How to Form & Maintain New Habits: What the Research Tells Us (in simple words!)

We know that a secret to living a life we love - and achieving all of our aspirations - lies in being able to add and maintain helpful, positive habits.

Think - I want to embed healthier habits into my life to give me more energy and live longer... 

So I recently set out to dive into all the key research I could find from around the world on habits, in particular to help us better understand how to form and maintain new habits.

Here's what I found...

Habit Formation Process:

Habits are actions that become automatic in certain settings, bypassing conscious motivation (Gardner & Lally, 2018). Initially, forming a habit requires conscious effort, but with repeated practice, the action becomes more automatic and less effortful.

Importance of Context and Routine:

The environment plays a crucial role in habit formation. Performing actions in a specific context can help develop habits, while changing the context can assist in breaking old habits (Schwöbel et al., 2019

This means choosing a regular time and place for your new habit can help establish it.

    Role of the Brain:

    The brain's structure changes as habits are formed, with specific areas like the striatum playing a key role in this process (Jog et al., 1999). This is a reminder that habit formation is a deep-rooted biological process.

    Influence of Reward and Behavior Dynamics:

    Habits form more easily when they are associated with rewards. The brain learns to connect specific actions with positive outcomes, reinforcing the habit (Liljeholm et al., 2015).

    Personal Experiences in Habit Formation:

    Personal experiences of habit development show that it's initially challenging, but it gets easier as the habit becomes more automatic. Selecting effective cues to support repeated behavior is vital (Lally et al., 2011).

    Summary for Implementing New Habits:

    1. Start by clearly defining the new habit you want to establish.
    2. Repeat the action regularly in the same context, like doing it at the same time and place.
    3. Reward yourself after performing the habit to reinforce it.
    4. Remember, it will be hard at first, but it gets easier as your brain adapts.
    5. Be patient and persistent. It takes time for a new habit to become automatic.

    Need Help with Creating and Maintaining New Habits?

    Join Platinum Coaching for February - Where Our Focus is On Habit Creation

    Deep dive to craft habits to support your dreams with our February focus in our Platinum Coaching Program

    4 x 60min weekly sessions in February - to set you up for a a brilliant 2024!

    Join for the month with our new monthly subscription. Cancel any time.

    More info here...

    Join our Dream Life Habit Club 

    It's easy to start a new habit, but harder to make it stick!  Get the know-how, inspiration and support network you need to successfully ingrain new habits into your life. 

    Included: 12 month access, private Facebook Group for accountability & inspiration, Habit Challenge Workbook, regular inspiring input from Kristina, monthly emails to inspire you.

    More info here...

    Take our Free 60 min Workshop: Crafting Habits to Support Your Best Year Yet!

    Join Kristina in this pre-recorded online workshop to focus on prioritising your dreams & goals - and crafting the simple daily habits you need in place as the building blocks for achieving them...

    Join the Free Workshop here...

    Explore Our Range of Products that Help You Create & Maintain Productive Habits

    Explore here... 

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.