Learn to build 'Golden Habits' and transform your routine with 5 steps for personalized, frictionless habit formation and growth.

How to Build Golden Habits and Transform Your Daily Routine

Jun 18, 2024

By Will Moore

How to Build Golden Habits and Transform Your Daily Routine

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly achieve their goals while others struggle? The secret often lies in their habits. Introducing “Golden Habits” - an updated, highly personalized approach to greatly reducing the friction involved in habit transformation.

Golden habits sprung from my relentless search to find ways to realistically change my habits when I become suicidal in college. At the time, I had no idea that 30 years of researching behavioral science and proven principles would lead to a simple, fun system to effectively replace the bad habits that were destroying my life.

In this blog, I'll share with you how to identify and establish golden habits, discover science-backed methods to make them stick and learn how to integrate these habits into your daily routine seamlessly. All in an effort to ensure you're adhering to what I've now discovered is the secret to happiness: continual growth and balance in the 5 Core Areas Of Happiness.

What Are Golden Habits?

Golden habits are the routines and behaviors that, when practiced consistently, lead to significant positive changes in your life. Unlike regular habits, golden habits are highly personalized and specifically designed to address your unique challenges and goals, making them a good habit to cultivate.

They are the key to unlocking your potential and achieving a fulfilling life. Golden habits are based on universal principles but are tailored to fit your personality, lifestyle, and aspirations, making them more effective and easier to maintain.

The 5 Steps to Identify Your Golden Habit

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Step 1: Identify Your Pain Points

The first step to building golden habits is identifying what's holding you back to pinpoint specific personal challenges and pain points to determine which painkiller techniques/habits you'll need to adopt.

Imagine you're a detective finding clues to understand your challenges. For instance, you might realize that a lack of confidence is affecting your personal and professional growth. This insight sets the stage for targeted improvement.

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If you're able to become aware of the bad habits like procrastination or negative self-talk preventing you from growth and happiness, you've already taken the first crucial step.

Identifying these personal habits allows you to target specific pain points in your life, whether they be feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks, struggling with self-discipline, or having poor eating habits.

Step 2: Identify the Proper Core Area Of Life

Once you've identified your pain points, it's time to link them to one of the 5 Core Areas of Life:

1) Mindset Core: Get your mind working FOR instead of against you by developing a “growth-owner mindset” who fails forward, sees obstacles as temporary roadblocks, and gives fear the finger.

2) Career & Finances Core: Earn a living doing what you love and are great at, execute your purpose, and exponentially grow your wealth along the way.

3) Relationships Core: Create and maintain deep, fulfilled relationships and gain allies to help achieve goals.

4) Physical Health Core: Take care of your physical self to look good, feel good, and gain the energy and stamina to propel you through life.

5) Emotional & Mental Health Core: Manage stress effectively, express your passions regularly, and ensure the world is better for having you in it.

Think of this step as matching symptoms to the right doctor. For example, if a pain point in your life is struggling with confidence, you'll take a closer look at the Mindset Core to determine what bad habits to replace with success habits.

Similarly, if your pain point is related to not having a consistent exercise routine, you'll determine what routines and habits need to change in your Physical Health Core.

And if you're struggling with work-life balance, it could be linked to the Career & Finances Core.

By accurately identifying the core area, you can better address the underlying issues in order to develop your personalized and targeted personal habits.

Step 3: Identify the Core Habit

Now, find the foundational habit that addresses your pain point. Basically, you're identifying the habit tied to a universal principle that has proven itself time and again through the test of time to be a habit needed for a happy, healthy life.

Finding the core habit is akin to finding the right medicine for your symptoms. If your pain point is a lack of confidence, a core habit might be building a positive self-image through affirmations supported by the self-belief/Worth principle.

For example, if your pain point is feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks, the core habit could be practicing better time management. This involves creating daily to-do lists, prioritizing tasks, and setting realistic goals.

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If unhealthy eating is your pain point, the core habit would be to adopt healthy eating habits you can stick to. Establishing positive habits like these can have a profound impact on your overall well-being and success.

Step 4: Personalize the Keystone Habit

Customize the core habit to determine the subcategory that best fits your personality, goals, and lifestyle. This is akin to tailoring a suit to fit perfectly.

