How to create a new habit

how to create a habit

Level: B1/B2

Type of English: general 

Lesson activities: listening comprehension, vocabulary building, speaking practice. 

Grammar focus: present simple, dependent prepositions 

Tags: habits, life hacks,

Why are new habits so hard to stick to?

Dr Radha Modgil explains what’s going on in our brains when we try to make new habits or break bad ones. 

And she has five tips for how to succeed in making a new habit.

During the 1-hour class your teacher will take notes of your mistakes and make corrections.

These will be emailed to you after the lesson.

It is a good idea to revise the same vocabulary at the start of the next lesson.

Opening Questions:

What are the 3 different meanings of the word tip?

What does it mean to stick to an activity?

Have you ever heard the expression “just stick with it”? 

How do you form new habits?

Why would you “punch yourself in the face”?

New Vocabulary Questions:

Name something that you are dedicated to?

How often do you floss your teeth?

Where are your gums?

Name 2 things that you can make with a kit?

How scary is pretty scary?

What are you unaware of?

If you go to a restaurant for your birthday, what determines your choice of restaurant?

What is a loop and what can it do?

Take a guess at what a cue does?

If war triggered inflation, what happened?

Why do we get rewards?

Where do we get dopamine?

If the rules are set in stone, how can I change them?

What role does self-awareness have?

When did you last go through some major change?

What is the difference between benefits and profits?

Are repercussions always negative?

Is this something specific that you want to achieve this week?

Is there a difference between a diary and a schedule? 

Describe something that you put a lot of effort into last week

In what situation might you take a big leap or a giant leap?

If you are put off by failure, what happened? 

If I am on a roll at the poker table, should I stop or continue?

What do you like to eat as a treat?

How can I chart progress?

Name something that is going to be a piece of cake for you today?

Watch the Video:

Task: Try to write down the 5 tips

Listening Comprehension Questions:

In your words, describe what happened to her new flossing habit?

What are habit loops?

What are the 3 stages of habit loops?

How many days does it take to form a new habit?

Can you remember an example of a cue?


From your own experience, think of a habit loop and describe the process. 

“Our habits will either make us or break us”- discuss 

“We become what we repeatedly do”- discuss 

Do our habits determine our direction in life? 

Describe something that is set in stone and shouldn’t be changed?

What new habits would you like to start? 

New Vocabulary Practice:

What do you dedicate most of your time to?

Do you know what candyfloss is?

Can you use the word pretty in 2 different ways?

In your opinion what are most people unaware of?

What determines the price of oil?

Name 1 thing you can put on a loop?

What does it mean to take a cue?

What does a trigger on a gun do?

Do you reward yourself often?

How do you get dopamine?

How can we improve our self-awareness?

Name 2 things you can go through?

What type of exercise most benefits you?

What are the repercussions of eating too much chocolate?

Do you have any tips to help me achieve this week’s goals?

Do you or did you ever keep a diary? 

How much effort do you put into English?

Describe a situation when you took a giant leap?

Are you put off by people chewing gum? 

Can you think of a situation when you were on a roll?

What is a good treat for a kid?

Name 2 things you can chart?

Was this lesson a piece of cake?

Grammar Focus:

Dependent Prepositions:

A dependent preposition is a preposition that is used next to specific verbs, adjectives, and nouns. For example, I’m very good at football but Jack is very bad at football.

Create a story or sentences with the following prepositions

Aware of / aware that

Stick to 

Go through

Dedicate to 

Depend on 

Believe in 

Rely on


3 stages of habit loops

1. A cue 

2. A routine behaviour 

3. The reward 

5 Tips to create a new habit 

1. Find your motivation ( benefits and repercussions: write them down and read then often)

2. Be specific (take practical steps that break the cycle of cue and response, make space and the time) 

3. Small steps are better than giant leaps (try the 1% idea) 

4. Don’t stop when you are on a roll and celebrate your success. (Chart your progress and celebrate achievements with treats)

5. Be patient 



A tip = a piece of advise 

A tip = some extra money for good service 

A tip = the end point ( tip of the pencil)

To stick to something = to be consistent with something 

Dedicated = to be fully committed 

To floss teeth = use a long string to clean between your teeth 

A kit = a pre-made box with different parts / tools 

Pretty = a modifier ( pretty good) 

Pretty = attractive 

A loop = a circle / to go in the shape of a circle / to return to the beginning over and over 

A cue = a clue / a hint / a prompt / a trigger 

To trigger = to provoke 

To be set in stone = to be difficult to change 

To go through something = to experience 

To achieve = to reach a goal / target 

A giant leap = a big step 

A leap = a jump 

To be put off = to be disappointed/ become unmotivated 

On a roll = to be currently successful, with luck 

To chart something = to record / to track data 

Dopamine = a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure 


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