3 simple ways you can build powerful habits that last

 How to build powerful habits that last

Build healthy eating habits

Are you struggling to stick to your habits?

And have you ever felt hopeless at times in sticking to your habits and goals?

Do you want to change your bad habits quickly?

Here is the thing, All your problems related to decision making, setting goals and daily routines are tough in your life is because you haven't trained your brain to make a habit automatic.

What do I mean by making habits automatic? is simple means all your daily routines must go as smooth as possible to reach your targets with less effort.

How come this would be possible? 

Yes, you would probably ask, but this is absolutely possible.

Many times the majority of the choices you make in your daily life may give you a feeling that you would have well-constructed all your decisions, isn't it? but they're not, they are simply your habits.

This statement would make you feel a bit strange and ignite curiosity in you.

But, why are we here today is because it is very crucial for you to understand the most fundamental mechanism of a habit and look deep into the habit formation. So, you can change your habits and build good habits which enhance you personally, socially, and professionally.

I am going to reveal the exact process of how actually a habit starts and becomes automatic in the long run, and how a habit compels you to take actions and make decisions which in turn helps you to be successful in all aspects of your life, all it can happen only by knowing how it damn works.

Let's start.


Each and every one of us starts our beautiful day with a habit and ends with a habit, right from brushing our teeth to having our supper and leaving to bed.

A habit is spontaneous decisions and actions continuously, you might have not noticed yet, but naturally, you perform as easy as you breathe.

You won't give a second thought if you are habituated to certain actions or decisions, everything happens automatically and until you observe yourself it continues till your lifetime. It doesn't matter it is a good or bad habit.

Already you have a bunch of habits in your routine but, what to do to train your brain to make a good habit automatic.

It is essential to know the loop of habit and the framework before we jump into the ways to build powerful habits that last.

Any habit starts with a cue or trigger and followed by a routine and ends with a reward.

The trigger could be anything from memory, people, images, sounds and so on.

For instance, I have noticed in my self after reading it in the book "THE POWER OF HABIT" by Charles Duhigg. that before each snack I serve to my kids, I grab a piece or portion of that snack. This is my daily habit, each and every time I serve a snack to my kids.

Now, this is one of my routine automatic habit for a long time. In this case, why this habit turned into automatic because serving a meal is the trigger, grabbing a portion is the routine and the reward is the completeness in itself.

Here, the reward of the slightest fulfilment is the key to the formation of this kind of habit. If that cue and reward cease, then the habit won't take a complete shape or doesn't occur at all.

In another instance, I have a habit of shopping at the nearby supermarket on a regular basis.

These days I am observing myself a lot, quite a positive change isn't it? However, I have seen a typical pattern in my way of shopping, that I know that this supermarket is quite expensive than any other retail shop or an online grocery store. 

But, the reason was behind my consumption behaviour is that the working staff in this store and the management are very helpful and supportive nature.

In addition, they were interactive and used to build a friendly conversation, where I couldn't find this type of attitude in any other retail shops.

Here is the key, the cue is needed to shop and the routine is every time landing in that store whenever I have to shop and the reward is helpful and friendly nature of the staff. We love if someone gives attention to us, isn't it?.

So, this reward of helpful and friendly nature provoked my regular habit of shopping in this store have turned into automatic. STILL, IT IS MY HABIT.

What's going on here:


Is that, It may sound little strange for some of you but, It is factual that I have no idea about all this stuff before I stumbled on to the research paper on habits of a consumer and precisely the book "THE POWER OF HABIT" by Charles Duhigg.

Since then I am excited to play with my habits and tried different methods to quit many bad habits and formed quite a few good habits.

 I simply followed the system that the researchers have explained in scientific research.

And benefited in different ways, for the bad habits I kept the cues and the rewards as it was before but, I have changed the routines in my habits.

Since then, I could see the difference in every area of my life. Unlikely I couldn't change all of my habits, but eventually, there is an improvement.

Now, as far as the habit loop is concerned, there are stages of habit formation, not every action that you take is a habit. It takes all the below four stages to form a complete habit, without anyone of them the habit won't develop at all.

This is how it goes:

  • Trigger
  • Craving
  • Response
  • Reward.
When you are exposed to the trigger, craving to want it starts and you try to give a response with action and finally get the reward. The actual craving is not for the action itself but the reward which satisfies you in the end. If there are no rewards, no action will be taken at all, 

At the beginning of the habit loop, especially when you are new to the habit, you don't have an idea on what the reward would look like, but once you are familiar with the reward the craving to get the reward proliferates and becomes automatic.