For example, you might incorporate a mantra into your morning routine because it's the subcategory of the core habit of positive self-talk that best suits you. You can easily stack it into your shower routine each day.

Let's say your goal is to improve your physical health by exercising more regularly. If you prefer to exercise in solitude, are an early bird, and enjoy nature, you might pick the keystone habit of morning nature trail runs.

Step 5: Choose Your Golden Habit

Finally, you'll want to tweak that keystone habit further to align even more with your personality, goals, and lifestyle so as to maximally reduce the friction involved in taking action.

This is like picking the perfect outfit from a tailored selection, making sure that the garment doesn't just fit well but perfectly.

For example, suppose the core habit you're looking to form is to eat healthier, and the keystone habit you've determined is meal prepping your lunch each morning because you enjoy cooking. In that case, you might add the element of playing your favorite music while you prepare.

Your golden habit of relieving your pain point by eating healthier is meal prepping at 7:30 am each morning while listening to your favorite playlist on Alexa.

Example Of How I Built My Golden Habit for Regular Exercise:

Approx 7 years ago I started noticing some extra pounds in unsavory places like my chin and love handles. In my move from FL to Chicago, I'd inadvertently given up a major success of going to the gym every weekday at 5 pm to play pickup b-ball.

I needed a simple, fun, and rewarding way to get my exercise routine going again, so I started by taking note of what I was passionate and naturally gifted at when it came to exercise.

Playing basketball immediately came to mind in that I knew I could play for hours, get the best cardio workout of my life, and be drenched in sweat without a 2nd thought.

So, I looked up local basketball leagues and asked around, landing on one that was 2X's week and starting after my kids were in bed. I invited a few friends to join me, and "voila," I'd found my golden habit to resolve my pain point of gaining weight, feeling lethargic, and being in a crappy mood all the time.

Below is a breakdown of how I used the above 5 step system to identify my personalized golden habit to resolve a major pain point I was struggling with:

Step 1: Identified Pain Point

Not exercising regularly was not only adding unsightly pounds and affecting my confidence but also sapping my energy and mood.

Step 2: Identified the Core Area of Life

Physical Health Core is the core area of life exercise.

Step 3: Identified the Core Habit

Regular cardio exercise is a core habit because it's the particular aspect of exercise I need to address. Regular cardiovascular exercise is based on the universal principle of making sure you get your body moving and elevate your heart rate consistently.

Step 4: Identified the Keystone Habit

The personalized Keystone Habit that fit ME best was playing in a sports/basketball league because it's the sub-category of exercise that seamlessly integrated with my personality, goals, and lifestyle.

Step 5: Chose My Golden Habit

Inviting a few friends I knew were also looking for a regular ball game (discovered in my original recon) reduced friction even further by 1) adding a relationship core bonus habit of spending more regular time with friends and 2) creating additional accountability (we all text each week to make sure one another is going).

My golden habit of solving my initial pain point of the negative hit my appearance, energy, and mood were taking from lack of exercise became:

1) Playing in a basketball league

2) After 8 pm so I could still put my kids to bed

3) With friends

4) Near my house because I hate driving.

I'd successfully blended my personality, lifestyle, and goals to maximally reduce the friction involved in developing a sustainable habit that's helped me build momentum in my Physical Health Core.


The first few weeks were great, but then something happened on week 3. I didn't go.

Why? There was a 30-minute gap between when I put my kids to bed and left to play basketball, and this week, I'd chosen to plop on the couch and turn the TV on after an exhausting day.

Result: My alarm went off to leave, and I didn't budge.

I knew I needed to overcome this, so I went to what I call my "4 Momentum Boosting Methods," which are a modified version of James Clear's "4 Laws Of Habit Formation." These methods consist of proven behavioral science techniques to ensure the habit you want to form is:

1) Obvious

2) Easy

3) Fun/Rewarding/Attractive

4) Automated

Over the next few weeks, I tinkered with these methods, landing on the following: 1) I made it more obvious and easier to go by putting on my gym clothes right after I put the kids in the bath. This gave me that "well, I'm already dressed, I might as well go" friction reduction.

