Creating a new habit is not an easy task, and the Weekly-Habit Pact is a free and powerful tool to assist in this process. Its operation is quite simple, you define the type of person you want to be and a weekly goal that affirms this identity. Then you track your progress and for every two consecutive weeks without meeting the goal, there is a penalty. Since 2020, I have been using and improving this tool and the results are very positive.
Use the button below to download the free Weekly Habit Pact for 2024.
The Science Behind the Weekly-Habit Pact
The idea of creating this tool came from my studies on habit formation, and this is already the fourth version of the pact. A major inspiration was the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear, which posits the idea that habits shape your identity (and vice versa) and the four laws for creating a good habit or getting rid of a bad one.
How does the Weekly-Habit Pact (WHP) work?
Tempo necessário: 5 minutos
Steps to using the Weekly-Habit Pact
- Download the pact
Click on the download button at the top of the page to get yours for free.
- Print the pact
The document was designed to be printed on a single letter sheet (8.5” x 11”). The reason to print it is to help you to see it and update it.
- Define an identity that supports the desired outcome
Write what kind of person you want to be. The weekly habit (defined in the next step) should be an activity that supports the identity defined in this step. See some examples of identities.
- Define your weekly goal
Fill in the desired habit on the space after the phrase “every week I will” in the pact.
The idea is that you pick something feasible to do in one week without it being a big sacrifice.
If it’s something too hard, the chance of not achieving it will be significant which is why it’s better to pick something easy. If you’re able to finish it, you can always do more.
See some examples of weekly goals.
- Define a penalty
Write down what would be the penalty for every two consecutive weeks that you don’t succeed. Check here some ideas for penalties.
- Fill out the date
Fill out the date of when the pact was signed.
You can start at any week of the year, just strike out the previous weeks.
- Sign it
This is an important step to establish the commitment to the pact.
- Ask a witness to sign it
This person will be your accountability buddy and will help you keep your commitment.
- Check off every weekly box with a ✔️ if you achieve the goal
- Check off every weekly box with an ❌ if you don’t achieve the goal
- For every two weeks in a row with an ❌, you need to pay the specified penalty
If, for example, you don’t achieve the goal for six weeks in a row, the penalty must be paid three times.
Examples of Identities
The most common mistake when trying to create habits is focusing on an outcome rather than the identity that supports this outcome. See below some examples of identities to complement the phrase ‘With the goal of becoming‘:
- A reader;
- A healthy person;
- A reference in leadership;
- A writer;
- A musician;
- An artist;
- A successful professional.
If you are having difficulty identifying the identity, ask yourself: ‘Who is the kind of person who would be able to achieve the result I desire?‘.
Examples of Weekly Goals
Here are some examples of goals to be added after the phrase ‘every week I will‘:
- Publish a post on my personal blog;
- Read for 60 minutes a book;
- Publish a video on YouTube;
- Collaborate with the WordPress Community for two pomodoros;
- Publish a podcast episode;
- Meditate for 30 minutes;
- Do 150 minutes of exercise.
Ideas for penalties
- Do a task that you don’t like for a certain period (example: wash dishes every day for two weeks);
- Stop doing something you really enjoy (examples: eating sweets, watching television, or accessing social networks);
- Give or do something for the witness of the pact such as: money, drinks, meals, dishwashing, general cleaning, …;
- Make a monetary donation to an NGO or other institution that you would never support. You read it right, the idea is precisely to choose something that you disagree with and couldn’t stand supporting.
Remember, the main idea here is to be a punishment, something that will make you think twice or three times before deciding not to do that habit in a given week.
This tool has become essential to help me develop habits that I always desired but couldn’t create through other methods. In 2024, I will continue using it and sharing my experiences with it.