HOW TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING YOU WANT USING THE 3-STEP (SCIENTIFICALLY-PROVEN) HABIT BUILDING FORMULA
Habit building is an extremely beneficial life skill that has the ability to help you accomplish anything you want. Charles Duhigg, who wrote The Power of Habits said, “There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”
There’s so much evidence that success, in anything from business to creativity, to personal growth depends on consistency, depends on showing up every day—on your habits.
And there is a simple 3–step formula for building a habit:
- A reminder or a trigger that initiates the behavior.
- The routine or the behavior itself; the action you take.
- The reward or the benefit from doing the behavior.
If you follow this cycle enough times the behavior will become a habit, and if you build a habit that specifically serves a goal, you can accomplish anything you want.
So what big goal do you want to accomplish? You can also apply these steps to making a positive change in your life. Let’s look at how to use the 3-step habit building formula to accomplish a big goal and to make a positive change.
I’ve been thinking about writing a book. I’ll be perfectly honest, the idea scares the heck out of me! (That’s how I know it’s a good idea!) It feels like a very big goal and there’s part of me that thinks I won’t actually be able to do it and wants to quit before I even start. But I also know that while the goal is to write a book, the most important part of accomplishing it is having a regular writing habit.
The reminder or trigger for your new habit is the first step and a critical part of getting started. A good reminder makes it easier for you to initiate your habit by triggering the new behavior with something that you already do, something that is already a habit.
In order to write consistently, I need to determine when I will write every weekday. One thing I know about myself is that I’m most focused in the morning, so it makes sense that my husband and kids leaving for work/school should be the trigger for my writing time.
Say you want to make the positive change of consistently drinking more water. Something you already do multiple times per day is going to the bathroom. If you choose this as your reminder, each time you go to the bathroom is your cue or trigger to drink some water.
The action you take is the second step. It’s understandable to want overnight results or dramatic transformation, but lasting change is the result of believing in yourself + your habits, so to show yourself you can do it and build a habit that will last, start small.
My book writing goal feels daunting. But if I start by focusing on sitting down every day (right after the kiddos leave) and writing one page, it’s doable. And at first, that’s the point. Because I’m starting with doubts, I have to show myself that I’m capable of making it happen!
Similarly, if you tried to drink 64oz of water every time you go to the bathroom, you’d get overwhelmed and quit. But if you commit to taking 3 sips at first, that’s doable. Over time, you can increase the quantity, but at first, it’s important to start small and build consistency!
The reward is the final step in habit building. It’s human nature to continue doing things that make you feel good, so it’s especially important to reward yourself each time you do your new behavior—a chemical reaction in your brain will tell you to do it again.
I LOVE coffee and have successfully used it as my reward to build a habit. (Drinking 24 oz of water first thing!) Knowing that my new habit will be to write in the morning as soon as the family leaves the house, I could opt to delay my first cup until after I write 500 words.
Because I often support women who have struggled to stick to a routine or make positive changes in the past, I teach them positive self-talk as a simple and highly effective reward. For example, when you drink water after going to the bathroom, tell yourself, “Great job.” or “I’m making progress!” Rewarding yourself with positive self–talk can take some getting used to but research has proven it works well!
Habit building is an extremely beneficial and influential life skill.
Everything in your life is a result of many small decisions over time. These decisions, what you repeatedly do, directly affect your ability to accomplish anything and ultimately form the way you think, the way you feel, and the person you are. Choose wisely!
And check out how I can guide and support you in learning and implementing the habit formula step-by-step through my online program Shift Happens.
NOW YOU TELL ME, WHAT BIG GOAL/POSITIVE CHANGE DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU FROM MAKING THIS HAPPEN? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULDN’T FAIL? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
HI, I’M STEPHANNIE.
I’m a Certified Yoga Therapist on a mission to make yogic wisdom, movements and breathing practices simple so that you can make them part of your routine and be less stressed, more confident, and experience more cam every single day.
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