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In our third #TogetherAtHome Keynote Series, Behavioural Change Expert & Researcher Dr. Lisa Belanger shared tips on creating sustainable, positive habits—something never more relevant than right now.

Why is breaking bad habits so much harder than creating good ones?

In today’s keynote, Dr. Belanger stressed the importance of your environment in creating habits you can sustain. Whether that’s like-minded friends, a tidy workspace or simply speaking to yourself positively, your environment matters.

Creating lifelong habits can be hard—being okay with failure is just one of the many elements of the process. That’s why predicting known barriers and finding solutions ahead of time is paramount to your success. Make your unwanted behaviour undesirable and unattractive, then do the opposite for creating a wanted behaviour.

Following along with her worksheet, she explained the science behind designing a habit.

Target Behaviour: Something you’ve targeted for change.
Target Habit: What you want to do. Be as specific as possible.
Why: Why do you care about doing this? Emotional relevance is key.
Find the Trigger: Something you do every single day—this is a keystone habit (something you do all the time).
Reminder: Something that supports your new behaviour—visual reminders are important.
Small Wins: Taking a behaviour and breaking it down into small sections to reward yourself along the way.
Reward: How are you rewarding the behaviour you’re trying to accomplish? Try integrating social interaction.
Tracking: Something to track your success to know if you’re on target.

Once you’re armed with the tools to create target behaviours, remember to not take on too many at once. As Lisa shared, “Change one behaviour at a time, the others will follow.”

Next week’s #TogetherAtHome Keynote features Productivity & Performance Expert Chris Bailey on effectively managing your attention, taming stimulating distractions in advance and strategically unfocusing.