What the research says about building GOOD habits

What the research says about building GOOD habits

For almost 2 decades now I’ve been saying that … happiness requires little more than practising a few simple disciplines, each and every day.

If “bad habits” lead to poor health and misery; then “good habits” can just as effectively lead to health and happiness!

So how does one build more good habits? Here’s what the research has found…

via Eric Barker

You have a long list of things you know you should be doing regularly… But for some reason, you just don’t do them. What’s the deal?

The solution is building habits. Doing hard things isn’t hard if you’re on autopilot. But how do we make building habits simple and painless?

James Clear has a lot of very good, research-backed answers in his new bestseller Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.

James lays out 4 laws of behavior change that are so simple, even I can do them. (And that means you can, too.)

Alright, let’s break’em down…

1) Make It Obvious

Vague is the enemy. “I want to exercise more” is usually another way of saying, “I want to continue disappointing myself.”

On the other hand, you could say: “Every morning at 7AM I’m going to lift weights for an hour at the gym around the corner.”

If I said that, you’d be much more likely to believe I was going to follow through. And if you say it, studies show you’re more likely to actually do it.

It’s what researchers call an “implementation intention.” (People without a PhD call it a “plan.”)

From Atomic Habits:

Hundreds of studies have shown that implementation intentions are effective for sticking to our goals, whether it’s writing down the exact time and date of when you will get a flu shot or recording the time of your colonoscopy appointment. They increase the odds that people will stick with habits like recycling, studying, going to sleep early, and stopping smoking…

The formula for creating an implementation intention is pretty simple:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

Another way to get the same effect is by using “habit stacking.” Tie the new habit to an old habit.

From Atomic Habits:

Habit stacking is a special form of an implementation intention. Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit.

And the formula for habit stacking is pretty simple too:


“After I wake up, I will do 20 push-ups.”

“After the crime, I will hide any evidence.”

Chain together enough new habits and you’ll be in great shape while spending far less time in prison.

(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)

So your new habit plan is clear. But how do you get yourself to want to do it?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE