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Simple 4-Step Method to Build Good Habits

Want to build better habits? One proven method, the 1% rule, suggests that by improving just 1% each day, the small changes will compound into a significant change.

Here are the four stages of building habits in the book Atomic Habits, by James Clear.

1) Noticing

Many people think they lack the motivation required to accomplish their goals, but in reality, they lack the clarity with which to approach them. The first step in habit-building is to create a plan to build the habit. Answer the 5W’s and “How?” to go about building the habit.

Ask your child what they would do “if...” something gets in the way and what they would do “then...” overcome that obstacle. Planning their way around obstacles helps to reduce the effect these speed bumps will have on their habit-building plan.

2) Wanting

The often most overlooked factor in habit-building is the physical environment. Help your child build an environment that motivates them to develop good habits.

For example, if you want them to read every night place a book on their bedside table to remind them and to provide the path of least resistance to building the habit.

3) Doing

Getting tasks done is always is the impetus for doing more. Regardless of the outcome, encourage your child to build habits by doing, even if it is just 1% at a time. Rather than striving for outcomes, optimize for the starting line. Slowly but surely they will start developing stronger habits.

4) Liking

The habits with the best outcomes often have delayed rewards. This can be discouraging when your child isn’t seeing changes as a result of their actions right away. To circumvent this, it is best to find a way to reward them immediately to encourage continuation of the habit.

Something as simple as tracking their habits with a check mark each day, will give them an immediate reward that will have them wanting to “keep the streak going”. Allowing them to choose their rewards is also highly motivating as well

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