2) Instead of sitting on the couch and turning the TV on, I went to my office to finish whatever I was working on. This not only kept my brain stimulated so I didn't mind when the alarm went off to leave but also activated "Parkinson's Law," which allowed me to get way more done in less time.

This allowed me to feel great about finishing the day strong so I could hit the ground running the next day for work. I'd determined my optimal gamified golden habit!

Examples of Golden Habits In All 5 Cores

To further illustrate how you can use golden habits and momentum-boosting methods to help change your life, below is an additional example for each of the 5 Pillars of Life:

Mindset Core:

Example of Step-by-Step Process To Find Golden Habit:

1. Identify Pain Point: Constant negative self-talk impacting confidence and mental well-being.

2. Identify the Core Area of Life: Mindset Core.

3. Identify the Core Habit: Regular positive reinforcement.

  • Underlying Universal Principle(a): The Law of Positivity/Attraction: Positive thoughts bring positive results in life, and vice versa.

4. Identify the Keystone Habit: Practicing daily positive affirmations.

5. Choose Your Golden Habit: Morning mantra, a habit stacked with taking a shower, doing stretches, and listening to motivational music.

The 4 Momentum Boosting Methods To Ensure Success (choose one or more):

  • Obvious: Write down a list of positive affirmations about yourself and place them on your bathroom mirror.

  • Easy: Repeat these affirmations every morning while getting ready, making it part of your existing routine.

  • Fun/Rewarding: Pair this habit with a pleasant activity, like having your morning coffee.

  • Automated: Set a reminder on your phone or use a sticky note on the mirror to ensure you do this daily.

Career & Finances Core:

Example of Step-by-Step Process To Find Golden Habit:

1. Identify Pain Point: Not making progress with business startup.

2. Identify the Core Area of Life: Career & Finances Core

3. Identify the Core Habit: Productivity

  • Underlying Universal Principle(s): The Law of Productivity: Maximize output by balancing efficiency and effectiveness, prioritizing high-impact tasks, and minimizing distractions with structured, goal-aligned actions and consistent efforts

4. Identify the Keystone Habit: Tech-Related Daily Planning/Prioritizing/Todo's

5. Choose Your Golden Habit: "Todoist" daily planning/prioritizing App

The 4 Momentum Boosting Methods To Ensure Success (choose one or more):

  • Obvious: Download the desktop version of "todoist" and make sure it's front and center when you open the computer to start the day.

  • Easy: Spend 10 minutes each evening, ensuring the next day's priorities are in place.

  • Fun/Rewarding: The app itself offers rewards for checking off a set amount of todo's each day, and you can also give yourself the reward of an extra 30 minutes of TV time if you knock a minimum of 5 todo's that day.

  • Automated: Set a reminder on your phone or computer to prompt you to review each morn, and each night.

Relationships Core: Building Stronger Connections

Example: Quality Time

Pain Point: Feeling disconnected from loved ones.

Step-by-Step Process:

1. Identify Pain Point: Lack of meaningful interactions with loved ones.

2. Identify the Core Area of Life: Relationships Core.

3. Identify the Core Habit: Dedicating time to loved ones.

  • Underlying Universal Principle: The Law Of Connection: Regularly engaging in meaningful, face-to-face interactions with close friends and family is essential for emotional well-being and the strengthening of social bonds. This principle underscores the irreplaceable value of physical presence and shared experiences in nurturing deep, fulfilling relationships.

4. Identify the Keystone Habit: Weekly family activities.

5. Choose Your Golden Habit:

The 4 Momentum Boosting Methods To Ensure Success (choose one or more):

  • Obvious: Schedule a weekly date night with your partner or family game night on a visible calendar.

  • Easy: Plan activities that everyone enjoys to ensure participation.

  • Fun/Rewarding: Turn off electronic devices during this time to focus on each other and enjoy the activity fully.

  • Automated: Rotate responsibilities for planning the activity to keep it interesting and engaging for everyone.

Physical Health Core: Improving Physical Fitness

Example: Regular Exercise

Pain Point: Lack of energy and motivation to exercise.

