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Brain Circuits

How to ingrain a new habit 

IbyIMD+ Published 23 April 2024 in Brain Circuits • 5 min read

In part one of this two-part series, we advised on sparking new habits. Here, in part two, we offer a checklist to help ingrain them.

As a companion to an article Jennifer Jordan and I wrote on the restorative power of small habits, below you’ll find a checklist with six tips for ingraining new ones.

1. Place new habits before or after already established ones

Stacking your habits will make the new ones easier to remember and sustain.

E.g., “Before I drive home, I’ll check my emails for the last time.”

2. Set a reminder

Consider which reminders to set up and where: your phone, your computer, or via a visual cue.

E.g., “At 4pm each weekday, a musical alarm will go off on my phone.”

3. Celebrate right afterward

Be sure to mark your achievement, however briefly, in a way that suits you: what gets acknowledged gets repeated.

E.g., “After my mini-habit, I tell myself: ‘Bravo, one step further’.”

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