Since the publication of Six Simple Rules for a Better Life three years ago, I have read more and more evidence of the soundness of my method for making changes that stick. (Breaking down big goals into small pieces, and then working on them one small piece at a time for the 21 days it takes to form a habit.)

Maybe it’s confirmation bias—maybe I am only looking for evidence to validate my method. For sure, I love finding evidence beyond my own success at making changes that stick. I don’t think I’m coming at it with a bias, but maybe it can’t be helped.

And maybe it’s like when you are thinking of buying a certain kind of car and suddenly everywhere you look you see that kind of car. (That’s called “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” or “frequency illusion”.)

Whatever it is, I like it.

One blog I enjoy is Sid Savara’s. He’ a great guy (I’ve traded e-mails and we talked on Skype one time a couple of years ago) and he had a standing desk long before I did (in fact, his is a treadmill desk!).

For making changes that stick, he suggests:

(1) Setting realistic expectations (as I say all the time, we fail at New Year’s resolutions because our goals are too big, or we have too many of them). I also read in a Wall Street Journal article by Rachel Bachman, setting a specific goal is more effective than vague vows to work out more. A new habit should be realistic enough to be reachable but challenging enough to be worthwhile.

(2) Taking a first step right away (as I say, breaking the goal down into tiny pieces allows you to achieve a goal and achieving many small goals adds up to the big goals we want).

(3) Being consistent (as I say, invest the time it takes to create a habit; usually sticking with it for 21 straight days does the trick).

Have you been able to make habits that stick? What’s your secret? Join the conversation with your comments…

All the best,