Here is the most reliable way you can create a new habit.
Step 1: Write out your goal.
What are you trying to accomplish? Why do you want to form a new habit?
Be as clear as possible.
Is it to lose weight? If so, how many pounds?
Is it to make more money? If so, how much?
Is it to learn Spanish?
Write out your goal.
Step 2: Write out all the ways you can accomplish your goal.
Once you have a clear goal, it’s time to think of all the ways you can accomplish our goal.
For example, if your goal is losing 20 pounds, here are some potential activities you might list out:
- Walking 10,000 steps
- Playing club soccer
- Swim classes
- Bike riding
- Keto diet
- Paleo diet
- Meatless Mondays
- Take semaglutide
- Intermittent fasting
- Play basketball
- Weight lifting
- Personal training
These are just a few different things you could do to lose 20 pounds.
Write out everything you can think of. Try to come up with 50 or 100 ideas.
Step 3: Score and rank order your list.
Go through your list. Score each idea using the following rubric:
- Effective (scale 1-5): Do I think this activity will effectively solve my problem?
- Easy (scale 1-5): Will I struggle at this? Or will it be easy for me?
- Enjoyable (scale 1-5): Will I enjoy this? Will it be fun?
- Exciting (scale 1-5): Am I drawn to this idea? Do I want to try it out?
Score each activity across these 4 dimensions.
Add up the scores for each activity.
Rank order the list.
Step 4: Take the top item on your list and make it even better.
Take the top activity and think if you can make it easier/simpler, more fun, and more effective.
Now, give it a shot. Start doing it.
Why does this work?
Think about it: In this four step process, we’ve spent time figuring out which activity/solution will allow you to achieve your goal as effectively, easily, and enjoyably as possible.
This is the art of habit formation: matching yourself with the right behaviors for your goal. The right behaviors will be different for each person based on their unique life situation, strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, etc.