How to Build a Habit

3 R's of Habit Formation

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We wrote previously about how ineffectual New Year’s Resolutions can be as only 8% of people manage to keep them going after 6 weeks. Have you kept yours? We suggested you focus more on the positive instead by adding more healthy actions to your day, instead of taking away. Did this approach get you out for a walk, add some Pilates to your day or even get you to add an extra portion of fruit or vegetables to your diet?

The theory is that it takes 28 – 30 days to build a habit and after that it becomes part of your daily routine. So what’s the best way to build a new healthy habit?

To create a habit we need to follow a basic pattern. I think the 3 Rs model is great and it has worked for me in the past. 

Start with an easy habit – that’s just so easy you can’t say no. Let’s say standing on one leg to practice your balance or maybe 5 Pilates push ups.

Then choose a habit that already exists – maybe brushing your teeth. So when you brush your teeth you already have a routine, and if you add the habit you want to do to the routine you will associate the two – this is your reminder.

Then you think of the benefits you are going to get from doing that habit – a stronger core, toned arms, better balance etc. That’s your reward. If the reward is positive you will have a desire to repeat the action the next time you brush your teeth, and this repetition will form the basis of your new habit.

So the 3 Rs of Habit Formation

1) Reminder – The cue or trigger that starts the habit – i.e. brushing your teeth
2) Routine – The action you take – you do 5 Pilates push ups
3) Reward – The benefit you gain from doing the habit i.e. toned arms, increased strength

If you talk to anyone about starting a new habit, they might tell you that you need to exercise self–control or that you need to find a new dose of willpower.

According to the New York Times, no one has endless will power.

Why not try out the 3 Rs to help you form a new healthy habit? Try it out for 30 days and let us know how you get on by leaving a comment on our Facebook Page.

Thanks to James Clear