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Discover how many days to form a habit and unlock your potential. Learn effective strategies to establish lasting habits and achieve your goals.

Unlocking the Power of Habits: How to Form a Habit and Achieve Your Goals

Jan 11, 2024

Sometimes when we set goals for ourselves (including forming new habits), they can feel completely unrealistic. Like they're impossible to reach.

The aim of this article is to explore various methods that can aid you in achieving your habit goals with minimal mental effort, strain, and resistance. By simplifying and enhancing the entire habit loop process, you can break free from the challenges of habit formation, which many individuals struggle with. This would result in a more pleasant and satisfying journey toward achieving your goals.

This article will focus on the importance of aligning your habits with your strengths, abilities, and interests. It will also help you answer the most frequently asked question "How to form a habit". By following this approach, you can significantly increase your chances of successfully forming or adopting a new habit and making it a consistent part of your routine.

The Quest for Habit Formation

Hook: Did you know that up to 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February? The challenge of forming habits is real. Developing and sticking to healthy habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet, can be particularly difficult. However, with the right approach and mindset, it is possible to overcome these hurdles and create lasting changes in your eating habits. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to form a habit that will help you get back on track with your diet and reclaim healthy eating habits.

1. Set Clear and Specific Goals:

To begin your journey towards forming healthy eating habits, it's crucial to set clear and specific health goals. Instead of vaguely aiming to "eat healthier," define what that means for you. Specify the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you want to consume daily or the number of sugary snacks you want to limit yourself to each week. Clear goals provide direction and make it easier to track progress.

2. Start Small and Build Momentum:

Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to change your entire diet overnight. Start small and focus on one specific aspect at a time. For example, begin by incorporating a healthy breakfast into your morning routine checklist or swapping sugary drinks with water. As you successfully integrate these small changes, you'll build momentum and confidence to tackle bigger dietary modifications.

3. Create a Routine and Stick to It:

Consistency is key when forming a habit. Establish a routine that aligns with your goals and make a conscious effort to stick to it. Plan your meals in advance, set designated times for eating, and create a supportive environment that encourages healthy choices. By following a consistent routine, healthy eating will become more automatic and less of a conscious decision.

4. Identify Triggers and Plan for Obstacles:

Identify the habit triggers or situations that often lead to unhealthy eating choices. It could be stress, boredom, or even social gatherings. Once you recognize these triggers, develop strategies to overcome them. Find alternative ways to cope with stress, have healthy snacks readily available, or communicate your dietary preferences to friends and family. Planning for obstacles will help you navigate challenging situations and stay on track.

5. Celebrate Milestones and Stay Motivated:

As you make progress in forming your healthy eating habits, celebrate milestones along the way. Acknowledge and reward yourself for sticking to your goals. Additionally, find sources of motivation to keep you inspired throughout the journey. This could be reading success stories, joining a supportive community, or tracking your progress using a habit journal or habits tracker app. Remember, motivation fuels habit formation.

The Impact of Habits:

Habits play a significant role in shaping our lives and can have a profound impact on our overall well-being. Whether they are healthy or unhealthy habits, they have the power to influence our physical, mental, and emotional state.

Positive habits, such as regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, and practicing mindfulness, can improve our physical health, boost our energy levels, and enhance our mental clarity. These habits contribute to a sense of discipline and self-control, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

On the other hand, negative habits like smoking, drinking, excessive consumption of junk food, or procrastination can have detrimental effects on our health, productivity, and overall quality of life. They can contribute to chronic health issues, hinder personal success, and create unnecessary stress and anxiety.

The impact of habits goes beyond our well-being; they also influence our relationships, deep connection with others, and communities. Healthy habits can inspire others and create a ripple effect of positive change, while negative habits can contribute to a cycle of unhealthy behaviors.

Recognizing the impact of bad habits is crucial for personal growth and development. By consciously cultivating positive habits and working towards eliminating negative ones, we can create a more fulfilling and thriving life for ourselves and those around us.

How Moore Momentum System Can Help to Form a Habit?

Unveiling the Unique Two-Phase Method to Form Habits

Phase 1, Step 1: Identify the underlying failure habit and choose a personalized "golden habit."

When using The Moore Momentum System, the first step is to identify the underlying habit or behavior that is causing failure or hindering progress. For example, let's say someone is struggling with maintaining a consistent exercise routine. They may realize that their failure habit is hitting the snooze button in the morning, which leads to skipping their workout.

Next, it's important to choose a personalized "golden habit" that will replace the failure habit. In this case, the golden habit could be waking up early and immediately putting on workout clothes. This customizes the habit to the individual's personality, strengths, and preferences. It aligns with their desire to exercise and creates a trigger for action.

Phase 1, Step 2: Customize the golden habit using behavioral science or gamification techniques to make it obvious, easy, and fun.

To ensure the golden habit becomes ingrained, three strategies can be used: making the habit obvious, making it easy, and making it fun/rewarding/attractive.

In our example, making the habit obvious could involve setting an alarm across the room, so the individual must physically get out of bed to turn it off. This makes it harder to fall back asleep and reinforces the new habit.

