time management

How to Start Habits that Stick, and Kick the Bad Ones

January 13, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes





Hitting the snooze button. Going to the gym. Less screen time. Good habits are tough to start, and bad habits are tough to get rid of. By now we should all know that there’s rarely such thing as an overnight success, and that usually any kind of transformation or a big win (unless we’re talking scratch of lottery tickets) comes from taking a whole bunch of small steps, consistently, over time. 

Simple? Sure.

Easy? Definitely not.

In this episode, I’m talking all about habits – how to start them, stick to them and kick the bad ones. If you’re ready to start making progress on your big goals by taking small action, then you’re going to love this episode. Little by little – your progress adds up!

In this episode, you’ll learn

  • What exactly makes a habit

  • How your personality shapes how you do habits

  • Strategies for starting and sticking with good habits

  • How to kick bad habits to the curb

  1. Know Yourself

  • Personality assessments are a great place to start.

  • Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies groups people into four categories based on how they meet expectations as an indicator of how they manage habits:

    • Upholders – meets both inner and outer expectations

    • Questioners – meets inner expectation, resists outer expectations

    • Obligers – resists inner expectations, meets outer expectations

    • Rebels – resists both inner and outer expectations

2. Create Systems That Work For You

  • What works for someone else, may not work for you – even if you’re working on the same exact habit.

  • Most of the time, the reason why a habit loses traction isn’t because you’re lazy or a failure, it’s because you didn’t have the right system in place.

  • Strategies to Try:

    • Worst Case Scenario – Imagine you failed. What went wrong? Picturing the worst case scenario helps you anticipate potential pitfalls and plan ahead.

    • Habit Stacking – Schedule your new habit right before or after an existing habit. This creates a cue, that triggers a craving and helps you follow through with the new habit until it becomes second nature.

    • Change your environment – What big and small changes can you make in order to make sticking to your habit easier?

    • Find a tribe – A group that can support you will help you stay on track.

    • Find an accountability partner – You’re 95% more likely to reach your goals if you share your progress with someone on a regular basis

    • Track it – Peter Drucker said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” Jerry Seinfeld recommends putting a big calendar on the wall. Every day you follow through, cross out the day with a big, red X. Soon, your consistency will form a chain of red x’s. Your only job is to not break the chain. DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN.

3. Focus on WHO you want to become, not WHAT you want to do.

  • Find a way to tie your small habit into the bigger picture of who you want to become.

  • Picture yourself having already succeeded to stay connected to your long-term goal.

  • Watch your mouth. What you say about yourself and your abilities become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think of it like a habit version of “fake it til you make it.” If you tell yourself you can’t wake up early – or whatever habit you’re trying to start, you probably won’t!

What habits are YOU trying to start and stick to? Let us know over in the It’s About Time Podcast Community on Facebook.


PBM529 – Thank you so much! I’m thrilled that the first episode is just what you were looking for – and I hope that you’ve enjoyed the rest of the episodes, too. It’s true – life can get pretty chaotic at times, and I’m so grateful that It’s About Time can help you create a little peace among the crazy. So happy to have you as a listener and a subscriber! Thanks again!


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