By Leo Babauta

I’m going to introduce you to a new habit idea that I’ve been testing out: the Habit Sprint.

What is it? It’s a set duration (I suggest 1 week) where you plan your habit, execute it, then review how you did and what got in your way, then improve your process for the next Habit Sprint. And repeat.

It’s based on the Scrum process for software development and other types of team projects. The idea is to constantly improve your method, and to work focused and hard for short stints (1 week).

The old method is to try to do a habit for a month, and then try another habit the next month, etc. And while that works very well, the Habit Sprint is designed to improve your habit process during that month.

The Habit Sprint method

So here’s how it works:

  1. Plan: Write down your plan for your habit for the next week. One habit only. When will you do it, what will your trigger be, how long will you do it, where and with whom and with what, how will you remember, what kind of accountability will you have? I suggest doing this on Monday morning, or Sunday evening.
  2. Execute: Keep your focus on this habit for the entire week. Keep a record of how you’re doing, and any impediments/problems (a log, journal, reporting on the accountability forums, etc.).
  3. Review: At the end of the week (say, on Sunday), do a review of your Habit Sprint. Ask yourself three questions: Did you do everything as planned? What impediments were there? What can you do to remove the impediments next time & improve the process?
  4. Improve: Write down what you’re going to do differently, how to remove the impediments, what the new process is going to be. Then use this new process in your next Habit Sprint, in your Planning step.

And repeat each week.

So here’s what happens: you are focused each week. You see how your process works in the real world, and get instant results. And you continually improve, until by the end of four Habit Sprints (nearly a month), you’ve improved greatly.

This works really well, if you follow the plan. Give it a try, but fully commit to it!