Course Description

How do you want to start your new year? Setting a goal or resolution is relatively easy, but the hard part is following through and actually implementing new habits. There are thousands of books and articles dedicated to this topic and you have likely read at least one of them - Atomic Habits, The Power of Habit, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and more! Why then, is it such an elusive challenge to implement new habits? The problem is habits are not about knowing; they’re about doing.
The Habit Course first launched more than seven years ago to tackle this challenge and provide people the opportunity to experiment and design their own system for adapting to change. In this five week, online program, you will learn practical tools and techniques that thousands of professionals have used to create new habits. As change becomes the norm in our workplace, our ability to adapt and modify our behaviours is a critical skill. Being able to implement habits of your choosing will allow you to excel at work, and provide additional bandwidth to focus on what really matters.

Watch Course Introduction

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Gain a new perspective on how your own habits work
  • Be able to implement new habits
  • Better prioritize how you spend your time and energy
  • Develop new systems to address distractions and busyness
  • Increase your confidence to pursue your most ambitious goals
  • Have a greater sense of agency over your personal and professional direction

How it Works:

Each week you will watch a series of videos that cover key concepts and guide you through specific exercises. You will receive a PDF workbook that you can download and print to complete activities and capture your takeaways. 

During the course, you will work on creating new habits, track your progress, complete reflective exercises and engage with your peers. 

You will have the option to be paired with a fellow alum as your accountability partner. This is an opportunity to deepen your learning and connect with someone new. 

We will also have a private Linkedin discussion forum where you can engage with the broader community in the Habit Course, ask questions, and share resources.

This course is offered in partnership with more than a dozen alumni offices including Tulane University, San Jose State, McMaster University and SUNY Geneseo. Alumni from partner schools will also participate in the LinkedIn Discussion Group allowing for increased networking and more diverse perspectives.

In summary, each week you will:

  • Engage with course content
  • Work on your habit(s) 
  • Track your progress 
  • Complete reflective exercises 
  • Meet with an accountability partner (optional)




This is a great practical, hands-on course. The structure of the small lessons with activities allows you time to digest the information and apply it. His presentation style is very personable. He references research to support lessons and uses relatable examples. Time for reflection of learning and the opportunity to connect with an accountability partner were beneficial. Highly recommend this course!

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • The Habit Course Intro Video

    • How to get the most out of this course

    • About the instructor and this course

  2. 2
    • Week 1 - Workbook (Download + Print)

    • What is a habit?

    • What habits do I have?

    • What habits do I want?

    • Structure for success

  3. 3
    • Week 2 - Workbook (Download + Print)

    • The science of habit formation

    • Why is it hard to create or change a habit?

    • How does managing energy support habit formation?

    • How can we make it easier to create a habit?

  4. 4
    • Week 3 - Workbook (Download + Print)

    • Multitasking against habit formation

    • Mindfulness for habit formation

    • Mental barriers to habit formation

    • Integrity: reclaiming our mental energy

  5. 5
    • Week 4 - Workbook (Download + Print)

    • Reframing our approach to habit formation

    • How habits actually form - expectation vs reality

    • Keystone value: high leverage habits

  6. 6
    • Week 5 - Workbook (Download + Print)

    • How our mindset impacts our habits

    • What am I learning about habits?

    • Designing and sustaining a habit practice

Our Instructor - Cole Nakatani

Cole Nakatani is a social entrepreneur and educator with over ten years of experience designing and facilitating transformational learning experiences for hundreds of university students and professionals. Cole co-founded Ideahack Digital in 2011, a web development company, and Hydra Learning Labs in 2016, specializing in curriculum design, facilitation, and training. He has worked with Canada’s top entrepreneurship hubs including MaRS Discovery District, e@UBC, and RADIUS SFU to deliver innovative educational programs online and in-person. Cole is a certified Integral Coach® and has worked with individuals in various positions and organizations from startup founders to managers and social enterprises to public companies. A common thread in all of his work is to build new capabilities within people so they can be more productive, deliberate, and engaged in their work and life. Outside of work, Cole enjoys exploring ways to expand his edges, whether it be multi-day meditations and fasting, freediving deep below the surface, or trail running with his flat feet through old-growth forests.


How do I register for this course?

Registration can be made by clicking the register link above. Registration must be completed online and a separate online submission is required for each participating alumni.

What is the cost for the course?

There is no cost with the course.

 What resources will I need for this class?

To complete this course you'll need an internet connection, and the time to read, watch recorded lectures, and participate in online discussions.

Do I have to be a University of Alberta alum to participate in this course?

No, this course is available for University of Alberta Alumni and friends of the university.

When does the class meet?

The course site opens to participants on January 23, 2022, but when you "attend" class is entirely up to you. Our online course is without set class meetings. Instead, "class" is really the collection of video lectures that are available on-demand. Each week a new section of the course will be posted, and you can watch that content. However, you can always go back and review the previous content. After you've studied the readings and watched the video lectures, you'll head over to the course forums to respond to the weekly discussion questions and interact with the instructor, teaching assistants, and your classmates.

Where will the discussion with other alumni happen?

There will be a LinkedIn group provided to you that will house all the discussion about course content. You'll be able to interact with other alumni from University of Alberta and other universities whose alumni are also taking the course.

Can I earn credit for completing the course?

Course credit is not offered. Those participants who fulfill the requirement of posting answers to the required discussion questions will be e-mailed a certificate following the conclusion of the course.

What are Accountability Buddies and how do they work?

One unique aspect of this course is the opportunity to be paired with a fellow alum as your accountability buddy. The main activity is to meet weekly (e.g., over Zoom) to discuss questions about habits and share your progress. This is completely optional but highly recommended. More information is available in the pre-course module and Week 1.

What if my question isn't answered here?

If you have further questions, please email


  • Karen P, Communications Coach

    This 5-week course was a thoughtful and interactive way to truly put your habit building to work. This course made me more curious and intentional about the habits I'm trying to create. Cole is a kind and dedicated coach who made this course a joy to attend.

  • Malaika K, Program Manager

    "The Habits course for me was transformational at many levels especially during this transitory stage of my life. I was challenged to become a better version of myself over the 5 weeks through practical hands on learning - from applying the Habit Loop to energy management to practicing the power of integrity....Personally, I found the course enabled me to not only build a habit that serves me well but also helped me garner essential life skills one simply cannot acquire from textbooks and that I wish I had access to during my initial university years."

  • Amrita G, Sales Manager

    “Cole has provided me with tools and resources that will aid me in managing my time, stress, and feeling like I have accomplished what I set out for in the day. This course has allowed me to reflect on what is not working and ways to fix it for the better. It encouraged vulnerability with the promise of growth. I think everyone can benefit from taking this course, and learning how creating and maintaining habits is beneficial in their life.”