How To Develop A Habit That Will Last

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How To Develop A Habit That Will Last

Developing a habit that sticks can be a daunting task, especially when juggling the complexities of managing a team. Whether you are a new manager, an emerging leader, or a seasoned team leader, understanding how to foster lasting habits is crucial for both personal and professional growth.

In this article, we will explore effective strategies for habit development that align with the demands of leadership roles. Our approach combines self-improvement techniques with practical, real-world examples to ensure that these habits are not only developed but also sustained over time.

The Science of Habit Formation

Brainstorming for habit formation

by Anchor Lee (

Understanding the Habit Loop

At the core of habit formation lies the “habit loop,” a concept popularized by Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit. The habit loop consists of three components: cue, routine, and reward.

  1. Cue: The trigger that initiates the habit.
  2. Routine: The behavior itself.
  3. Reward: The benefit you gain from performing the habit.

Understanding this loop is essential for developing habits that last. For instance, if you’re a new manager looking to develop a habit of daily team check-ins, identify a consistent cue (e.g., the start of the workday), establish the routine (e.g., a quick team huddle), and recognize the reward (e.g., improved team alignment and communication).

The Role of Small Wins

Another critical aspect of habit formation is the concept of “small wins.” Breaking down a larger goal into smaller, manageable tasks can make the process less overwhelming and more achievable. For example, if your goal is to improve team productivity, start by implementing small, consistent actions such as regular feedback sessions or weekly performance reviews.

Strategies for Developing Positive Habits

Team meeting

by Hannah Busing (

Start with Self-Improvement

Before you can effectively lead others, it’s essential to focus on self-improvement. Developing positive habits in your personal life can significantly impact your professional performance. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define what you want to achieve and break it down into smaller, actionable steps.
  2. Track Your Progress: Use tools like journals, apps, or spreadsheets to monitor your progress and stay motivated.
  3. Seek Accountability: Share your goals with a mentor or colleague who can provide support and encouragement.

Leverage Habit Development Strategies

Incorporating proven habit development strategies can enhance your ability to form lasting habits. Here are a few techniques to consider:

  1. Habit Stacking: Pair a new habit with an existing one. For instance, if you want to develop a habit of daily team check-ins, stack it with your existing morning routine.
  2. Environment Design: Modify your surroundings to support your new habit. If you want to encourage open communication within your team, create a workspace that fosters collaboration and accessibility.
  3. Consistency is Key: Consistency is crucial for habit formation. Ensure that you perform the habit at the same time and place every day to reinforce the behavior.

Real-World Examples

Let’s delve into some real-world examples to illustrate these strategies in action:

Example 1: The New People Manager

A newly promoted manager struggling with team leadership can benefit from habit stacking. By incorporating daily team check-ins into their morning routine, they can ensure consistent communication and build stronger relationships with team members. Over time, this habit will become second nature, leading to improved team dynamics and productivity.

Example 2: The Emerging Manager

An emerging manager aiming to enhance their leadership skills can use environment design to their advantage. By setting up a dedicated space for one-on-one meetings and feedback sessions, they can create an environment that promotes open dialogue and trust. This habit of regular feedback will help address performance issues promptly and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Team brainstorming session

by Annie Spratt (

Navigating Difficult Situations

As a team leader, you may encounter challenging situations that can disrupt your habit development efforts. Here are some strategies to overcome these challenges:

  1. Stay Flexible: Adapt your habits to fit the changing dynamics of your team. If a particular approach isn’t working, be open to adjusting your strategy.
  2. Prioritize Self-Care: Managing a team can be stressful. Ensure that you prioritize self-care to maintain your well-being and sustain your habits.
  3. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from mentors, colleagues, or professional networks. They can provide valuable insights and encouragement during difficult times.

Handling Underperforming Team Members

Dealing with underperforming team members can be particularly challenging. Here are some practical strategies to address this issue:

  1. Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate performance expectations and provide regular feedback to ensure alignment.
  2. Offer Support and Resources: Provide the necessary support and resources to help team members improve their performance.
  3. Address Issues Promptly: Address performance issues promptly and constructively to prevent them from escalating.

The Role of Technology in Habit Development

Using technology for habit tracking

by Ilya Pavlov (

Leveraging Habit-Tracking Tools

In today’s digital age, technology can play a significant role in habit development. There are numerous apps and tools available that can help you track your habits, set reminders, and monitor your progress. Some popular options include:

  1. Habitica: A gamified habit-tracking app that turns your goals into a fun and engaging experience.
  2. Streaks: An app that helps you build good habits by tracking your progress and maintaining streaks.
  3. A comprehensive habit-tracking app that offers personalized coaching and support.

Integrating Technology into Team Management

In addition to personal habit-tracking tools, consider incorporating technology into your team management practices. Tools like Trello, Asana, and Slack can help streamline communication, track tasks, and ensure consistent performance.


Developing a habit that will last requires a combination of self-improvement, effective strategies, and practical solutions. By understanding the habit loop, leveraging small wins, and incorporating proven habit development techniques, you can create lasting positive habits that enhance both your personal and professional life.

As a manager, emerging leader, or team leader, these strategies will not only help you develop strong habits but also empower you to lead your team more effectively. Remember, consistency is key, and with the right approach, you can achieve lasting success.

By breaking down complex managerial issues into digestible pieces and providing real-world examples, this article aims to offer practical, actionable advice that resonates with new managers, emerging leaders, and seasoned team leaders alike. Start developing habits that will last and watch as your leadership skills and team performance reach new heights.