Understand What a Habit Is
It is always important to know what you are getting into. Knowing what a habit is can ensure you set up your good habit without any glitches.
Know What You Want to Make a Habit
Here is where morality or ethics come into play. What makes this habit good? Will it really benefit me in a positive way and how will it do that?
Example: I want to learn to play the flute. An appreciation of music will make me a better person and I will enjoy exploring my musicianship.
Know the Proper Way to Perform That Activity
This is where you can get into some problems. A small thing over a long period of time can have some massive unintended consequences. If you have gotten into the habit of dropping your shoulder during your forehand on the tennis court you may be in trouble –- less accuracy, repetitive stress injuries of the shoulder, back pain.
Example: After six years of study with inadequate instructors my new flute teacher noticed my embouchure is crooked. This is why I don’t sound as good as I should. I have gone as far as I can unless I take the next year to completely break it down and relearn it the right way.
Habits are best formed when they are rewarding. It gives you something to work towards before the habit is formed. Unconscious rewards are the best (like a better forehand smash), but if it they are not available invent some.
Example: I love the sound of the flute so I enjoy my practice sessions even more when I improve my embouchure.
Schedule the Habit Forming Process
Perform the habit activity over a 2 to 4 weeks. Two weeks should establish the habit and an additional two weeks will provide good reinforcement strength. Ensure you repeat the habit activity at least 3 times a week, daily is better. Make sure there are no disruptions from the schedule.
After the habit is formed, you can skip a session, take a break for vacation, or even stop the activity for years and it will still easily come back to you upon request.
Example: I have not played my flute for five years. I pulled it out the other day and it was just like riding a bike (another habit). I am not as good as I use to be, but I was not that far from it.