Habits 101: What you Really Need to Know in a Nutshell

Valerie Jégo Marsh
3 min readMar 16, 2022

Here is a quick summary of the elements that will help you form habits and stick with them. It’s all about stacking all the odds in your favour.

Photo by FitNish Media on Unsplash

For me, forming a new habit means setting the scene for a new part of my identity. I borrow a leaf from chefs and create a ‘mise-en-place’.

‘Mise-en-place’ is a French culinary phrase that means ‘putting in place’. It refers to the detailed set-up required before cooking: gathering all the ingredients needed, measuring them and preparing them so they are ready to be used. That way the cooking — your new habit — can be done with focus and efficiency.

  1. Take a few moments to think about what you want your habit to look like. I walk a lot but I wanted to add a few minutes of a more intense workout in the morning to kickstart my metabolism early in the day. I don’t have much time for it as I already have a long morning routine. I, therefore, selected a series of 7-minute HITT sessions that I bookmarked on YouTube. Done! I can go straight to it; no thinking involved.
  2. Decide on a time and place for your new habit. What will it follow? A habit is more likely to stick if it is part of a sequence of tasks you already do automatically. When you do this, you then do that.
  3. List everything you will need, gather them and ensure that they are ready and easy to grab when you need them. I keep my trainers and socks next to my sleepers so when my brain is a bit foggy and I go to put on my sleepers, I remember that I need to do my workout. The rest of what I need is in a drawer in the bathroom which is the first place I go to. I’m now already in gear, I may as well do it.
  4. Make it attractive. You have to brush your teeth every day, but toothpaste manufacturers know that this habit will benefit from being a bit more satisfying so they add mint and colour to it. What can you do to glam up your habit?
  5. Keep it to a minimum for a few weeks. It is such an important investment to not do as much as you aspire to do for a little while. In the long run, it will pay dividends. What you want is to form the habit, create a space and time for it so do as little as possible so that you don’t feel that it’s challenging or tedious. When the habit has become part of your…
Valerie Jégo Marsh

Loves ☕️ 📚🖋 🎨 🧘🏻‍♀️ A Parisian forced into exile in London for preferring tea to coffee😉🇫🇷🇬🇧 https://valeriejegomarsh.medium.com/membershi