How to Form Healthy Habits

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Did you know up to 50% of what we do is automated by a habit?

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be precise. This also depends on the behaviour, the individual, and the circumstances. (Clear;2019). The important thing is to start, as it all begins with the first day.

When I started my quest to complete an ironman I couldn't swim more than 50m without needing a rest. But slowly the habits formed and they have stayed.

Habits develop from the level of your frequency and commitment, not time.

A life coach can help you identify things you would like to achieve, set goals, and make them a new and positive habit.

3 Stage Habit Loop

1. The cue/trigger. This is something that tells your brain to undertake the habit. It could be sunrise and it’s time to get up and jump on the bike or having a cup of coffee with breakfast.

2. The routine. This is the action or behaviour itself, which can be physical or emotional. It has become so automatic you just do it.

3. The reward/reinforcement. This is what motivates you to do it again and again. This is usually a positive feeling, like how you feel after a training session or delivering an awesome presentation at work.

How To Form A Healthy Habit

Select a regular time and place for the habit and be specific. For example, at 5am I will ride 30km, 4 times a week from home.

Use your environment to create a habit. For example, you might create a quiet bedroom with a soft light, essential oil diffuser, music or a book to instigate sleep.

Bundle a habit with something you are already doing. For example, try putting on a podcast or audiobook every time you get in the car. This is creating new habits while doing something as simple as driving from A to B in the morning.

Create a new habit with someone else. The social aspect will help keep you accountable and leverage our need to be part of a tribe or community. Try joining a club or group to keep you motivated and on track.

Make it easy. Choose a gym near your home or work and have your workout clothing, kit and sneakers next to your bed the night before.

Have a reward and make it satisfy you immediately. The feeling you get straight after exercise drives you to do it again.

Measure your success. There’s nothing quite like seeing your improvement to help build on your habit(s). Try tracking your weights, runs, rides, swims or whatever you do. Set goals and track your progress.

A Life Coach can help your form new healthy habits and break the unhelpful ones. Be the best version of yourself.

What habits would you like to start or stop doing?

Contact Austin Coaching.


Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, issue 353 of Institute Inbrief, 2021

Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones. London, United Kingdom: Random House Business Books

Duhigg. C. (2012). The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks., 2019 (2021)

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