Building Successful Habits

Starting a new habit or routine can be tough. But there are things that we can do to help start new habits and have them stick! 

Willpower on its own isn’t enough for most of us especially after a long day. Luckily, we don’t have to rely on willpower alone. By taking small steps to remove the barriers to sticking with our habits, we can make it easier to do the things we want to do, whether it’s working out, doing course readings, or remembering to floss. We can also add small barriers to get in our way of habits we’re trying to kick.

Watch this video to learn more about the 20 second rule for building new habits.

Try it for yourself and work through what you can do to help you start a new habit! 


Setting specific and challenging goals lead to substantially better outcomes in things like health behaviour change and work performance than “try your best” or easy goals. These are SMART goals and they help us leverage our strengths to improve well-being.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific: What exactly will you be doing? When, how, where, and with who?
  • Meaningful/Measurable: Can you align your task with what you enjoy and value? Can this goal be measured with objective outcomes?
  • Attainable: Challenging, but NOT impossible.
  • Relevant: Is this goal relevant to the direction you want your life to take?
  • Time-Bound: Set a specific deadline (with buffer time before actual deadline).

Practice setting your own SMART goals.

You can use SMART goals to boost your character strengths and practice applying your strengths to gradually improve your well-being!

USHINE – U of G's Successful Habits in Education Program

USHINE is a peer mentoring program that empowers students to develop lifelong successful habits to boost well-being. Students can meet one-to-one with a USHINE Peer Mentor to identify wellness goals and create a personalized wellness plan to meet these goals. Topics include sleep, nutrition, exercise, and much more!

Students can email to find out more information or to sign up for the program.