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How To Develop Good Habits

It's surprisingly easy ...



Do you struggle to develop good habits while bad habits seem to linger? You are not alone. Some of the habits we have such as smoking can actually kill us, yet we still persist in doing them ...

To develop good habits like washing your hands is easy as a child, but more difficult as an adult!

To develop good habits like washing your hands is easy as a child, but more difficult as an adult!

copyright: chepko / 123rf stock photo

I was recently reading an article from the Harvard Business School about how to form good habits. The main crux of the article was how they were able to get people in developing countries to start and maintain the good habit of washing your hands before preparing meals.

If people did this, the authors said, it would save over a million children’s lives as they would be less likely to get diarrhoea and other such diseases.

"Yet the problem persists that people do not wash their hands and kids die as a result!"

You would think that if you could do something to save the lives of your children, you would do it wouldn’t you? It is the same as smoking though. Even though people know they are likely to die earlier as a result of it, they still don’t quit. I was a smoker myself for many years so I know how hard it is.

What the researchers found was the reason the people were not washing their hands was that they had not formed the habit of doing so. In the UK we are taught from very early age to wash our hands, it is not the same in all countries in the world. So trying to get adults to pick up a new habit is hard work.

So the researchers set up an experiment that tested whether if you say you are going to monitor peoples behaviour and/or give them incentives, will they form the good habit of washing hands with soap before they cook a meal?

So what did the experiment reveal? It turned out that 23% were more likely to use soap if they knew they were being monitored and a huge 70% used their soap dispensers if they were going to get an incentive. This resulted in up to 40% less diarrheal incidences each day.

So what does this mean for us? Basically, if you want to create a healthy habit, make sure you are monitored by an external source (your partner, best friend or gym buddy for instance) and include incentives for staying on track with the healthy habit.

"Easy yes? So get to it!"

Do you want help to develop good habits? Call me on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and I will happily motivate and monitor you.

Until next time ...


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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as a professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.

This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.

If you would like to know how I can help you do call me!


01858 414226