Jesse J. Anderson


The Fool-Proof Way to Create New Habits

Everyone wants new habits, but few know where to start.

Most people fail before they get started by not being specific. To create a habit you can follow, identify three key elements.

  • Behavior (what)
  • Time (when)
  • Location (where)

This is a good model to get started, but there's an even better hack for adding a new habit—the habit stack.

Creating a habit stack

A habit stack begins with an existing habit. This provides two of the three key elements for a new habit: time and location. Now, add your new habit as a simple follow-up behavior to the existing one.

Your existing habit becomes a cue for your new habit, and you stack them together.

As soon as you complete the first one, move to the second.

Making a difficult habit easy

Difficult habits can be intimidating to start.

The trick is to change your mindset so you can highlight the benefits and downplay the drawbacks.

I'm not confined to my wheelchair—I am liberated by it. If it weren't for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house.

Our habits become more attractive by associating them with positive feelings.

Remember that habits are a slow burn toward exponential results. When progress feels stalled, bad decisions can derail your momentum. Don't let them!

Good habits are compound interest—it's all about your trajectory. Let them take you to new heights.