 Each time when the trigger appears the anticipation for the reward increases and the loop continues and further it becomes automatic, that you don't give a second thought to take action as soon as the trigger appears.

When you are forming new habits, the brain activity will run at a high speed, but as you get familiar with the trigger, craving, response and the reward, your brain activity like identifying the trigger, deciding what to do, how to respond, anticipating the reward will calm down. Because now at this stage your brain understands and have a memory of everything about the habit and performs automatically.

How you can benefit from this and apply it in your area of life?

Here it is, you can follow this simple formula:


Do you want to change your habits?, so you just change the ROUTINE in the formula?

For instance, if you find yourself snacking or overeating just for the sake of snacking, you keep the cue of craving for the snack and the reward of satisfaction after every snack as it were before.

If you want to change the habit of overeating to healthy eating, you got to change the ROUTINE of unhealthy snack to the bowl of fresh salad or any whole fruit.

The process is so simple that it seems it can be achieved as soon as you hear this. But it is not necessarily easy.

It takes a bit of willing to change and awareness.

 Building habits won't take a military discipline to adopt, but that eagerness and the excitement to change is required.

It is not possible until you identify your habits, how they work and break them into action steps.

Sometimes it feels difficult to change because you haven't noticed your own habits in chunks. When you do, you can change any habit.

3 simple ways you can build powerful habits that last


  1. Identify triggers where your habits emerge fromThe foremost way to build a powerful habit is to have a framework of your daily habits. None the less, you should be able to look for the triggers where you're taking the initial step.
 For instance, if a notification beeps on your mobile, then you take the action of picking it up anticipating what could be the message, whether it could be Facebook, email or any social media, here the beep sound is the trigger for your habit.

The triggers are everywhere surrounded, you write it down on a piece of paper and try to find why you are doing the things for doing themselves. When you know your triggers then you can track it and change the ROUTINE as shown in the above formula.

The triggers always fall into these categories as time, location, people and environment.
And some of the habits can be formed because of emotional triggers like alcohol addiction, this kind of habit is always associated with emotions as anger, guilt, fear and anxiety.

2. Choose your routine: Once you identified the cues, now it's time for you to choose a routine, the action you want to take and the response you would like to give. You should make an initial point where the cue starts, as the 'time' of your routine, would be the best option to trigger.

As right after waking up in the morning 5 o'clock would be the ultimate trigger for your routine.

Here in choosing a routine, focus on a unique and clear-cut task that is divided into steps.

For instance: If you want to lose weight fast, here you make sure that your routine should be fixed and exclusively designed to lose weight fast, the more you focus on a confined target the easier it becomes and mould into your routine.

Firstly, what time you would wake up? what would be your diet plan? how much time you would spare to work out? would you prefer working out at home or a fitness centre?.

Now, take the initial part of your routine and confirm it as the starting point of your routine

This kind of plan would boost your habit and allows you to build habits that last long enough.

3. Last but not least choose your reward of satisfaction: Any behaviour can be transformed into a habit when the sharp trigger resonates with the reward in a certain way then a sensation of craving builds which will force you to act for the reward and gets the satisfaction.

The higher the satisfaction the more powerful your habit transforms.

Here, you and I take daily actions not because of the routine itself, but for the rewards that we get in the end.

For instance, smokers smoke the cigarettes not for the cigarettes alone but for that kick of nicotine which gives a relief kind of sensation.

If there is no reward after taking an action, then you would never prefer to take that action at all, and the habit won't sustain long and on the other hand, the habit won't shift to automatic mode.

That said, actually, the craving for rewards acts like a force and the energy that kick starts habit and you would love to continue and do it repeatedly without much thinking on your part.

Importantly, choose a reward like having your favourite dish or reading your favourite book right after your routine, this will make you do it again and again. 

The reward could be anything as a favourite snack, watching your favourite video, relaxing moments or anything which you enjoy the most and the things you love the most would add advantage and keep you tick which proves to be helpful in sticking to your habits.

Final thoughts:

Everything boils down to, you can build powerful habits that last by starting small and being aware of your cues, and automatically you act on those cues. In building habits, persistence works better than anything else.

And deliberately wanting to do things joyfully makes you stick to your good habits. Learn from the mistakes and practise until it comes naturally.

Eventually, on this earth, anything can be achieved through trial and error, except there is no other way around.

Focusing on what you want also plays a vital role in making habits sticky.
when you focus on anything your subconscious brain ie the reticular activating system grasps and the neurons will be activated making way to repeat those habits which you have adopted.

What are the methods do you follow in building your habits that last?

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Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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