4 Simple Steps to Kick-Start a Successful Habit

Dr. Kevin Gazzara
5 min readOct 9, 2022

Let’s Begin

You have decided that you want to change your life. You’ve got a goal in mind. What can you do to ensure that you achieve success? You know that you will need to adopt certain success habits. The following steps will help you ensure successful habit formation.

Before we launch into the four steps, let’s look at the three elements that form our habits. Charles Duhigg clearly identifies these three elements in his seminal book “The Power of Habit”. There is a Cue or a trigger that alerts us to take an Action, which continued action creates a routine, and the result of completing the routine delivers us some type of Reward. This is also known as a reinforcing cycle or loop. Once you recognize the cycle you can change it, if so desired. The typical human response is to change the cue, by removing it from your environment or avoiding it all together. The problem with this approach is that you have not addressed the root cause of the problem which can lie in the routine or the reward.

Duhigg stresses that recognizing that the cue can emerge regardless of avoidance or removal, so replacing the current routine with an alternative routine is paramount to long-term success. I critical factor is that the routine should be positive and create an alternate reward that is desired and tangible.

The Habit Loop

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu. So, let’s begin our 4-step journey.

1. Plan

Success habits don’t just happen by accident, they are created by design. Developing a plan will increase the chances of your successfully creating a new habit. Think of the plan as a roadmap. Include your starting point, the final goal, and all the steps along the way. Don’t forget to note down potential obstacles and how you will overcome them.

Many people include a vision board in their planning. This is a terrific way to see what your goal looks like, and when placed somewhere that you will see it regularly can reinforce the goal you want to achieve. Once you have your vision or vision board created, keep it in…

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Dr. Kevin Gazzara

CEO of Magna Leadership Solutions, Certified Positive Intelligence Coach, Management Expert, Professor, Speaker, and Author. Contact: Kevin@Magnaleadership.com