How to Start (and Keep) a Healthy Habit

The plan is to run a little bit more today than you did yesterday. Even if it's only a tiny bit more, do a little more than you did yesterday. Walk for 11 minutes instead of 10, read 21 pages instead of 20 and so on. The goal isIncremental progress.

I don't take days off from new habits for the first 90 days because ofIncremental progress. If your habit is related to exercise, rest days could benefit you, but don't stop for the first 90 days. It takes between 60 and 243 days to build a new habit, depending on which study you want to cite. I've had good luck with about 90, and recommend you go at least that long on your first try.

There was an apocryphal story about Jerry Seinfeld giving advice to a software developer. He was asked if he had any advice on becoming a comic. The answer amounts to building a habit of writing jokes.

That's obvious, but Seinfeld had a technique. He said that every time he sat down and did the work, he should make a big X over that day. You'll have a chain after a few days. The chain will grow longer if you keep at it. When you get a few weeks under your belt, you'll like seeing that chain. Your only job is to not break the chain.

It's still excellent advice even if it's apocryphal. It sounds like a character from the show.

Reducing Friction even more is possible.

We're emotionally invested in the habits we have and it's hard to change them. I like not doing anything in the morning. It is difficult to overcome inertia and resistance to change since they are often not consciously aware.
I have avoided suggestions about stopping habits that you don't like because there's less emotional baggage.

What if you could reduce your emotional baggage? You could stop focusing on specific habits and train your will instead. This is a common theme in older texts such as Catholic meditation guides.
Strength training is needed to build up the will. I've seen many versions of this exercise, but they all involve sitting in a chair facing a wall. There is a spot on the wall. Go up out of the chair and look at the wall. Return to the chair. You must repeat. Most books tell you to do this 10 times and work your way up.