I truly believe that much of successful life and leadership is, by His grace, learning to break bad habits and build good ones. Most excellent leaders have established really good habits and rhythms in their lives and work. Dan Rockwell shares 5 steps to making habits that help create your future.

Originally published by Dan Rockwell

Making habits is easier than breaking habits

“You are what you repeatedly do.”

The things you repeatedly do create your future. Tell me the things you do every day and I’ll tell you what your life will be like next year.

The quality of your leadership distills into making habits that create your future.

5 steps to making habits:

#1. Notice habits.

Notice the things you repeatedly do. Making habits includes noticing current habits.


Ask people you admire about the habits that helped them succeed.

#2. Tap your imagination.

Imagination is key to making habits.

Imagine who you aspire to become. What repeated behaviors take you there?

Imagine the team you would love to lead. What repeated behaviors build your desired team?

Imagine the life you aspire to enjoy. What repeated behaviors build your preferred life?


Spend two weeks writing an imagination journal. Set aside 5 or 10 minutes every day to let your imagination roam. Look for patterns when you’re done.

What do you really want?

#3. Begin small, very small.

Create the flywheel effect with a series of tiny wins.

Design an intervention and lower it by 90% to begin.

Don’t commit to working out for an hour everyday if you haven’t worked out for a year. Commit to showing up at the gym at 7 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Don’t even commit to working out. Just show up.

#4. Practice habit stacking.

I wanted to drink more water. My new habit: Every time I go to the restroom it reminds me to drink water.

#5. Include others.

Everyone needs a ‘with’.

Find a partner. Encourage each other.

Tip: Write this phrase on a small piece of paper: I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad. BF Fogg

What tips might you add for making habits that create the future?

Still curious:

The Self-Reflection Sandwich

How to Build Healthy Habits – The New York Times