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Building Habits You’ll Stick to – Part II

Welcome back to learning about turning goals (or, if we’re talking about goals in January, resolutions) into habits! If you missed the first article on this topic, you can check it out here – you’ll need to read that one for this to make sense.

Step 3: Layer your new habit on top of an existing habit

This might actually be the most important tip of all. If you have a habit you already do everyday, there is no easier way to building a new habit than to somehow link them.

We all brush our teeth in the morning. If you’re trying to build a habit that can be done in the morning, layer it onto brushing your teeth. Here’s an example:

  • Every morning, before brushing my teeth, I will complete one meditation
  • Every night, when I sit down to eat dinner, I will take my vitamins 
  • Every Saturday morning, after coming back from picking up my favourite latte, I will read a management book while finishing my latte

The thing that often stops us from forming a new habit is forgetting to do it. It’s SO much easier to remember to a new habit when it’s linked to something you already do habitually.

Step 4: Make habit-tracking one of your habits

I spent most of this post, and Part 1, rehashing what the book Atomic Habits taught me, focusing on the few main tips that I found actually worked. But this tip is one I came up with on my own after working through the book.

Probably the single best way to track whether or not you’re actually following through on your new habits is to track your progress. Solution? Create a habit of tracking your habits.

Here’s how I tackled this:

  • Download a habit-tracking app (I bought the Done app, which cost me $8 but is super easy to use and tracks your ‘streaks’ for you), or get a notebook and keep it by your bed
  • Create a new habit using the formula above: “every night, the last thing I will do before I turn out the light is fill in which of my habits I completed that day”
  • Stick to it!

This single trick actually made it super easy to track the habits I was building – I can see every night whether I missed one or two habits and know that I either need to focus on them tomorrow, or rethink how I’ve paired that habit with others.

Step 5: How to turn habits into goals

We started this whole thing by learning how to turn our goals into habits – now we’re going to do the reverse.

Once you’ve completed an entire month of your new habit (with occasional slip-ups), it’s time to start again from square one. Go back to your main goal and ask yourself, what is the next step in habit that will lead to my goal? Then start again from Step 1 with your new habits!

That’s all for now! Comment below or Get in Touch and let me know if these habit building tricks worked for you!

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