on becoming the type of person who performs our desired habits rather than simply focusing on the outcome. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” we could say “I am a healthy person who makes smart food choices.”

The Benefits of Tracking Progress

Finally, James Clear stresses the importance of tracking our progress. This allows us to see the impact of our habits over time and provides motivation to continue. Tracking can take many forms, from a simple checklist to a more detailed journal. The key is to find a method that works for us and stick to it.

Atomic Habits is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their daily routines. By focusing on the Four Laws of Behavior Change, habit stacking, identity, and tracking progress, we can build atomic habits that have a positive impact on our lives. Whether we want to exercise more, read more, or save money, the principles outlined in this book can help us achieve our goals.

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