How to Build a Good Habit

Most of us have taken a workshop or read a book and gotten so inspired that we fully intended to put it all into practice. We went away determined to be a better listener, let people finish their sentences, or finally achieve the work-life balance we so desired.

Oops…fast forward a week: How many of us immediately slipped back into our old ways?  I know I have. And I’ve led many training programs where people acknowledge that’s a real problem.

It’s not just your problem. It’s a problem with the design. Building habits that stick ought to be a big part of what learning experience designers are paying attention to. But that isn’t the norm.

Given the abundance of current research on habit formation, my colleague Rick and I decided to learn how to help people build new habits within a program we’re designing. We gathered some of the most current research on building habits and distilled a handful of practices we believe are promising. Our intent is to incorporate those practices into the design of the course.

While of course we’d love you to take our course, there’s another way to approach this. That is, to create a self-directed habit formation system to maximize the impact of the programs you take. After all, every personal or professional development experience is an investment in time and money so why not make the most of each of them?

We have some suggestions about how to build such a system based on some of the research on how to build a habit. Scroll down for an infographic on what we've discovered.

Leave a comment about what works for you to build good habits.