6 Tips For Making Habits Stick

Embarking on a new habit or returning to a routine can feel a bit daunting. But with the right tools and strategy, the ascent towards greatness becomes manageable and even exhilarating.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the timeline for habit formation and know why many of our well-intentioned habits don't stand the test of time!

How Long Does It Take To Form A Habit?

The 21-day rule is a popular ideology – based on Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work in 1960s where he proclaimed it took patients a ‘minimum of 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jel’ for patients that were recovering from limb amputation or plastic surgery. Unfortunately, Maltz’s work was largely misinterpreted and eventually grew to become a bit of a Chinese whisper as the years have gone by.

In reality, habits vary significantly from one person to the next. Various research suggests it can range anywhere from 18 to 254 days. However, if you feel truly committed to forming (or breaking) a habit, you should consider habit as not a time-based goal but rather a new way of living. For that to become, patience and persistence are crucial!


Before we dive into the tips of habit forming, it's essential to understand the pitfalls so you can look out for them. Many habits falter because:

  • Lack of Clarity: Being vague about your goals/objective can derail your progress! Set some reasonable objectives/targets that enable you to monitor your progress over time.

  • Instant Gratification: We all want to see results quickly, but aiming for quick results can overshadow the long-term benefits.

  • External Motivation: Otherwise known as ‘Extrinsic Motivation’. By depending on external praise or rewards, your habit or goal-based activity can wane over time. The motivation needs to come from within.

Now, armed with this understanding, let's navigate the path to making those habits concrete!

1. Replace Your 'Bad' Habit with a 'Good' One

Trying to eradicate a 'bad' habit? Instead of just eliminating it, find a positive habit to put in its place. This swap makes the transition smoother, as you're not just creating a void but filling it with something beneficial. An example of this could be, swapping 30 minutes of TV/scrolling your phone with a 30-minute walk.

2. Consistency is Key 💪🏼

It's better to practice a new habit for a shorter duration daily than in sporadic, longer sessions. Regularity reinforces our neural pathways, a pivotal part in making the habit more automatic over time.

3. Visualise Your Success

Did you know that visualizing success is also backed by neuroscience! When we imagine achieving our goals, our brain activates many of the same neurons as if we were living that success. Studies with athletes reveal that such mental rehearsals can improve real-world outcomes. So, as you work on solidifying a new habit, remember to take moments to vividly envision your success.

By repeatedly painting this picture in your mind, you're not just daydreaming — you're hardwiring your brain for success. Your thoughts, in essence, are paving the pathway to your desired reality.

4. “Pics or it Didn’t Happen”

Taking pictures to monitor progress is a fantastic part of habit building, especially for habits linked to tangible changes (like fitness or decluttering). Over time, these snapshots can show you how far you've come.

A great example of this is throughout a weight-loss journey, taking photos weekly, bi-weekly or monthly allows you to reflect when you need a little extra boost!

5. Accountability Is Your Friend

Sharing your goals with someone—whether it's a pal, family, or social media followers—amplifies commitment! This external awareness can be a stronger motivator than our internal drive alone. Accountability partners or groups act as constant reminders and support systems, urging you to remain consistent. By making your intentions known, you not only invite responsibility but also garner encouragement.

Plus, if the person you’re sharing the accountability with is also on the same journey, it’s a win-win!

6. Reward Yourself (Wisely)

While external motivation isn't a long-term strategy, occasional rewards can provide short-term boosts – let’s face it, we all need it sometimes! So, treat yourself when you hit milestones, but ensure these rewards don't counteract your progress.

Incorporating new habits or returning to a routine might not always be a cakewalk, but with determination, insight, and the right approach, success is not just possible—it's inevitable.

Let Grenade give you a helping hand. With an array of healthy eating snacks, we can fuel your journey to ‘Get It Done’.

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