The Secret to Making Your Habits Stick

UPDATED: May 22, 2024
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2020

People struggle with making habits stick for one simple reason: They make a rational commitment instead of an emotional one. Until you’re emotionally committed to a particular habit, you won’t see it through. 

Here’s how to form an emotional connection to your habits. 

Identify your goals.

Have you made your priorities part of your daily routine? Are they habits yet?

Years ago, I got up just in time to shower, shave and get to work. But when I was 32, I decided to make an emotional commitment to starting my own company. I developed the habit of getting up 15 minutes early to start writing. Soon, 15 minutes turned into three hours. Why? Because my entire being became consumed with making my dream a reality.

Struggling with where to start? These four habits will take you to new heights in 2020:

Manage your finances. Drill down on your cash flow and put systems in place for growing a viable business. 

Form a personal board of advisors who will help you stay the course. Meet with them every 90 days, and give them 30-, 60- and 90-day updates. 

Study other industries for ideas you can leverage in your space. When you look at DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats, you can see how companies looked at what another industry was doing and applied it to their own business model. 

Find people who challenge you intellectually. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. 

Rewire your brain.

Some habits are harder to maintain than others. For example, I hate exercising. I’ve begun treating myself to a reward every time I work out. I’m rewiring my brain to feel emotionally connected to an activity that doesn’t come naturally to me.

Put a plan in place.

Decide to be a steward of your time and energy. What you do with these two resources will determine the outcome of your life. Time is the most precious asset on the planet, and yet we tend to let it slip away on activities that don’t move us forward. Commit to what will move you in the direction of your future.

Read next: 4 Tips for Setting Powerful Goals

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by Carodevorst/

Simon T. Bailey is an international speaker, writer and personal transformation strategist. He is the author of Shift Your Brilliance: Harness the Power of You, Inc., and Be the SPARK: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life. When he’s not working, he enjoys rooting for the Buffalo Bills (his hometown team).