The Habit Staircase: Cement New Routines
Behaviour Resources

The Habit Staircase: Cement New Routines



Habit Staircase Introduction

Are you struggling to adopt a new habit or incorporate a routine into your daily life? You’re not alone. Many people find it challenging to consistently stick to a new habit or routine.

The Habit Staircase is an effective and scientifically supported strategy that can help you turn that aspiration into a reality. 

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to apply the Habit Staircase to your life, so you can make lasting and positive changes.

Break it Down

Break It Down

Divide your goal into smaller steps.The first step in building a Habit Staircase is to break your overall goal down into smaller, manageable steps. 

Research shows that breaking goals into smaller tasks can improve your chances of success (Neal, Wood, & Drolet, 2013). 

Identify the actions you’ll need to take on a daily basis to achieve your ultimate objective. These smaller tasks will form the individual steps of your Habit Staircase.

Establish a Solid Foundation

Small steady steps take action

Start with a simple step. Begin with the simplest step you can think of, and make it your starting point. 

This step should be so easy that it’s almost impossible not to accomplish. For example, if your goal is to start exercising regularly, your first step could be putting on your workout clothes. 

Studies have shown that starting with a simple task can help to build momentum and increase the likelihood of establishing a new habit (Lally, Van Jaarsveld, Potts, & Wardle, 2010).

Consistency is Key

keep moving forward

Make your new routine a daily habit. One of the most critical aspects of building a Habit Staircase is consistency. To truly establish a new routine, you must perform the actions daily. 

Research by Phillippa Lally and colleagues (2010) indicates that it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, although the time can vary depending on the individual and the complexity of the habit. 

By consistently performing your new routine every day, you’ll increase the chances of it becoming an ingrained habit.

Climb the Stairs

Consistently move up the stairs

Gradually add more steps: As you become comfortable with the initial step of your Habit Staircase, gradually add more steps to increase the complexity of your routine. 

Each new step should build upon the previous one, helping you progress toward your ultimate goal. 

Make sure you give yourself enough time to get accustomed to each new step before adding another. This incremental approach has been shown to improve habit formation and long-term success (Fogg, 2019).

Celebrate Your Progress

The Habit Staircase: Cement New Routines

Reward yourself for achievements: Don’t forget to reward yourself for your achievements along the way. 

Positive reinforcement can help motivate you to continue working toward your goal (Kazdin, 2018). When you complete a step on your Habit Staircase, celebrate your success with a small reward. 

This could be anything from a tasty treat to an enjoyable activity, as long as it’s something that brings you joy and keeps you motivated.

Stay Flexible

stay flexible

Adapt and modify as needed: Finally, it’s essential to remain flexible and open to change. 

If you find that a particular step isn’t working for you or you’re struggling to maintain consistency, don’t be afraid to modify your approach. 

Adapting your strategy when needed is a natural part of the habit-building process and can ultimately lead to greater success (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006).

The Run Down

The Run Down Orange Outfit Lady Running Down Stairs

The Habit Staircase is a powerful tool for making new routines stick and fostering lasting behavioral change. By following this method, you can successfully establish new habits, improve your daily life, and achieve your long-term goals.

To recap, implementing the Habit Staircase involves:

  1. Breaking your goal down into smaller steps, allowing for a more manageable and achievable path toward your desired outcome.
  2. Starting with a simple action, creating a solid foundation for habit formation and reducing the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Maintaining consistency, ensuring that your new routine becomes an ingrained habit over time.
  4. Gradually adding complexity, helping you progress toward your ultimate goal in a sustainable and realistic manner.
  5. Rewarding yourself, providing motivation and positive reinforcement to continue your efforts.
  6. Staying flexible, allowing you to adapt and modify your approach as needed, thus ensuring greater success in the long run.

By adhering to these principles, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges that come with adopting new habits and routines. The Habit Staircase serves as a reminder that habit formation is not an overnight process; it requires patience, dedication, and persistence. However, by following this method, you’ll set yourself up for success and transform your life in meaningful ways.

As you begin your journey with the Habit Staircase, remember that setbacks are a normal part of the process. Embrace the learning opportunities they provide, and use them to refine your approach. Over time, you’ll find that the steps you take today will lead to a brighter, healthier, and more fulfilling future.


Coaching For Personal Growth

One way to enhance your chances of success is to employee professional support to help assist you. Learning from professionals can help you avoid potential pit falls, help keep you accountable and can help you set meaningful, realistic goals you can achieve. Overtime these small achievements will mount to something far more impactful to you. Check out our article on coaching to find out more about coaching and its exciting potential. Perhaps send us a quick message to enquire more about personal coaching, we’re here and ready to help.