To make the habit easy, the individual could pre-plan their workout clothes the night before and have their exercise equipment readily accessible. This removes any barriers or excuses that might deter them from following through.

Lastly, making the habit fun and rewarding could involve tracking progress, setting milestones, or incorporating psychology of gamification. They could reward themselves with a small treat after completing each workout or join a fitness challenge with friends for added motivation.

It's important to start with one strategy and gradually add more as needed to ensure habit formation becomes inevitable. Over a time frame, these personalized adjustments and behavioral science or gamification techniques make the golden habit more appealing and help it seamlessly integrate into daily routines.

A Real World Example:

A 30-year-old working professional seeking to develop a consistent exercise habit. Sarah leads a busy lifestyle, balancing her work responsibilities with personal commitments. She values social interaction and enjoys engaging in friendly competition. Sarah recognizes the need to incorporate exercise into her routine for improved fitness and overall well-being.

Step 1: Sarah identifies her golden habit as joining a group fitness class with friends. This personalized choice aligns with her unique characteristics, as it allows her to combine exercise with socializing and competition. By selecting a group fitness class, Sarah creates a sense of accountability and motivation through the support of her friends.

Step 2: Sarah customizes her golden habit using various strategies. To make the habit obvious, she schedules her fitness classes in her calendar, ensuring that she has dedicated time set aside for exercise. This visual reminder prompts her to prioritize her fitness commitment.

To make the habit easy, Sarah organizes carpooling with her friends to fitness classes. This eliminates the hassle of transportation and increases convenience, making it effortless for her to attend the sessions regularly.

To make the habit fun and rewarding, Sarah tracks her progress and celebrates milestones with her friends. They can engage in friendly competition, set goals, and reward themselves for their achievements. This gamification aspect adds an element of excitement and enjoyment to their exercise routine, making it more likely for Sarah to stick with her golden habit long-term.

By customizing her golden habit, Sarah ensures that exercise becomes an integral part of her daily life. The combination of social interaction, competition, and personalized strategies make the habit formation process engaging and enjoyable for her, increasing the chances of long-term adherence.

How To Set New Habit Goals That Set You Up For Success

“The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.” - James Clear

Habits are actions, behaviors and routines that we repeat so often that they become automatic — our routines. Goals are what we want to achieve — our dreams. But if you think about it, the way we set goals can be the key to success or failure when it comes to forming habits.

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Here's why: The secret to setting goals with the best chance of success is tailoring them to your skills, passions, and outcomes you want to achieve. If you don't do this, then you'll likely spend most of your time trying to change yourself — which is really hard — instead of changing your environment so it supports who you are.

That's what author Brian Tracy says in his book Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. He calls this principle "personalization."

Tracy says that when you personalize a goal, it becomes more meaningful, easier to achieve, and more likely to stick. For example: "I will lose 10 pounds'' is not as effective as "I am 10 pounds lighter - I've achieved this by eating a healthy diet that I like - and cutting out the morning croissant on my way to work." The same approach works for habit formation.

And it's exactly the same with habits. If you want to start exercising regularly, for example, find an activity that you're naturally good at and actually enjoy. 

Take me and my wife Meg. While maintaining physical and mental health and fitness is crucial for us, our approaches to achieving it are distinct. Personally, I prefer to engage in activities like basketball, Padel, or golf, which I find enjoyable, and hence, it doesn't seem like a strenuous task.

In contrast, Meg prefers to keep fit and active by engaging in activities such as running, Pilates, or Peloton. Personally, if I had to rely solely on Pilates as my exercise regimen, I would find it challenging to make it a habitual practice since it doesn't bring me much enjoyment.

And it doesn't just apply to fitness goals, literally anything you want to achieve in life and business will be so much easier to reach when it aligns with your natural abilities, passions, and interests.

How many days to form a habit?

While it may be uncomfortable to accept, it is true that individuals are born with varying natural abilities and talents. These abilities can range from cognitive skills, such as analytical thinking or creativity, to physical attributes, such as strength or agility. This is due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors that shape an individual's development from conception.

However, in general practice, it is important to note that while we may have inherent strengths and weaknesses, our potential for growth and improvement is not predetermined. With dedication, hard work, and practice, individuals can improve their skills and abilities, often surpassing those with greater innate talent but less drive to improve. This is why the age-old adage of "practice makes perfect" holds true for so many disciplines.

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Furthermore, individuals can also develop new habits, skills, and abilities that they may not have been born with through education, research, and training. For instance, an individual may not possess a natural inclination towards mathematics, but with persistent learning and practice, they can attain proficiency in the subject.

Ultimately, it is important to acknowledge and accept our distinctive strengths and weaknesses, while simultaneously pursuing our personal progress and advancement. Rather than focusing solely on our limitations, we should work to maximize our potential and pursue our passions with diligence, effort, and determination. This will help us form success habits and behaviors which will eventually help us to excel in life.

