The 5 Steps to Making New Habits

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Do you have a habit you want to form? What is it? How will you make the habit happen? Bruce Gulland and Alice Irrizary give us helpful tips on how to start a good habit.

Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2

And I’m Alice Irrizary. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

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Voice 1

A man wakes from bed at eight in the morning. He dresses and makes his bed. He starts the stove to make breakfast. And, he brews coffee. All the while, he is not thinking about any of these actions. He is thinking about what he is going to do later in the day. 

Voice 2

These actions are the man’s habits. They are things he does every day, or at least very regularly. He performs them so often that he does not have to think about them. This frees up his mind to think about other things. 

Voice 1

Habits can be very powerful. They can help you learn new things. A good habit can keep you healthy. Or, it could keep you organized. A good habit can help you become more successful in life. But, starting a new habit can be difficult. Changing a bad habit can be even more difficult. 

Voice 2

There is good news, though. There are several well-established ways of making new habits. On Today’s Spotlight, we will discuss them. We will talk about how they can help your life for the better. 

Today’s Spotlight is on the five steps to making a new habit. 

Voice 1

Everyone makes habits. You form habits when you repeat an action again and again. Do you remember learning to tie your shoes? At first, it was probably difficult. You had to think about the motion. And you probably failed often. But soon, the motion became easier. Your fingers moved automatically. All habits are like this. They are a way of learning how to act. 

Voice 2

Some habits, like learning how to tie your shoes, are active. These are habits we form with intention. We learn them because we want to learn them. But many habits people form are passive. These are actions we make in response to the environment. These help us adapt, or change, to fit in with things around us. Often, these habits are harmless. But such habits may not be the best way to deal with the situation. Or these cause more problems rather than resolve the situation.

Voice 1

Most people learning new habits are trying to change passive habits. Or they are trying to re-learn habits they learned incorrectly. They hope that a new habit will make their lives better. These five steps will help you, or anyone you know, do just that.

Voice 2

The first step to making a new habit is to set a goal. Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to learn a new language? Understanding these goals will help you focus on what you need to change. And goals will allow you to understand how a new habit might help. Some people even recommend creating a detailed plan. This will allow you to track where you are in your goal. 

Voice 1

The next step to making a new habit is to start small. Most life changes can seem very large at first. These may even seem too big. Ashley Abrahamson is a blogger at OneMedical. She wrote about forming healthy habits. 

Voice 3

“One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to form a new habit is taking on too much. And they try to do it too quickly. They want to exercise more. So they begin to train for a very long run immediately. Big changes like this to your routine can be overwhelming. These can be exhausting and difficult to continue.” 

Voice 2

Most changes do not come quickly, all at once. Change comes with time in small steps. Long distance running may be impossible for someone who has never run. But that person could run a smaller race. Soon, they may be ready to try a larger goal. 

Voice 1

The third step to making a new habit is to repeat it often. All new habits form through repetition. Sometimes, you may need to repeat the habit once per day. Some you may only need to practice once a week. For others you may need to set a special time. The point is not to practice more. Instead, it is to practice regularly. You do not have to meet your goals every time. But if you continue, you will eventually form a habit. 

Voice 2

The next step to making a new habit is to make it fun! Or, you could combine the habit with something you already enjoy. Exercise is a good example. Many people think exercise means lifting weights or running. Or they think that it must be unpleasant. But there are many other activities that can keep you healthy. Do you like long walks in the woods? Do you like dancing? These are exercise. They may not be the most efficient exercises. But if you enjoy them, you are more likely to practice them often. 

Voice 1

Finally, your new habit should be part of your routine. Most people do things in the same way every day. They go to the same places. They speak to the same people. A habit should fit with these repeated activities. A person learning a new language does not need to change their entire life. Instead, they should find a time within their day to practice. Do you have extra time after work? What about before? Fitting habits in these spaces makes them easier to continue. You only need to change one aspect of your life to fit this new habit. 

Voice 2

Changing to make new habits is difficult. Sometimes it can feel impossible. But following these tips will give you a good start. Creating habits can give you control over some parts of your life. It can help you learn or grow as a person. A new habit may be the way to success in your life.

Voice 1

Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian peace activist and spiritual leader. He often wrote about forming good habits. He once said:

Voice 4

“Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage your words, for they will become your behavior. Consider and judge your behaviors, for they have become your habits.Recognize and watch your habits, for they will become your values. Understand your values, for they become your future.”

