7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

by - February 06, 2021

 Creating habits is really hard. You know you have a lot of motivation in the beginning so the first day is easy, and the second, and then the third day comes... and you start putting it off, and then the fourth day comes, and you put off doing it, and then you miss a day, and then you stop doing it entirely. Is this relatable?

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

Side Note - This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, you can read my privacy policy. Thank you for supporting my blog. :)

Updated for 2024

If it is, you have come to the right place! I have felt the same way after trying to create habits. They are seriously so hard to start and sometimes trying to get yourself to do the habit you are trying to create can be really tough.

I read a bunch of books about creating habits, and I have been working on finding reliable methods that actually work and are effective so today I wanted to share my favorite tips for creating habits that you can actually stick to!

First, I want to recommend two books that have very helpful methods in them.

I also wrote a post a while ago called How to Create Habits in Six Simple Steps, that you might want to check out after you read this post. :)

And now without further ado, let's get straight into the tips.

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

1. Start Small

This tip cannot be stressed enough. Going to the gym and working out every day for an hour and a half would be a great goal, but it is going to be horrendously hard to keep up with.

It's better to start off with a smaller habit you are trying to create. Such as doing 15 minutes of cardio when you wake up in the morning.

After you create the habit, you can start building on it. For example, doing 15 minutes of cardio every day for a month and then doing 20 minutes of cardio every day, the month afterward and then going from there and adding a few minutes every month as long as you were able to keep up with the month before.

Plus, try to make your habit something you actually want to do!

It's really hard to try and force yourself to do something you don't want to do. So if you are trying to exercise more, but you don't like going running, then try dancing or weightlifting. There are tons of different forms of exercise.

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

2. Schedule Your New Habit into Your Day

Decide what habit you are going to try and create and then schedule it into your day. For example, if you want to read part of a book every day, you might choose to read it during breakfast while you eat because you are already sitting down at the table.

Even if you only read a page out of the book, or even a few sentences, it still counts towards your habit because you did it, and you want your habits to start out small anyway.

Using the prompt of sitting down to eat breakfast will remind you to read your book and you can even keep your book somewhere nearby or even on the table to help you remember.

3. Use a Habit Tracker

If you use a bullet journal or a planner, you can use your system to help you create your new habit. Simply having a box to check off in your bullet journal or planner, might help you to remember to do it.

You probably check your bullet journal or planner at least once a day, so this will remind you to do it and you can check it off your list!

But don't be discouraged if you miss a day. You should be more focused on trying to get back on track today, than being worried about missing yesterday.

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

4. Use a Prompt

Your bullet journal or planner can be a prompt for you to do a certain habit, but there are also many other types of prompts. When you see your bed, what do you think about?

You probably immediately think about sleeping.

You want to try and think of a prompt that will immediately get you to think of your habit. Here are some ways you can do just that.

  • Do the habit right after you do something else.
    • You eat breakfast and then you wash the dishes.
  • Have your habit in plain sight.
    • The book you are reading lying on the table.
  • Not having other prompts in the same place.
    • Not doing your homework on your bed or at the kitchen table.

One of the habits I am creating this year is to write down something I am grateful for every day, right before I go to bed. It's the last thing I do before I get into bed each night and it's easy to remember to do (most of the time) because I have my bullet journal on my desk in my room next to my bed. It is also an easy habit because I only have to write down one word. It only takes a few seconds of my day.

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

5. Don't Worry About Missing a Day

If you miss one day, that's entirely fine. If you miss a few days in a row, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board, so you can figure out why your habit isn't working for you and then you can modify it and try again.

Not every habit is going to work for you, and that is how it should be. Plus, you might try out a new habit and after you do it once, you realize that it is too much to do every day. Instead of trying to do it, and then failing after a few days, just modify the habit and try again.

6. It Doesn't Have to Be an Everyday Habit

Maybe you want to create a habit, but you only want to do it once a week. Since you don't need to do it every day, it won't automatically start becoming part of your daily routine.

You will want to use a reminder to help you remember to do it. So adding a habit tracker to your to-do list in your bullet journal or planner should help.

7. Don't Procrastinate

I have a whole post on how to stop procrastinating and be more productive, which you might want to read.

You don't want to procrastinate your habit. If you aren't excited at all about doing your habit, then something about your habit needs to be changed.

If you don't want to do it. Period. Then you aren't ever going to be able to turn it into a habit.

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

Creating habits takes time, so don't be disappointed if you are having trouble with creating your habits. When you feel like giving up on your habit, it's time to go back to the drawing board and make some changes. Then you can try it again!

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you did, here are some other posts you might like to read too.

Have a productive week!
Save this post for later so you can read it again!

7 Ways to Effectively Create Habits

Get the Newest Post Straight to Your Inbox