Step-by-Step Process:

1. Identify Pain Point: Low energy and motivation for physical activity.

2. Identify the Core Area of Life: Physical Health Core.

3. Identify the Core Habit: Regular physical exercise.

  • Underlying Universal Principle(s): The Law of Exercise: Consistent physical activity is essential for maintaining and improving one's overall health and well-being, with regular exercise contributing positively to physical strength, mental clarity, emotional balance, and long-term vitality.

4. Identify the Keystone Habit: Morning workouts.

5. Choose Your Golden Habit:

The 4 Momentum Boosting Methods To Ensure Success (choose one or more):

  • Obvious: Prepare your workout clothes and equipment the night before.

  • Easy: Incorporate a 20-minute workout into your morning routine.

  • Fun/Rewarding: Choose exercises you enjoy to make it more engaging.

  • Automated: Set a daily alarm on your phone to wake up and start your workout at the same time each morning.

Emotional & Mental Health Core: Managing Stress

Example: Stress Management

Pain Point: Feeling overwhelmed by daily responsibilities.

Step-by-Step Process:

1. Identify Pain Point: High levels of stress and anxiety.

2. Identify the Core Area of Life: Emotional & Mental Health Core.

3. Identify the Core Habit: Effective stress management.

  • Underlying Universal Principle(s): The law of Tranquility: A state of inner peace and calm is achieved and maintained through conscious, deliberate effort to reduce stress, negative thoughts, and emotional turmoil, leading to enhanced mental clarity, emotional balance, and overall well-being

4. Identify the Keystone Habit: Daily meditation.

5. Choose Your Golden Habit:

  • Obvious: Create a quiet, comfortable space for your meditation sessions.

  • Easy: Dedicate 10 minutes each day to mindfulness or meditation.

  • Fun/Rewarding: Use a meditation app to guide your practice and track progress.

  • Automated: Set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you to meditate at the same time each day.

By following these steps and using the Four Momentum Boosting Methods to create your personalized golden habits, you can tackle specific pain points in each core area of your life. This approach will help you make lasting improvements and achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life.


Golden habits have the power to transform your life by drastically reducing the friction needed to build some real momentum in life. By following the 5 steps—identifying pain points, connecting to the right core area, identifying the core habit, personalizing the keystone habit, and choosing your golden habit—it's only a matter of time.

Whether it’s building self-discipline, fostering positive thinking, or adopting positive habits, following the above system will allow you to identify, spark, and sustain your golden habits in all 5 Cores.

Start small, be consistent, and watch as these golden habits allow you to level up in life to fulfill your destiny, one step at a time.


Congratulations on discovering the power of golden habits! Now, let's take the first step to make it simple, fun, and rewarding to implement the solutions you've just learned.

  1. Discover Your Core Values: Start by taking our Core Values Quiz to see where you stand in the 5 Core Areas of Life. This will help you identify the areas you need to focus on for maximum growth.

  2. Get Personalized Coaching: Whether you need individual coaching or executive coaching, our experts are here to help you momentify your personal life and business. Learn more about our services HERE.

  3. Track Your Progress: Make it fun and rewarding to hold yourself accountable with our gamified Weekly Habit Tracker App. This tool will help you stay on track and celebrate your wins.


Accelerate your growth in the 5 Key Areas of Life by making your habit transformation journey so simple, fun, and rewarding that your momentum becomes inevitable.

Ready to level up? Let's build the momentum together!

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What are golden habits?

Golden habits are highly personalized routines that significantly reduce friction in achieving personal growth.

How can I develop good habits?

Follow the 5 steps: identify pain points, connect to the right core area, identify the core habit, personalize the keystone habit, and choose your golden habit. Additionally, recognize and replace any bad habit with a more beneficial activity. Identify triggers, use reminders, practice mindfulness, and focus on replacing bad habits with good habits to promote healthy living and well-being.

What is the importance of healthy habits?

Healthy habits contribute to overall well-being, helping you maintain a healthy weight, a positive mindset, and a fulfilling life.

Can you give me a personal habits example that can improve productivity?

A: One personal habit example that can boost productivity is the habit of planning your day the night before. By creating a to-do list and prioritizing tasks for the next day, you can start your morning with a clear focus and direction, reducing procrastination and increasing efficiency.


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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