How To Develop a New Habit – 5 Powerful Steps

Before we begin to explain how to develop a new habit, understand what a habit is. Habits are routines or tasks we perform without conscious thinking; we just do them. They are embedded in our subconscious minds where they create a paradigm, a multitude of habits.

Paradigm is our subconscious program which control how we behave, what and how much we eat, how long we sleep, how much we earn, how do we react on situations, how much water do we dring during the day, the way we laugh and smile, how we walk and talk, how much time we spend on the devices, etc.

Habits control every aspect of our life.

How To Develop a New Habit

We develop habits constantly, and most of the time we do not think about it, we just accept it and continue with our life. We start to form habits from the moment of our birth, and we stop when we die.

The process of developing a habit is simple. When we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch something, if it feels right we will accept it immediately and continue to do it until it becomes a habit. It doesn’t matter is the thing we do good or bad, the key is if it feels good, we will accept it and by repetition, turn it into a habit.

Those bad ones we accept during our lifetime probably we want to change at one point or another. And also, those good ones we missed, we want to learn now.

From my experience, changing a habit is a life-renewing task and one of the best knowledge that I acquired. To learn how to develop a new habit would be quite valuable to you as well. You can have control over your program.

Understand Few Things About Habits

First of all, every habit feels comfortable in your subconscious program. No matter good or bad, when you decide to change it or develop a new one, the old one will fight back.

Second, every new habit has its opposite, non-habit. That non-habit will have to be reprogrammed into a new habit. It is like you are a landlord and you want to evict a bad tenant to give space to a new one.

And third, it takes time and a lot of willpower to develop a new habit. Think of your new habit as a seed which grows into a plant, and later on, the plant becomes a tree with its roots firmly planted into a ground.

It takes time so don’t stress. Or even worse, don’t get satisfied too fast! Satisfaction is the end of the road. Satisfaction stops the progress. Satisfaction gets you back on the starting point.

How to Develop a New Habit

Hopefully, you got the understanding of what a habit is, how do we form them, and what it takes to change them.
Now, these are the few steps you will have to take to make it happen:

1.) Make a firm decision

2.) Determine a bad habit

3.) Plant a new habit

4.) Care for a new habit

5.) Reap the benefits

To show you how to develop a new habit I will use an example of reading. Reading is one of the best habits you can ever develop, so I think it serves as a great example. Later on, when you master the process, you will be able to apply the same technique to form any other habit you wish.

Let’s explain the steps of the process one by one.

How To Develop a Reading Habit

1.) Make a firm decision

Usually, we decide only on the surface where it disappears after a short time. Rarely we make a deep, firm, emotional choices which have the power to change the life. The reason is that the life goes on, and gradually, we forget about what we decided.

My suggestion is always the same, take a pen and piece of paper and write down your new habit in a present tense, like you are already doing it:

“I am reading.”

This paper will be a form of a contract with yourself. And if you break the deal, the only person who gets disappointed is you!

2.) Determine a bad habit

Everything in this world has its polar opposite. Left and right, up and down, hot and cold, male and female, dark and light, bad habit and good habit.

To develop a new, possibly a good habit, we must determine which one is the opposite.

So, in our example of reading it is clear, it is a habit of not reading or maybe a habit of watching too much TV, or maybe a habit of scrolling FB news feed too often and too much. Let’s quickly take another example. If the good habit is to eat healthy food, the opposite is to eat junk food. And the list of examples can go on, but I think you understand what I mean.

Therefore, find that life-sucking bad habit and put it in the spotlight!

3.) Plant a new habit

Now you know your enemy, the bad habit, and now you know what seed you want to plant instead of it. This step is crucial in the process.

Remeber what you wrote, the contract. On that paper is your new habit. Keep that paper with you all the time. Make sure you look at it as often as you can. As soon as you wake up, and just before you go to sleep read out loud what you wrote so you can hear your words. If you miss this step, or you find it foolish, you may sit back, relax and let your old habit to kill you slowly.

