How to build a habit

You need four things to build a habit: trigger, routine, reward, and a time frame to do it in.

The trigger can be a feeling or a sensory reaction. When I get bored I tend to pick up my phone and start browsing the web. That’s a bad habit, but you get the picture.

The routine is what you do. When the sun goes down lots of things start happening. I dim the lights to a minimum, brush my teeth to prevent myself from eating more than is required, take care of my cat’s needs, lock down the house, write a blog entry, prepare for tomorrow, and so on.

The reward is something positive you get out of doing it. One example of a bad habit is rewarding yourself with food after a bad day.

The final ingredient in building a habit is setting a time frame to do it in. Dedicate a block of time to what you want to be doing. I blog/write at night. It’s become part of my nightly routine. If you want to build habits you should look at the habits you already have and tack one on.

One additional tip for advanced habit builders: log what you’re doing. What environmental cues work best for you? What times during the day do you feel like you’re at your best? What part of your process can be improved? How many tasks is too many? Log all of it.

Created on September 2, 2021
Published on September 2, 2021