Dr. Korman’s 5 R’s of Daily Habits

Most all of us have some habits we’d like to eliminate, or change, for a newer, better, healthier or more productive habit. Habits come in all shapes and sizes, and are as varied as we are. Regardless the habit, the formula for changing the habit is the same.

     While you may have developed an undesirable habit without meaning to, you CAN change that habit to a more productive, desirable habit! By mindfully following “Dr. Korman’s 5 R’s of Daily Habits”, you can rid yourself of a less desirable habit in exchange for a more positive and improved one!

     There are different opinions on how long it takes to rid yourself of a bad habit and exchange it for a good one. Some say it takes 11 days, others think it takes 21 days. Of course, this varies from person to person. Dr. Korman suggests allowing 30 days for your new habit to “settle in” and become permanent.

The 5 R’s of Daily Habits:

1) Realize - Identify the “cue” or “trigger” that motivates your desire for the new, changed habit. This is the time for honesty with yourself. Identify what habit(s) you have that you would really like to change. Are you wanting a different result in some area of your life? Are you wanting to change a behavior? Eliminate a behavior?

Here are some examples of “triggers” or “cues”:

  • I drink too much soda (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) and want to stop it.

  • I have over-committed again because Icould not say “no.”

  • I feel tired and sluggish, and I remain sedentary.

  • I am habitually late for work.

2) Repress - This step requires a mindful effort to discontinue the old habit so that you can substitute a new, more desirable habit. Once you recognize the “cue” or “trigger” that bothers you, it’s time to make a plan. This is the time to determine a way to “repress” the bad habit. You need a plan for stopping the bad habit, so you can go toward replacing that habit for a new, better habit in its place! Move beyond “feeling bad” about yourself. Gosh. There is nothing healthy in feeling bad about yourself. That alone is a bad habit! If you find yourself feeling bad about something you are doing / not doing, that is the ideal trigger for making a change!

     Once you have identified your “cue” or “trigger”, write down the habit you feel a desire to change! Make it real by putting it on paper. Now, you have identified the habit which is causing you grief! Once identified, you can make a plan to “Repress” that habit!

For Example:

  • I don’t want to drink so much soda. -

  • I want to stop saying “yes” to everything I’m asked to do.

  • I want to stop spending so much time sitting around.

  • I don’t want to be late for work every day.

3) Replace - Mindfully replace the less desirable habit for the new one! On your paper, brainstorm ways that you can substitute one habit for a better one! Be creative! Don’t think about whether you “can” make the change. Just jot down an idea or two about how, realistically, you could change your habit.

For Example:

  • I will drink enough water to equal half my weight, in ounces, daily. I can do this by drinking 1 cup per hour! I will not drink soda until my daily water intake is accomplished!

  • When asked to commit, I will automatically say, “let me check my schedule and give this some thought, and I will get back with you soon”. After thinking about it, I will decide whether I want to participate, and then I will be honest with my answer.

  • I will buy and use a pedometer daily, and increase my steps each day, compared to the day before, for 30 straight days.

  • I will designate a “leaving time” that adds 15 minutes to my commute time. Iwill leave the house at that exact time every morning, regardless what I did, or didn’t, get finished before I leave the house.

4) Routine - Begin your 30 days by repeatedly practicing the new, desired habit until it becomes a new “normal” This is the challenging part! You have to “put your money where your mouth is!” Your 30 days begins NOW!

     It’s okay to recognize that this will be a challenge. After all, you are changing a habit! Acknowledge that, and enjoy the challenge! If you stumble, get back on track tomorrow! If you stumble, start your 30 days over again! That will get your attention! Make it enjoyable for yourself! Recognize along the way that, you may be challenged, but you ARE going to establish a new, more positive habit, which will make you feel great and allow you the joy of accomplishing your goal!

     “Energy follows thought!” If you write it down, see it often, and take steps to actively get there, YOU WILL GET THERE! In so doing, you will become a better you; you will feel empowered; and you will positively change a habit in your life that was making you feel bad about yourself. 30 days goes by very quickly!

5) Reward - This is the benefit gained from practicing the new habit. The positive reward results in a desire to continue repeating the newly formed habit, further cementing it as an acceptable and long term habit. Some examples of the reward:

  • I actually lost weight by drinking so much less soda! I also saved money! I can’t believe how much of a water drinker I’ve become, and I feel great!

  •  I have fewer commitments, now, and feel more comfortable to say “no,” and am realizing that others do contribute in my absence!

  • I am actually moving more every single day! It’s fun to compete with myself by using a pedometer, and I am now more mindful of getting more steps in my day!

  • I actually enjoy arriving at work a few minutes early, having a few minutes at the coffee machine and getting a better parking space!


Make changes happen, that contribute positively to a happier and healthier you!