4.) Care for a new habit

Care for it, breathe life into it until it becomes a part of your program and it will care for you, breath the life into you. That is the beauty of good habits. We have to spend some time growing them until they become big enough so they can raise us.

Here you will have to be patient at first. Always start slow, never too fast. First, buy the book. Then, read 5-6-7 pages and leave it. Come back tomorrow and read another 5-6 and drop it. Next day does the same, and the next day, and the next one…

The first key of the process was to develop a FEELING which is crucial for success in any endeavor! The second key lies here, and it is called PERSISTENCE! To establish a new habit, you will have to repeat it persistently every single day, without exceptions, without excuses! Otherwise, it will die on the stage of the seed!

5.) Reapt the benefits

Once it grows big, once it becomes a part of your program, your new habit will give you fruits you can pick. You will reap the benefits of your hard work. The reason why you want to develop a good habit presumably lies in the fact that you fell in love with the benefits that you can get from it. And I can tell you with confidence that the fruits will be sweet.

For the Best Results, Start in the Morning

From both, my experience and study, I learned that the best time to learn something new, or in this case to develop a habit, is as soon as we wake up. The brain is most receptive for new information, in the morning.

Therefore, incorporate your new habit into your morning routine, or if you don’t have a morning routine, I strongly suggest you start with one.




For example. You can make the night before, a list of things you will do in the morning. Draw checkboxes next to every task and once you finish the task, check the box. Make sure you do it every morning, without pressure, and soon you will find yourself performing your new habit without conscious thinking about it. You will automatically start to do it.

You Have the Power to Develop Only Good Habits

In the end, I would like to tell you one story that paints a perfect picture of your role in the process of habit developing. The story is about our marvelous mind which among all carries our habits.

Develop Only Good Habits

In this story, we have a farmer and his fertile fields. In his fertile land, the farmer can plant whatever he wishes; the ground doesn’t care. However, the earth will return to farmer whatever he sows in it.

In his hand, he has two seeds. One seed is a seed of corn, which when planted will grow into a plant of corn which will eventually give birth to hundreds of the new seeds of the same kind. In his other hand, he has a seed of nightshade, a deadly poison. If by accident farmer decides to put that seed into the ground, it too will grow even faster than corn, and it too will spread around the land in numbers.

Whatever farmer plants in his land it is his responsibility to either reap the benefits of his seeds or to suffer because of poison he planted.

Remeber you are the one who has a choice, you are the one who decides, and you are the one who will get the results. All you have to do is to pick the seed.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,


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18 thoughts on “How To Develop a New Habit – 5 Powerful Steps”

  1. Great advise. I completely agree with you about getting things done in the morning. I find the morning the best time for me as well. Also a lot less distractions as well.

    • Hi Adam,

      I found the morning to be a perfect time to begin with something new in life. The sense of serenity and total lack of distractions mesmerized me completely. I am happy that you see the value in it as well.

  2. Hi Ivan,
    As a mommy of a toddler, my habits now has gone especially reading, I used to read psych books when I was younger but now I could not find time for it anymore. My time has evolved to him since he was born. 🙂
    But I will try to put it back slowly, I say it’s true if it becomes a ritual especially in the morning if he’s not awake yet then I can go back to being a bookish.
    Thank you for your great article!


    • Hi Jam,

      I am happy to hear that you have a toddler and that is a probably the best habit you can ever develop. 🙂 Try to digest a page or two each time when you stay by your self. If you had a habit, you can pull it back on the surface quickly. I am not a parent, but I am very busy and still, I pull out a book whenever I have a chance. Today I was reading in a line at my local bank office. 10 mins of pure pleasure 🙂

      All the best to you and your little one.


  3. Hi Ivan,

    Thanks for the post about being able to see bad habits and get new and good habits! I can tell first hand it is quite hard to change a habit, but as you say persistence is the key. As long as you keep doing it, it will become a habit! Your checklist in the morning is definitely a good way to do that!

