23 February 2023
Reading 2:18 minutes

Increase Your Chances of Sticking to a New Habit by 3x

As the new year begins, gyms across the world see a surge in memberships.

Gyms are full.

The old dogs — people who are going to the gym regularly — are anticipating the start of February. Why?

Because they know, that during February all returns to normal. Most of the new starts will stop coming in. Gyms will again be half empty and they will have their peace again.

But why do people start something new only to abandon it a month later?

The answer is simple

When we embark on something new, we're often full of energy and motivation. We have a list of goals we want to achieve.
  • Hit the gym,
  • lose weight,
  • write the book,
  • learn a new language,
  • keep my room tidy,
  • … (add your thing)
But as time passes, we encounter resistance and unscheduled disruptions. We realize that achieving our goals requires more than sheer willpower.

Here's a simple hack that can increase your chances of sticking to a new habit by 2-3x:

Instead of creating a new habit, make each action an individual scheduled goal.

Our mindset is everything when it comes to our behaviour.

The more we set our minds on something, the easier it becomes to do it. When we see something as a habit, it's something we do regularly, something that's low on the scale of importance. We do it because we're used to it, not because it's essential.

When we see something as a goal, it has much higher importance. And the goal with a scheduled time slot? That's a huge boost of importance right there.

How I do it.

I plan three most important goals per day. These are the most important things I want to achieve that particular day. Whatever comes up that day, those three goals must be done.

When I want something to become part of my life permanently, I start by scheduling that action as one of my three top goals. Whatever comes up that day, I have a top-priority goal scheduled.

That means I WILL achieve that goal.

How to do it:
  • Select one habit only.
  • Decide what days you want to repeat the desired action.
  • Write in your diary on top of each day section, "My 3 top goals."
  • Write your desired action as the number one goal for each day for the next three months. The rest of the goals can be filled according to your needs at the time. But this one goal must be scheduled beforehand for at least three months.
  • On the day (or preferably the night before), review your goals. Remind yourself that this action is the number one goal of the day.
  • Do it and tick it off.
After three months of repeatedly hitting the goal, you will have created a "mini-habit." The pathways in your brain will have changed, and doing that action will be part of your usual routine.

Test for one month if you can still follow the habit without scheduling it.

If you can, you can start working on the new habit you want to implement. If you miss it once, start scheduling the goal again for another two months. After two months, repeat the testing.

Once you can carry out that action without scheduling it for a month, you have formed a habit.

With this simple hack, you can increase your chances of success by 2-3x.

That's a wrap for today.

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Thank you for reading.
See you next time.


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