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15 Coaches Share Their Top Life Hacks For Building Better Habits

Resource from Forbes

Building positive habits, in both your work and personal spheres, is a great way to create the life you want. But it can be difficult to maintain them, especially in the long-term. Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks you can do to help establish good habits (and curb some not-so-good ones).

To help you, The survey had asked a panel of Forbes Coaches Council members how they recommend getting good behaviors to stick. Read on for their favorite life hacks for building better habits.

Forbes Coaches Council members share their best tips for building habits that stick.


1. Set Daily Goals Every Morning

Getting into the right mindset every morning does magic for me. Setting targets and identifying the nonnegotiables and the person I want to be makes me productive and helps move me toward my goals. -Chuen Chuen Yeo, ACEsence

2. Learn And Adapt To Your Situation

Over time I learned the value of learning from people who have achieved the specific goals you are hoping to accomplish one day. Learn from them and adapt their teachings to your specific situation. Never copy and paste their information; learn and adapt everything you learn for your specific situation. Once you get what you learned in place, constantly optimize the process for higher ROI. - Lee Goff, Lee Goff - Your Marketing Agency Coach

3. Create Mantras For Yourself

Neurologically, habits are formed in our brains in three parts—a cue, a behavior and a reward. You can hack those three steps to intentionally build new habits by creating mantras: “If I am in X situation (cue), then I am going to do Y (practice) so I can achieve Z (reward).” You build mantras by starting with a meaningful reward you want to achieve and working backward. - Michael Couch, Michael Couch and Associates Inc.

4. Connect It To A Grand 'Why'

Until you know what the new habit means to you, it's unlikely you will care enough to do the hard work to change. So take the time to ask yourself, what does this new habit provide? What does it support? Once I've been doing it, what will be my new reality? In the end, you're building habits to gain or become something. So do yourself a favor and get really clear on your personal benefit. - Evan Weselake,GetPureFocus

5. Build In Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive, but to achieve more, build in some "down time." We are our most creative and clear-headed when out on that run, slowly enjoying that cup of coffee or playing fetch with a furry friend. Instead of chasing focus and inspiration, let them come to you in unstructured moments. I promise you'll not only find better habits to pursue, but find it easier to stick with them. - Kristin Johnson,Logos Consulting Group

6. Keep Your Goals In Plain Sight

Staying present to and holding oneself accountable to goals, dreams, mindsets and behaviors can be difficult. Once out of sight, it goes out of mind. That's why I recommend to anyone looking to make change more easily and confidently to handwrite out their declarations on paper and post it in a place they will see frequently each day, such as the bathroom mirror, computer monitor or refrigerator. - Thom Pulliam, Unicorn Talent Club

7. Be Kind To Yourself

Clarity and sufficient knowledge in how things are interconnected from the environment to the body to the mind to emotions and performance allows for realistic goal setting, changes and, most importantly, kindness with ourselves. It is crucial to not beat ourselves up when we "fail" but to quietly, patiently and very simply start again! Step by step by step we will get there. Time is irrelevant. - Sharesz T. Wilkinson,The Speech Improvement Company

8. Identify Your Old Cues And Patterns

If you want to create a new habit, discover all the cues—thoughts, feelings and actions that go with the old habit. Write them down. Create what new actions you are taking in the new habit. When you notice you are in the old patterns, use that as a wake-up call and take the new action. Realize the only thing that will create a new brain pattern is repetition. Over time, it will be natural. - Janet Zaretsky,Empowered Women Enterprisess, LLC dba Janet Zaretsky

9. Enlist Your Spouse Or Partner To Hold You Accountable

Your spouse or partner is your force multiplier. They know everything about you and, therefore, make the best accountability partners as you make the journey from good to great to world class. Given that they are already your life partner, the foundation of trust can be leveraged to drive pure accountability, unadulterated by euphemisms and indirect communications. - Venkataraman Subramanyan, Tripura Multinational

10. Create An 'If-Then' Plan

If you want to create a new habit, you need to plan for the situations that will test your willpower and self-control. Form concrete plans for obstacles that could cause you to backtrack using the structure "If (situation), then I will (behavior)." By forming an advance plan, your response becomes mentally represented and can be performed with less conscious effort, upping your chances of success. - Dina Denham Smith, Cognitas Coaching & Consulting

11. Piggyback New Habits Onto Existing Behaviors

One of the easiest ways to develop a new habit is to pair an existing habit with a new habit. Select a current habit you engage in daily. Next, use that habit as a reminder to piggyback your new behavior on. For example, if you want to start a habit of thinking of things you’re grateful for each day (new habit), do it while brushing your teeth (existing habit). - Jacinta Jimenez, BetterUp

12. Measure Your Progress Every Day

As the saying goes, what gets measured gets done. So for the new habit you want to adopt, set a clear goal or objective that you can measure. Then track it every day. It'll help you stay focused. After about three weeks, your new habit will start feeling quite normal. Then you can start working on the next one! - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy

13. Develop Self-Discipline

You need discipline as the foundation of everything in your life. There may be days you don’t feel the motivation or have the energy or will, but with discipline you will make it happen everyday. If you didn’t learn it growing up, the military can teach it. Sports can teach it. Get it. - Gene Russell, Manex Consulting

14. Schedule It In Your Calendar

If you want to develop better habits and be efficient and effective, then schedule everything! If it's not in your calendar, you are not going to prioritize it. Get the most out of your day by knowing what you are going to do and when. This leads to better habits in life, health and relationships - Kevin Kan, Break Out Consulting Asia

15. Accept That Change Must Happen

In order to build better habits, you must accept change. Once you have identified an area you want to correct, you must accept that change has to happen in your life to make things better. Once you have accepted the process that comes along with the change process, good habits will naturally follow. - Mika Hunter, Female Defender


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