WATCH: How to Develop New Positive Habits that Stick

Today, I’d like to talk about ‘Behaviour Change’ and in particular about developing new habits. New productive Habits. New habits that will help you achieve the success that you want to achieve. And, according to James Clear, in his fantastic book, Atomic Habits, which I highly recommend, he talks about the ‘First Law of Behaviour’ change being, ‘Make It Obvious’. And, there’s a real core reason for this.

“Brain = Prediction Machine”

Our Brain is actually a ‘Prediction Machine’. It likes to know what’s going to happen next. And, it’s only two percent of our body weight, yet it uses 20 percent of our available energy. So, it really likes to automate things as quickly as possible and as often as possible. And, it does that through building habits. Where there’s simply a cue, then there’s simply you know, something that you want to do. And your response to that and you get a reward. And, it collapses those into an instantaneous set of behaviours. And, what you want to do is to be able to unpick your current habits and make them more conscious.


“Make Unconscious Conscious”

So, ‘Make the Unconscious Conscious’. So, you can pick apart your ‘Current Habits’ and then identify the new habit. The current habits that you have, ‘Link in a New Habit’ to your current habits. And, then ‘Create Triggers’.


“Identify Current Habits”

So, for example, I want to start running every morning. And, I’ve got a habit at the moment which is my little morning routine of getting up, doing some yoga, after the yoga, I actually pop downstairs. Put some toast on, its rye bread. It takes a long time to toast. And I do my meditation in between, come down after my meditation, and finish off the rest of my breakfast. But what I’d like to do and what I’m doing is inserting a trigger which is my running shoes and running kit right beside the yoga mat.


“Link to New Habits”

So as soon as I finish my yoga, put on my running kit. Pop out the door, go for my run and then come back. And I’m back in the sequence of putting the toast in, going for meditation, and then finishing off my breakfast. So, it’s actually yoga-mat-running rather than yoga-mat-toast.


“Create Triggers”

 And, that means that I can create that trigger, it’s something that I do automatically. It’s very easy for me to do, because I can just have the kit ready there. What I’d like you to do is to think about where you need to insert a new habit into some current habits in order to improve your performance. Because when it comes to ‘Behaviour Change’, make it obvious what you want to do.

And of course, Stay Curious!



With best regards,


David Klaasen


Talent4Performance help business leaders clarify complexity. We inspire people and drive continuous performance improvement, so they can convert thinking into action and results.


©David Klaasen – 2014