We’ve all been there — staring a bad habit in the face, saying, “Starting Monday…” But, Wednesday comes and the running shoes are still gathering dust in your closet, the salad is wilting in the fridge, and the only thing we’re ‘running’ is a Netflix marathon.

So, how do we break that cycle? How do we identify new habits and make sure the new — and better — ones stick, for good this time? We asked our community, and here’s what we learned!

The Secret Sauce to Lifelong Changes is Simpler Than You Think

We’ve all been there – starting a new habit full of enthusiasm, only to find our motivation dwindling as quickly as it arrived. But what if we could change that narrative? What if we could make our habits stick?

Unearth Your New Favorite Habits

Discovering new habits isn’t just about picking up tips from the latest self-help book — it’s a personal excavation. It involves digging deep to understand what aligns with your values and what steps will take you closer to your goals. Ask yourself, what habit, if adopted today, would serve as a cornerstone to your success?

Cue-Reward: The Glue of Habit Formation

Making a habit stick is like making a glue that works specifically for you. The stickiness comes from a clear cue, an enjoyable action, and a satisfying reward. When we establish a cue that triggers our behavior, pair it with an action that’s not only beneficial but enjoyable, and then reward ourselves for completing it, we create a loop that’s hard to break.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

The secret to making a habit stick is in the repetition – the ‘rinse and repeat’. It’s about performing the action over and over until it becomes a part of our subconscious routine. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being persistent.

Giving Yourself a Pat on the Back

Positive reinforcement solidifies the habit. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small. Every time you follow through with your habit, give yourself a mental high-five. This positive reinforcement makes the habit more likely to stick.

Habit Stacking For the Win

To further embed a new habit, stack it onto an existing one. This is like adding an extra layer to a foundation you’ve already built. After your morning coffee, immediately write down three things you’re grateful for. The existing habit of drinking coffee becomes a cue for the new habit of practicing gratitude.

How to Start Building a New Habit Today

Building new habits is like starting a new chapter in the book of self-improvement. It’s exciting, occasionally daunting, but always rewarding when done right. Here’s how to turn those fledgling habits into daily rituals.

Identify What Actually Matters Most

Start by pinpointing a habit that can have a meaningful impact on your life. Is it exercise, meditation, or maybe reading? Choose something that aligns with your bigger goals.

Start Small with an MVP (Most Viable Practice)

Think of your MVP (or, MVA) as the entry way to your new habit — it’s so minimal, so tiny that it requires little effort to complete. For example, if your goal is to write more every day, your MVP could simply be writing a single sentence each and every day. It’s manageable, easy, and more likely than not the open door to continuation.

Create Your Habit Loop

Every habit follows this three-part loop. The cue triggers your behavior, the routine is the behavior itself, and the reward is what your brain gets from the behavior. To make a habit stick, clearly define each part of this loop.

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Make your new habit so easy you can’t say no. Want to start reading more? Begin with a page every night. Small steps lead to big changes.

Consistency > Intensity

It’s not about how hard you push on any single day; it’s about showing up consistently. Lock in your habit with repetition, not intensity.

Troubleshoot Your Habit

Hit a snag? That’s normal. Reflect on what’s tripping you up and adjust your approach. Maybe you need a different cue or a more enticing reward.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Share your habit goals with a friend, join a group, or track your progress with an app. Accountability is a powerful motivator.

Be Patient and Persistent

Habits take time to form. Be patient with yourself and persistent in your efforts. Remember, you’re not just building a habit; you’re building a new chapter in your life story.