How to create a good habit
Establishing a good habit — or banishing a bad one — isn't like flipping a switch. Start by identifying a realistic goal and map out small ways to work towards it every day.
Molly Drews, a personal trainer in Los Angeles, CA, agrees. “Usually [new clients] come in with very lofty goals. I try to get them to see the small changes they can make.” Her coaching encompasses all aspects of well-being. Drews wants to know what’s going on emotionally, how much clients are sleeping and what they think about themselves. She aims to get them to love their bodies and develop a habit of healthy self-talk.
For instance, she tells clients that even if they truly don’t believe they can accomplish something, their thoughts should be “I’m capable,” or “I am going to do this.” And she advocates for little habits like always having nuts and water in the car — because being stuck in traffic with nothing to eat can often activate unhealthy habits like overeating later or spending impulsively on fast food and harmful snacks.
Fogg has even developed his own proprietary method called Tiny Habits. The first step is to pick something easy and really small that you want to change. The second is to find where it fits naturally in your day. This is called “anchoring.”
Fogg offers the seemingly-hard-to-start habit of flossing as an example. Instead of just saying "I will floss every day," say, "After I brush, I will floss one tooth." If it works, keep going, and if it doesn’t, revise the design. Find another place where the habit can fit naturally in your life. “Plant a seed in the right spot, and it grows on its own,” says Fogg.