    I changed my habit of watching to much tv in a different way! I just got rid of the tv haha, so now when i’m bored i just pick up a book instead of watch tv 🙂 Worked pretty good for me haha.

    Cheers for the post and keep up the good work 🙂


    • Hi Eelco,

      Hahaha! You are radical, and I like your approach. Sometimes being radical works just fine. I managed to shut the TV off and take a book in my hand, and now when I want to see a good movie or watch a sports event I can turn my TV back on 🙂

      The checklist is a great tool to monitor your persistence.

      I will. Thank you for your visit and comment. All the best to you as well.

  4. Good article to follow! I know about bad habits. I drank daily for many years and now I am going on 6 months sobriety all on my own! I am doing good. I pray for strength each morning to be the best I can be and at night I am thankful for a good day! It has become second hand to drive by the bars and not stop now which I love!

    • To hear that you are happy and you love that you don’t have an urge to stop in bars anymore is more than thrilling. Imagine your self in a few years from now. You will become an even better version of yourself thanks to a simple decision to break your habit of drinking alcohol. God bless you and keep on breaking those bad habits and developing new, better ones.

  5. Great article. We as humans will always habits, we need to know the difference between the healthy and bad habits. I love the story of the farmer. Its to true.Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi CNGoodwin,

      Thank you for your comment and compliment. Sometimes it is hard to recognize the difference. However, the step number five will be a great indicator if a habit is good or bad. Depending on what you receive in your life as a result of that habit you can easily decide is it good or bad for you.

      I am happy you liked the story because that story helped me to be able to see many destructive habits that I had and gave me the starting point on how to form those good ones.

  6. I have tried to add new habits and found it very hard, good ones that is. Bad habits seam to form automatically. I tried your example on ready and found i had to do a variant. I now listen to books quit frequently and found it has taken over some bad habits automatically.

    I have a few more habits I need to break, following some of your advice here, I just might be able to do it.

    • Hi Brian,

      I am convinced that by following my advice here you are going to take care of every habit you want to break. I had a few evil habits which I managed to break down. They wanted to come back, but they never did because I was enormously persistent until I won. Once I reached the step five, it became easy, and it gave me enough confidence that I and everyone else can break bad habits and substitute them with good ones.

      I am happy that you managed to form a reading, or in your case listening to books habits. Keep on doing a good job with the rest of them.

  7. Thank you Ivan.
    Powerful presentation of changing a habit.
    Your steps are simple but effective.
    You made it doable 🙂
    Loved your finishing touch with the image (exquisite) and the farmer story tops it off. We all can imagine being the farmer in our own lives.
    The choice is ours in any given moment. You just made it easier for us to make that choice!
    Many thanks to you.
    All the success to you and your site.
    Thank you 🙂

    Di 🙂

    • Hi Diane,

      I appreciate your wonderful comment. I know they are doable because it is a technique that I use whenever I determine a bad habit in my own behavior. Exactly, we are farmers of our lives, we have the power to plant whatever we want and care for it until it returns us the gifts of our work. That is a beauty of the human mind.

      Thank you very much. Hope to see you around again. 🙂

  8. Hi Ivan, A very helpful post on developing habits. I had never really thought using the technique of dropping a bad habit in helping to create a good habit. Looking at it as an exchange, bad for good, this makes a lot of sense. Identify the weakness, write a goal, and turn it into a strength. Love the story of the farmer. Fantastic motivation in itself!

    • Hi Sanders,

      Well, you can implement a new habit without fixing a bad one. However, it is much more motivating when you have a bad habit you want to substitute with a good one. Like you have said turn it into a strength. I am happy that you love the story and thank you for your comment.

  9. Excellent piece Ivan. I really enjoyed the piece. Yes, the morning I have started to struggle with, doing 2 jobs. But on the positive side, I have stopped watching TV and started reading extensively. There are good lessons here.


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