Voice 2

Do you have a habit you want to form? What is it? How will you make the habit happen? You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at You can also comment on Facebook at

Voice 1

The writer of this program was Dan Christmann. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at This program is called, ‘The 5 Steps to Making New Habits’.

Voice 2

You can also get our programs delivered directly to your Android or Apple device through our free official Spotlight English app. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.


Do you have a habit you want to form? What is it? How will you make the habit happen?

Join the discussion

  • Yeah i have one habit that should be very good then know it is upgrade my meaning the english language especially side of ( listing and talking )

  • yes, i do .
    learning English, learning programing and c language
    i will listen one hour to one episode in English every day
    i will study 48 hour per day, solve problems and practise ,.

  • Yes, of course, i have many habitats that i do regularly if it’s not evry day, it’s often, like exercising, practicing my English language skills, listening to music to relax, and, finally, watching my favourite series.

  • I want to speak English fluently and write
    So It my goal for my short time so that to achieve my new habit is how to listen every day spotlight program it’s so hard at this time but I try to regularly to adopt.
    I wish my self to be best for future and who gives value to get better

  • Yes, I have habit I want to form is to learn and speak English fluently.
    I will make the habit happen with repetition every day ( listening, learning, writing and speaking)

  • My goal is to speak English , I realized that is very important, so I try to make it consistent habit to listen and speak English regularly as much as I can.

  • Yes I have a new habit in my life I currently run and bike but I want to participate in a triathlon so.I am learning to swim my days start very early I study at 5 am and then I bike 3 times a week I run 3 times a week and I practice boxing 2 times a week. I visit 3 or 4 patients at home so they receive physical therapy and from there I go to the hospital, I work 8 hours after that, I swim.

  • Yeap. I want to listen to an episode of a podcast every day and try to re-tell that out loud. It can help me to improve my English skills.

  • Yes I have actually I have a lot of habits I want to practice it like learning English every day and work out , eat healthy food I am try to practice it but I’m always fall I just continue for 2 weeks

  • I am forming a new habit is running and listening Spotlight English one hour in every day because I want to be healthier and lean well English. I will try to practice and repeat them.

  • Thank you spotlight for these precious informations. It is a great item that you present for this day.
    For me, i had have a habit that i wanted to do everyday, that is : reading HOLY Coran.
    First of all, i watched a video that explain and show the severel advantages of reading this Holy book, for example : this great habit will make you move away from fear, delusions,
    despair, frustration. This keeps a person away from all kinds of suspicion. It creates comfort and tranquility in the reader’s heart. It provides a precise and very logical interpretation on life, the universe and man. This habit will be a person’s companion in his grave. It guides his daily actions towards kindness and benevolence towards People. Without forget, the large relationship that can strengthen with our kind Lord.
    And so, alhamdulilah, i succed this habit that i wanted to do in the first through, step by step, we can achieve the unachieveable.

  • Yes,I have.I want to walk 30 minutes a day.
    I will combine this with listening to spotlight podcast to make it fun, I will be in my way to learning English and becoming healthier.

  • I have a many habit and I thought I most have more also.
    Practice English every day ( litsen , read , write , speak)
    I practice English in the same time every day in the evening.
    I hope keep learning and improve my level.

  • Yes of course in this live l should have l habit my habits in this year is to be more creative in my live and healthy in my future in be an active in the school and work hard in it to get the marks that l want .
    I will try to first my best in it and work hard to get it and make my parents happy and of course proud about my hard working .

  • Yes . I learning English everyday sometimes I have taken some minutes
    Changing to make new habits is difficult. Sometimes it can feel impossible. But following these tips will give you a good start.

  • my name kaoutar from Morocco, im so happy today for know that wonderful site ,i will add new habits during this period ,english learning ,new brodcast listening ,weke up early ,healthy cooking food ,gym exercise ,i will tell you a new news , see you soon…

  • I have a 3 habits. Walk 30 min everyday, read a book and learn English.
    I started the habits in the last month. I do it everyday and I notice I am better now. I hope to practice Those more and more.

  • I want to go to bed early and wake up but I always sleep late. What do l do? I will try again and again to regulate my sleeping hours until it becomes a part of my life.

  • First of all i want to thank for this great job and i’m sorry for my bad english but ,I want to form i new good habits instead of bad habits and your programme will help me in this.

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