Toolkit to Make Habits Stick

“It’s not what you know, it’s what you do consistently.”: Tony Robbins

Good habits change your life. They become the foundation that prepares you for each day. They become a place of solace you can come to after you’ve battled the chaotic world. They become the light at the end of the tunnel because you know that whatever happens throughout the day, your habits will always be there for you.

Here’s how to make a habit stick.

Identify the routine

The routine is the most straightforward part to choose because you likely already have one — or more than one — in mind. Exercise, meditation, and journaling are examples of routines. If you can’t think of anything else, experiment with one of those three.

If you can’t think of a routine, then maybe you don’t need to create a habit. There’s no reason to get into the habit of doing something just for the sake of getting into the habit of doing something.

But if there’s something you want to do, then decide when you’re going to do it and how it relates to other habits you already have.

Isolate a cue

A cue is a trigger for your routine. The routine comes right after the cue. I brush my teeth (routine) after getting out of bed (cue).

Cues fall into the following categories:

  • Location
  • Time
  • Emotional state
  • Other people
  • Immediately preceding action

A good cue is a combination of these

Choose a reward

Rewards teach you that the habit is worth building. You can implement pseudo-rewards like eating candy after meditation, but most of the time, you won’t need something like that.

If you chose a healthy routine, there are already intrinsic benefits to it. Reflect on those benefits. Reflect, reflect, reflect. And then research. Learn everything you can about how your habit is going to improve your life. That’s a reliable, real reward.

So, you now have a cue, routine, and reward. But everything is still so confusing; are there any examples? Yes.

My Habit loops

Cue: My morning cup of coffee

Routine: Sit on the study table learning new things. Also journaling. I will take my coffee mug and sit on my study table and do my one hour of study.

Reward: New knowledge & learnings. Brain is active. A clear mind is prepared to tackle the day.

Start small. really small. Small improvements create big wins. Repeat your habit. Repeat it more. Repeat it until you’re comfortable. Repeat it until you do it automatically. Repeat it until you miss it if you miss it. Repeat it like your favorite song. Repeat it as if your life depended on it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I would strongly recommend everyone to read Charles
Duhigg’s book Power of Habit

May 8, 2022

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