Habit Formation: 3 Strategies

Habit Formation


Habit Formation: 3 Essential Strategies to Build and Maintain a Habit

Habits encompass a significant number of decisions and behavioral patterns that can have an impact on our mental health. As we go through our day-to-day lives, we develop routines and patterns that can be helpful or harmful to our mental well-being.

How Habit Formation happens

Habits are thought to be behaviors that we perform automatically and without much thought. We may develop habits because they make our lives easier or more manageable in certain ways. For example, if you always take the same route to work, you’ve developed a habit.

If you always brush your teeth before bed, you’ve developed a habit. However, some habits can be harmful to our mental health and may become challenging to our long term goals or veer from our personal values.

For example, if you constantly compare yourself to others and always feel like you’re not good enough, that habitual thought process can negatively impact your sense of self.

Habit Formation

Habit formation is the process of developing and maintaining new behaviors or routines. It’s a crucial step in improving our mental health and well-being, as it allows us to take control of our lives and make positive changes that last. 

Whether it’s trying to be more productive, getting in better shape, or simply adopting a new routine, changing our habits can be difficult and can be even harder to maintain these changes over time. 

We all want to be happier, more productive, and more successful. But how can we make lasting changes in our lives when we feel stuck in old, unproductive habits? 

Changing Habits

Changing our behavior can be challenging, but it becomes a little bit easier when we understand how habits are formed and what we can do to increase our chances of success.

It can be helpful to think of habits in terms of what they add to your life, rather than what they take away.  There are countless benefits to forming new habits, from improved mental and emotional health, to increased productivity, to better physical health. Here are 3 essential strategies for forming a new habit:

The 3 Essential Strategies for Forming a Habit:

  1. Start with Something Small

When you’re trying to form a new habit, it’s important to start small. Don’t try to change your entire lifestyle overnight – that’s a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. Instead, start by making one small change at a time. Once that becomes a habit, make another small change, and so on. 

  1. Be clear about your goal. 

When you set out to form a new habit, it’s important to be clear about your goal. What do you want to achieve?  When creating a new habit, it’s important to make sure that it is specific and manageable. For example, instead of saying “I want to get in shape,” try setting a goal like “I want to go to the gym four times a week.” Focusing on specific goals makes it easier to track your progress and stay on track. Write it down and keep it somewhere visible.  

  1. Make a plan and establish a routine.

Once you know your goal, the next step is to make a plan of action that incorporates a regular routine.  Having a consistent routine can help you feel more in control of your life and may help to prevent feelings of anxiety or depression. When you know what to expect each day, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by stressful situations.

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