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How to Build Healthy Habits

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Publish Date:

May 30, 2023

Have you ever set a goal for yourself that you never ended up accomplishing?

That might be because you are focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, setting goals is an effective strategy in many facets of life.

However, many individuals may feel bogged down in the ambiguity of an ambitious goal and frequently blame themselves for failing to achieve it. When, in reality, they were unintentionally setting themselves up for failure from the start.

Goals are excellent for defining your progress, but systems (or habits) are ideal for ensuring that progress is really made.

In the short term, goals may give you direction and even motivate you to go forward, but in the long run, a well-thought-out system will always succeed. What makes the greatest difference is persevering with the process.

Inspired by James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, here is step-by-step guide on how to create a plan to implement effective habits:

Step 1: Choose an Easy Habit you can’t say ‘No’ to

Starting with a small habit to make things easier for you could be as simple as keeping your workout clothes near your bed. This way, you don't have to go far to get them or starting with a small, manageable step like exercising for just 5 minutes a day. The goal is to make it easy to start and maintain the habit.

Motivation Wave Graph displaying effectiveness of relying on temporary motivation
Illustrated above is Stanford Professor BJ Fogg’s “Motivation Wave”, which illustrates the effectiveness of relying on temporary motivation to achieve large goals

Step 2: Break large habits into smaller chunks

Start by identifying the specific habit you want to change. Write it down and make it as specific as possible. For example, instead of "I want to exercise more," write down "I want to exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.”

It’s important to keep each habit reasonable, so that you can maintain momentum.

In our example, splitting the 30 minutes into two segments of 15 minutes a day might seem more achievable, thus enabling you to take action.

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Photo by chandlervid85 from Adobe Stock

Step 3: Creating a plan for failure

Even the most successful people make mistakes and get behind, just like you and I. Remember, building a habit takes time, so be patient with yourself and don’t give up after a setback.

James Clear illustrates that rather than expecting to fail, take the time to consider what exactly prevents the habit from happening. Then, you are able to create a plan to bounce back quickly and get on track.

Young tree sprouting from soil.
Photo by Михаил Павленко from Unsplash

[Bonus Tip] Step 4: Don’t break the chain

Staying consistent and keeping momentum is crucial when building healthy habits, even if it means starting with just 5 minutes a day. The key is to focus on progress, not perfection.

By making small, manageable changes to your routine, you can create positive habits that will ultimately lead to achieving your goals.

Remember, building habits takes time and patience, so don't give up after a setback. Consistency is what matters most, and by sticking with it, it will get easier over time.

What matters most is being consistent, not perfect.

By implementing positive habits, you remove the uncertainty from your goals and replace it with a gradual but tangible process.

You will have progressed much further towards your target by adopting these habits than you ever would have otherwise, even if you don't end up accomplishing it.

We challenge you to follow through on these habits, even when the going gets tough. You will slip up some days, but don’t let that deter you. Momentum is all that matters.

You’ve got this. #psystem


Clear, James. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Penguin Random House, 2018.

“Don’t Break the Chain: A Productivity Technique for Building Good Habits.” Clockify Blog, 30 May 2022,

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