Habit Building 101: 5 Simple Steps to New Habits


Surprising Fact:


As many as 45% of the things you do each day are done out of HABIT – without you even giving much thought to it!


From the minute you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night, you operate out of habit.


That doesn’t mean you’re acting mindlessly, but it does mean you’ve already created many go-to routines that have become ingrained in your daily life.


And that’s EXCELLENT news … because we’re going to tap into the power of those existing routines to help you move closer towards your goals every day!


Routines happen so automatically that you might not even think about them as “routines.”


For example, maybe you take a vitamin at breakfast … floss your teeth before you brush them … make your bed as soon as you get up … or grab a workout on the way home from work.


Our goal with this Wellness Wednesday session is to help you seamlessly blend new healthy habits into your existing routines, so they become part of your daily 45%.


We’re not interested in short-term fixes … we’re all about creating lifelong change that lasts!


Step 1: WHY do you want to achieve this goal?


Take some time to think about exactly WHY this goal matters to you.


  • What’s so important about it? 
  • What does achieving it MEAN to you? 
  • How will you feel once you’ve achieved your goal? 
  • How will it change your life?
  • Will reaching your goal change how you feel about yourself?
  •  Will it affect the energy you bring to your work or relationships? 
  • Will you feel more confident, healthier, stronger? 


Go deep on this one!


Writing this down will unlock powerful feelings that will help push you past any resistance that your “body” may give you along the way.


I want to reach this goal because:



Step 2: Choose ONE NEW HABIT to help you achieve your ultimate goal.


Depending on your goal, you might come up with a huge list of “ALL THE THINGS” you need to do to make your goal a reality.


But for right now, we’re just going to focus on ONE … and we’re going to turn that ONE into a new habit!


In fact, one of the strategies that has been very successful for our clients is to simply integrate ONE new habit every month. Imagine doing this in your own life … if you simply created one new habit every month for a year, you’ll have installed 12 healthy new habits. How incredible is that?! 


Let’s break it down with some examples:


 #1. Goal: Lose 30 pounds within 6 months.

Your Habit: The very first thing you need to do to lose weight is NOT cutting out entire food groups or going on a crazy yo-yo diet. 


Instead, your first step may be to eat portion-controlled meals that put you on-track for steady weight loss. This is the approach we teach in our Boot Camp.


It could also be as simple as swapping out those 2 sodas you drink every day for water instead! 


Choose whatever habit is the best for YOU.


#2. Goal: Reduce stress levels by 50% in 60 days (and keep it low).

Your Habit: You can’t avoid all of the stress in your life, but you can come up with healthy ways to reduce its impact on you. Meditation is a proven method! Your first habit could be to block off 10 minutes everyday to meditate (you can do it in one sitting, or break it into two 5-minute chunks.)



What is your ONE new target habit?


Step 3: How can you make your new habit as EASY AS POSSIBLE?


This is all about setting yourself up for success by creating an environment that supports your new habit.


Here are a few examples of the Success Steps you can take for each goal:

#1. Goal: Lose 30 pounds within 6 months.

Your Success Step: Since the one habit from above was to use portion control, maybe you’re committing to using a smaller plate for your meals at home. If you’re out to eat, maybe you ask for a to-go box when you order, so you can put half of the meal in your to-go container when your meal arrives (to avoid temptation).


 #2. Goal: Reduce stress levels by 50% in 60 days (and keep it low).

Your Success Step: If meditation is your new habit, you can try downloading an app that helps you learn breathing techniques or takes you through a guided meditation. Check out Breathe, Calm, or Headspace.



What will make your new habit as easy as possible?


Step 4: Be prepared for slip-ups.


This is a BIG ONE. In fact, it might be the second most important step of your new journey! (The first is getting started.)


You must have a plan AHEAD OF TIME for exactly how you will get back on-track if (and when) you miss a day or two of working out, meditating, or you don’t follow your eating plan.


The fact is, the path to your goal will be filled with ups and downs. It’s how you handle the “downs” that will make all the difference.


Don’t make it a big deal or beat yourself up if you slip off track. Just pick it back up RIGHT AWAY. Not TOMORROW. Today.


 For example, if you slip off your plan and overindulge at lunch … that doesn’t mean you might as well have whatever you want for dinner, and then start again “tomorrow.”


Make sure your VERY next meal is back on track with your plan.




  1. Remind ourselves of our WHY and the reason this goal is so important in the first place.
  2. Acknowledge what happened, and ask (without judgment): “What’s the real reason for the slip up?” Was it too demanding, did we set unrealistic expectations, was our routine off, or was it something else?
  3. Ask: “What can we learn from this situation?” 
  4. Then, we put new boundaries in place so we can do a better job of setting ourselves up for success going forward.
  5. We work hard to get back on track RIGHT AWAY. We don’t wait until “tomorrow” or “Monday”!


 How I will get back on track …


Step 5: Reward yourself!


Beyond the actual reward of achieving your goal, how will you celebrate your accomplishment!?


Adding a fun element like a reward for reaching your goal can make the process even more exciting.


Will you get a new pair of training shoes or new workout gear? New jeans or an entire outfit? Or maybe you will treat yourself to a massage or spa day!


A few powerful tips:


1.Make sure the reward is healthy and aligned with your goals – for example, if you’ve set a nutrition goal, rewarding yourself with cake or ice cream sends a mixed message to your subconscious.


2.Remember you are in this for the long haul! Your reward is not a finish line – it’s simply a positive acknowledgement of your progress.


3.Set boundaries for yourself outlining exactly how (and when) you earn the reward … and stick with them!




Have you ever gone into full “beast mode” and tried to switch up your entire lifestyle overnight?

This works for some people (rarely!) … but for most of us, it’s not realistic or sustainable.


We end up beating ourselves up for a lack of discipline or motivation. The reality is though, that it has more to do with our automatic habits and routines (that 45%) that ends up derailing our success.


Setting yourself up to succeed is EVERYTHING! That’s why we recommend layering in just a single new habit every month.


Layering is a time-tested, researched-backed strategy. In fact, there’s even a name for it … it’s called habit stacking.


Do you remember those existing routines and habits we were talking about earlier?


Well you can actually integrate your new habits into your existing routine so that they become automatic, also!


This process is outlined in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.


An example of an EXISTING routine:

Do you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water, and then take a shower?


Here’s how to HABIT STACK that routine:

As soon as you’re done with your shower, you meditate for 10 minutes. So your NEW routine is: wake up, drink water, shower, and then meditate!


Another example would be to add running to your “get-home-from-work” routine. As soon as you get home, you could change your clothes and head outside for your run.


If you want to develop a NEW habit of planning your meals, stack it on top of your “cleaning the kitchen” routine each night.


See how that works!?


Every time I ______________ (behavior prompt) I will _______________(new habit)




There’s no one “right” answer when it comes to how long it takes to create a habit.


A famous study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it can take between 18 and 254 days, depending on the person and the habit they are trying to create.


Example: Let’s say you decide to begin meditating. If you commit to meditating 5 or 6 times a week, it likely will become a habit faster than if you meditate just 2 to 3 times a week.


Basically, what this all boils down to is that it’s not necessarily an amount of TIME that it takes to create the habit … rather it’s the NUMBER of times you perform the action.


Just keep that in mind as you’re planning out your habits and goals!



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