1. Use Temptation Bundling
Whenever you want to make a habit more appealing, you can use this formula:
I will only (tempting behavior) while I (desired behavior).
Here are some examples:
- I will only listen to my favorite podcast while I work out.
- I will only drink my favorite coffee while I work on my report.
- I will only watch my favorite show while I fold the laundry.
By combining things you want to do with things you should do, you get to enjoy both immediate rewards and long-term benefits1.
So, whenever a tempting behavior seems compatible with a desired one, consider bundling them together.
2. Celebrate Your Wins
According to behavior expert BJ Fogg, emotions create habits.
If you want a behavior to become habitual, your brain must associate it with feeling good.
And you can accomplish that by using Fogg’s “celebration” technique2.
There are many ways to celebrate, but you might for instance:
- Do a fist pump.
- Tell yourself, “That’s like me!”
- Put on a big smile.
It might sound silly, but it can work remarkably well.
If you find a way to celebrate that makes you feel good, and do it every time you’ve completed a behavior, it will become habitual much faster.
So, always celebrate your wins—no matter how small they seem.
3. Track Your Progress
One of the easiest and most effective ways to change your behavior is to measure it.
Research shows that merely asking people to track what they do immediately and significantly improves their performance in that area.
For instance, studies show that people who use pedometers will increase their physical activity by 27% and walk at least one extra mile per day on average3.
What gets measured tends to improve.
So, it’s good practice to track your progress whenever you want to create a new habit.
Just make sure that the measure you choose truly creates the behavior you want.
- Holding the Hunger Games Hostage at the Gym: An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling
- Rewire Your Brain
- Pedometers Help People Count Steps to Get Healthy