Now, just to be clear, I'm absolutely not talking about having a fixed mindset here – believing that you're good at some things, bad at others and you can't do anything to change it. 

But a lot of things, like physical characteristics, intelligence, hand-eye coordination, and creativity, are influenced by your genetic makeup. If you have genes that make you 7 feet tall, that's going to give you one hell of an advantage in basketball. But there's a much lower chance of you becoming a world-class gymnast.

Of course, if you are 7 feet tall and you have a passion for gymnastics, then go for it. Genes can determine your areas of opportunity, but they don't determine your destiny – only you can do that.

When it comes to habits and behavior change, the same is true. You can massively reduce the friction in forming a new habit by utilizing your natural inclinations and abilities.

That being said if there is a habit that you want to pursue – but doesn't lie within your natural skills or affinities – you shouldn't let that stop you. The key thing is to remember that you may have to work a little harder in some areas to overcome Mother Nature – and not all habits, but once a new habit is formed, it will become automatic.

I truly believe that EVERYONE has something they could excel at over the majority of others with practice. The key to finding it lies in self-awareness and getting curious about your natural abilities and inclinations — what makes you tick.

So, all this begs the question, “How can I figure out my natural skills, personal core values, abilities, likes, and dislikes?”

How To Discover Your Natural Passions and Abilities  

Of course, one way to discover your natural skills and abilities is to try a bunch of things and see what you like. But is it possible to discover them without having to go through the long process of trial and error? Yes, absolutely.

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Here are 4 powerful questions that can help you reflect on your life and figure out your natural passions, abilities, and how to form a habit:

“What feels like fun to me, but work to others?”

Think of an example of a time you were enjoying yourself when others doing the same task were grumbling and complaining. The work that hurts you less than it hurts others is the work you were made to do.

“What makes me lose track of time?”

Can you remember the last time you were so focused on a task that the time seemed to fly by and the rest of the world just faded into the background? This is the ‘flow state' or what performance athletes call being ‘in the zone' 

“What comes naturally to me?” 

When do you feel alive, the real you? No Internal judgments or people pleasing here, just feeling authentic and genuine and it makes sense that you're headed in the right direction.

“Where do I get greater returns than the average person?”

Irrespective of our intentions, the reality is that we often measure ourselves against others. It is human nature to experience a sense of fulfillment when we perceive ourselves to be superior to others in a certain area. Thus, it is essential not to disregard such emotions but to take heed of them since they are an unmistakable sign of our inherent abilities.

Every question asked is a glimpse into comprehending what motivates you, and more significantly, what brings you contentment. Because using pleasure or gratification as a reward system is essential for replacing failure habits with success habits.

Play your Own Game to Forming Habits!

By now, I hope you've realized that playing a game that favors your natural strengths gives you a much better chance of winning. But what if you can't find a game where you have a natural advantage? Simple. You create one. 

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As I mentioned before, we spend so much time looking at others and comparing ourselves. While that behavior can be helpful in identifying your natural skills, a consequence of that behavior in general practice is that we get caught up in competing to reach someone else's goals, based on someone else's values and vision of how the world should look.

You may have heard about Bronnie Ware who interviewed people lying in their deathbeds about their biggest regretsThe number one regret of the dying is “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of little or no thought from me”.

It's exactly the same with habits new behavior. I think this quote from James Clear summarizes it perfectly: “A good Player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that saves their strengths and avoids their weaknesses.”

There's a version of EVERY habit that can bring you joy and satisfaction, all you have to do iis find a way to tailor it towards what Mother Nature gave you.

This is exactly what I'm doing with my new app – gamify your life to leverage your natural gifts and trick your brain into wanting to take actions that ultimately result in replacing your old routines with new behaviors and habits that bring you happiness.

Learning to play the game of life, so the odds are in your favor is critical for reducing friction to make sure the good habits you want to develop feel effortless.

It's so much easier to get in – and stay in – your success loop when you: 

  • Play to your natural ability and talents. 

  • Take action and have success.

  • Get praised by others.

Conclusion - How to Form a Habit?

In conclusion, habit formation can seem challenging at first, but there are various methods you can use to make the process more manageable. Opting for the right habit formation model based on your personality can really help you. It can be challenging to tell how to form a habit or how long it take to form a habit. It is a process and it will take its due time.

The key to achieving your habit goals is to align them with your strengths, abilities, and interests. Personalizing your goals and focusing on what you enjoy and are naturally good at can help you make your habits more meaningful, easier to achieve, and more likely to stick. Our weekly habit tracker will definitely help you when it comes to tracking your progress.

While it is true that individuals have inherent strengths and weaknesses, our potential for growth and improvement is not predetermined. With dedication, hard work, and practice, we can improve our skills and abilities and develop new habits, skills, and abilities.

Rather than focusing solely on our limitations, we should work to maximize our potential and pursue our passions with diligence and determination. In forming success habits and behaviors, we can eventually excel in life. Overall, finding ways to align habits with our natural inclinations and abilities can make the habit formation process less daunting and more enjoyable. At the same time, it is important to show gratitude for all the progress we have made.

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Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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