How Successful People Build Good Habits

As we move into 2019 I know that a lot of you are looking to make New Year’s Resolutions, but as we all know these resolutions tend not to last because well Life Happens.

That’s why today I am going to talk about real sustainable habit transformation because I want to see you succeed so that you can get out there and really make your positive impact in the world whatever that means to you!

Before we jump in I want to make sure that you all have subscribed to my blog so click that button down below to join me as we cut through the confusion and figure out what is going to actually help you accomplish your goals and what is just clever marketing…

Now habit transformation is an obviously a tricky thing otherwise we would all have tons of good habits and no bad habits, but just because something is tricky doesn’t mean we don’t have any control over it.

What happens though, is that when some topic is confusing people tend to make it even more confusing just because there is so much information available.

So what I am going to try and do here, and throughout all of my content, is to distill all of that information into real usable strategies that you can start implementing today!

Real Sustainable Habit transformation comes down to 3 main things the trigger/cue, the action/habit, and reward.

Many people think that when they are doing things that they know is wrong it is because of a lack of willpower, and I am here to tell you that not only is that way of thinking wrong it is dangerous.

Most of our life is spent running subconscious programs that are activated based on cues or triggers in our environment (some including myself would say up to 95% of our life is spent in this state)

You may think that this makes you a victim but it is the complete opposite. We as humans have control over our environment which puts us in control of our habits and behaviors. I will be going over how to make an ideal environment in a future video.

So as I was saying habits are broken down into 3 main parts. The trigger, the habit or action, and the reward.

Let’s think of a simple example of a good and bad habit to clarify what I am talking about.

Say someone has a good habit of brushing their teeth. When they get up in the morning they go to the bathroom and sitting there on the counter is their toothbrush. This is the cue or trigger in the environment. The person then does the same thing they have been doing for years and brushes their teeth acting out the habit. Then the reward which the people that make toothpaste specifically designed is that minty fresh feeling in their mouth after they are done brushing, don’t think that just happened by accident. That fresh feeling you get when using most toothpaste was specifically put in there to give you a reward so that you would form the habit and continue to use their product.

Now let’s look at a bad example. Say you have someone who drinks too much alcohol. They open up the fridge and on the shelf right in front of them is their favorite beer. This is the cue or trigger in the environment. The person then picks it up, cracks it open (which is in itself a mini habit giving you the reward of that awesome sound) and starts drinking acting out the habit. The reward it multifactorial there is the refreshing feeling of drinking a cold drink, and obviously, all of the chemicals that are released in your body when you drink alcohol which gets amplified the more that you do it.

In neither of these examples was willpower involved. They were simply responding to a cue in their environment with a behavior they have been doing for a long time and getting a reward of some type.

So when you are looking to create new habits or get rid of old ones you need to be acutely aware of these 3 things if you want to give yourself the best chance of succeeding.


habit transformation 3 things

Really take the time to figure out why you do the things that you do. What are the triggers in your environment that are cuing you to act out certain behaviors? What rewards are you getting for acting out that behavior?

Now when you are looking to add in new behaviors or habits it can be easier to focus on the things that you are already doing right and try to link new habits to those same cues and rewards.

Say for instance that you already do a good job of walking each day, but you want to drink more water. If you take a step back and think what is cuing me to walk? Is it an alarm you set on your phone, is it your dog barking at you to take him out, is it your tennis shoes sitting by the door that is triggering you to get up and walk. Once you figure this out then you can link your new habit drinking water to this trigger. So now when your alarm goes off to tell you to go walk you put on your shoes AND drink a glass of water. Now you are really making real sustainable habit transformation. And if you want to make it extra solid reward yourself doubly either with something tangible or saying out loud something like Yes I am doing this I am achieving my goal of drinking more water. I can do this!

If you can think about your habits and behaviors through this lens of cue, action, reward you can really make meaningful change to your life that is independent of things like it being the New Year.

Also one more super important point is that when you are adding in new habits pick something that is so easy that you can’t not do it. So many people pick new habits like I am going to go to the gym and workout for an hour every day. That is WAY too much.

simple habits

When you are forming new habits make it SUPER SIMPLE! And I mean really really simple. So simple that you almost have to do it.

So using the example above of drinking more water. You have already done a great job by figuring out that the alarm on your phone is the trigger in your environment, and you are linking it to this cue. Now you could say you need to drink a whole big glass of water, but even this is too big of jump for many people. 1 you need to have a big glass which might not always be available, and you need to have the time to drink it which for some people can take a while. So instead say when the alarm goes off I am going to put on my shoes and take just one sip of water.

That’s it just one sip.

You are making the new habit so easy to do that you would feel silly not doing it. You are removing any barriers that will stop you. You don’t even need to get a cup to take just 1 sip of water. And if you do more great, but no matter what you are going to at least take one sip of water every time that alarm goes off and then reward yourself.

Now once you do that for a few weeks or maybe even months, and you have really solidified the habit into the fiber of your being, you can start to increase how much you drink. 


And I have to point out these are not all my own ideas. Much of this is from James Clear who wrote a great book on habit transformation as well as countless books, podcasts, scientific papers, etc.

I hope this has been helpful. I really really want to see you all succeed at improving so that you can be in the best possible position to take on those passion projects that are going to make a positive impact in the world around you.

P.S If you made it this far make sure you are following my page, and as always if you have any questions leave a comment below. I also made a great video about this topic on my YouTube channel that you should definitely check out! 

Check out my channel here!


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