The 3 R’s of Creating Healthy Habits That Stick

Creating and sticking to new habits is always a challenge within itself, but it’s doable.

If you’re looking to start some new healthy habits, then you’ll want to tune in to Episode 153 of Productivity Paradox this week with my guest, Brenda.

Now, if you’re a part of our Facebook Community group, then you likely know Brenda because she’s always quick to lend support and encouragement on different posts. Plus, she’s hilarious!

Right now, Brenda’s in a transitional period in life. She’s decided to step away from her day job to pursue her passion for ministry.

During our chat on the episode, we discuss how she can use her current habits as a springboard for creating new ones and using cues as triggers for developing them. We also touch on how to determine the bigger “why” behind the habits you wish to create.

So, keeping all of this conversation about habits (and making them stick!) in mind, I want to dive into one of my favorite methods to make those healthy habits stick: the 3 Rs.

If you’re someone looking to create new, healthy habits in the New Year or even if you’re feeling ready to hit the ground running with them right now, then this method (and this post) is for you!

Let’s jump in, shall we?


The 3 R’s of Making Healthy Habits Stick

Record –

Have you ever gone on a hike and thought somewhere along the way, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to reach the top,” and then found yourself at a stop, bending down to stretch out your legs and catch your breath, before coming back up to look around and realize just how far you’ve made it?

This is what our very first “R” here touches on.

Too often, we don’t realize how hard or how much we have worked until we take a moment to truly stop and take stock of all of the effort we have put in.

And then, once we take that time to notice our hard work, we are always able to recognize that, in most cases, we’re doing a lot better in the pursuit of our goals than we originally thought.

That realization always puts a little bit of pep in our step, doesn’t it?

Creating a way to record our success is crucial when it comes to creating healthy habits that stick–and this is especially true when those habits are aligned with our journey toward achieving the goals we set.

Recording our success shows us how we are progressing. And progress, my friends, exceeds the tired ideal of “perfection” every time.

So, how do you track something hard to see, like a habit? Simple. Make it work for you!

This might mean that you implement the marble jar trick, which I talk about in The Joy of Missing Out, or it might mean that you’re crossing off days in the Habit Tracker section of your inkWELL Press planner or right on the sheet of Habit Tracker Inserts you have handy.

Whenever you do a certain behavior, whether it’s drinking more water like Brenda from Episode 153, or something else altogether, you can cross it off.

This way, you’re able to see the progress you’re making!


Reward –

Where does recording our progress lead us? That’s right, to the reward.

What I love about watching our progress toward a specific habit (and our goals, by extension) is that it gives us a little bit of thrill–a little hit of Dopamine, if you will–that we can use as a springboard to keep going.

As you’re recording and watching your progress unfold, be sure to give yourself a little reward that will incentivize you to keep going!

Now, this could be something that you do once your marble jar, or habit tracker sequence is full (should you decide to go that route), or even once you reach that half-way mark.

Reward yourself in a manner that works best for you!

The main takeaway here is that these rewards can help us establish the healthy habits we are looking to create. And the best news of all is that, eventually, you’ll find you won’t even need the rewards anymore.

All of the effort you will put in will pay off in spades long-term!


Redirect –

Here’s a hard truth when it comes to establishing new habits: you’re going to stumble, and you’re going to get off track from time to time. But that’s okay!

Remember, you’re human, and you’re not perfect.

The critical part of this step is to remember that it’s vital to give yourself grace when you do fall off track.

Rather than talking down to yourself, which happens way too much whenever we feel as if we are failing somehow, permit yourself to let those missteps go instead.

Once you’ve stumbled and have gotten off track, how might you redirect yourself back on the right path? Use the first two R’s we discussed here to help!


What are some of the healthy habits that you enjoy? Let’s hear them! Share yours in the comments below.

And don’t forget to:

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton