Habit Model Revisited

The elements of behavior that lead to a new habit:

equals Motivation plus Trigger plus Acton
followed by a Reward.

  • Motivation at this stage of the habit development process is the initial motivation to do the new habit. Motivation comes into play in two ways: (1) when developing a new habit it is important to want to do it; (2) After the habit is established by repetition, the motivation becomes a Craving* — and it plays a more important role than the rewarding consequence. This is an important component that is often overlooked when we are eliminating a bad habit.

  • The Trigger includes not the immediate prompt but also the environment (the context) surrounding you. It includes — but is not limited to — where you are, who you are with, the time of day, your mood, social pressure, and stressors.

  • The Action is a behavior that is repeated over and over until it becomes automatic.

  • The Reward is what follows the behavior and needs to happen immediately and with strong emotion.

* So the habit once fully developed then changes the model to look like this:



Phase 1 — how to develop a new habit
The seven step model of habit formation

  • Step 1 — Clarify your values
  • Step 2 — Identify your goals
  • Step 3 — Boost your motivation
  • Step 4 — Find a good trigger
  • Step 5 — Do the action — repeatedly
  • Step 6 — Reward yourself — immediate and intense
  • Step 7 — Monitor, trouble shoot and expand

Phase 2 — how to break a bad habit
Follow the six steps below

  • Step 1 — Decide that you really want to do it.
  • Step 2 — Start small
  • Step 3 — Focus first on the triggers
  • Step 4 —Try to make the habit harder to do
  • Step 5 — Reduce the motivation for doing it
  • Step 6 — Remove the reinforcer

To learn more about developing healthy habits while eliminating unhealthy ones please visit my YouTube channel:

Healthy Lifestyle Learning Academy

I go into much more detail on each of the steps there.