We all have bad habits that we’d like to break and eliminate from our life, whether it be related to your nutrition, your training, or just your overall health. But do you know the fundamentals of creating new, positive habits so that you can replace your bad ones?

No matter what type of habit you are forming, it tends to follow a 3 step pattern - let’s think of this as the 3 R’s: Reminder, Routine, Reward. According to Margaret Moore, co-director of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital "It is normal and natural for men to feel like relaxing and letting go of the self-monitoring discipline of healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. But feeling good and energetic requires a daily investment in self-improvement, which begins with letting go of unhealthy habits and engaging in healthy ones."

Moore also says that the importance of your new goal and the confidence you feel for achieving this goal will be critical to your success! Let’s face it - if you aren’t motivated then this new habit isn’t going to be a focus in your life. Here’s how the three R’s factor into you successfully creating a new, positive habit:

  • Reminder: Ask yourself, “What is the trigger that initiates the bad habit?”

  • Routine: Ask yourself, “What is the bad habit that I want to change?”

  • Reward: Ask yourself, “What is the benefit from the habit?”

Keep in mind, each of these R’s are linked to the other, which is what forms the vicious cycle of a bad habit. To begin to change or eliminate this bad habit, identify what triggers the habit. Is it stress? Is it location? Identifying the triggers will allow you to motivate yourself to form a more positive habit and make a plan of action! Don’t forget to reward yourself when you stick to your plan of action, either, that is definitely a key component of your success!

Source: “Trade Bad Habits for Good Ones”, Harvard Men’s Health Watch