The Habit Course: Building New Habits to Launch Your Career

Habit Course

The start of your career is an exciting time, and also can seem intimidating, especially in a global pandemic. The key is developing good work habits that support your productivity and allow you to be intentional with your time and energy.

There are thousands of books and articles dedicated to this topic and you have likely read at least one of them. 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. The course was also launched to the alumni UBC community last year with a 92% rating where participants would recommend this course to a friend.

As you work to establish yourself in your career, it’s important to proactively invest in your ability to adapt and modify your habits. This critical skill will allow you to excel at work, whether you’re still at home or the office, and provide you with additional bandwidth to focus on what really matters.

In this five week live online program, you will learn tried and tested practical tools to create new habits.

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 manage your energy and mitigate burnout at work;
  • Develop new systems to address distractions;
  • Increase your confidence to take on new challenges; and
  • Have a greater sense of agency over your personal and professional direction

The course begins Wednesday, May 12 and ends Wednesday, June 9, 2021.


Early Bird: before April 30th, 2021
General Admission: $125

After April 30th, 2021
General Admission: $150

Special Price: $200 You & A Friend

Register Online

Questions? Please contact

Course Overview

Week 1: What is a habit?
Discover a simple model to identify and design habits.

Week 2: Why do we have habits?
Apply practical insights from the science of habits and how it relates to managing energy.

Week 3: Mental habits
Identify mental blocks and distractions that get in the way of our habits and how to overcome them.

Week 4: Hidden aspects of habits
Uncover blind spots, get unstuck and leverage new perspectives.

Week 5: Creating a habit practice
Integrate key takeaways and craft a system for ongoing application.

How it Works

The Habit Course consists of five 2-hour online sessions delivered once per week. During class, you will learn new concepts, have opportunities to engage with classmates and the facilitator, and participate in reflective exercises.

Dates for live classes*

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 – 6:00pm-8:00pm (PDT)
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 – 6:00pm-8:00pm (PDT)
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 – 6:00pm-8:00pm (PDT)
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – 6:00pm-8:00pm (PDT)
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 6:00pm-8:00pm (PDT)

*You must attend all live classes as each session builds on the previous one. Due to the nature of the course, there will be no makeup classes.

Participants will be given a workbook in PDF format before each class. This will be used during sessions to complete exercises. We suggest printing it out before each class.

Between each session you will:

  • Work on your habit(s)
  • Track your progress
  • Complete reflective exercises
  • Meet with an accountability partner (remotely)


What is the time commitment?

3-4 hours per week. In addition to the 2 hour weekly online class, you can expect to invest another 1-2 hours. This includes working on your habit(s), tracking your progress, completing reflective exercises, and meeting with your accountability buddy (remotely). There are no pre-readings and additional resources will be shared upon request.

What is an accountability buddy?

Each person will be paired with someone from the course who they will work with for the duration of the course outside of the classroom. The main task is to meet once per week (remotely) to share about your learnings and challenges, and provide support to each other. You will also be given discussion questions. Many people report this as being one of the most valuable aspects of the course.

Is live participation required for all classes?

Live participation is required for all classes. Each class builds on the previous one and there will be no makeup classes. The classes are highly interactive and it’s where you’ll get a lot of value out of the course. The facilitator will not just be sharing new concepts, you will have ample opportunities to engage in exercises and work with other participants.

What kind of setup will I need to participate in the live classes?

You will need a place where you’re able to talk openly and be on live video. You will need a computer or device with audio and video capabilities, and a reliable internet connection. We’ll be using Zoom to facilitate the live online classes.

If you have any concerns about accessibility, please contact

What kind of habits will I work on?

In the first class, you will be guided through a process to identify possible habits to work on and then you get to choose where you’ll focus. For example, the facilitator will suggest different areas to look at, such as how you plan your work, how you do your work, how you interact with colleagues or other people, goals or ambitions are important to you, and challenges or opportunities you’d like to work on.

However, the main intention of the course is for you to learn what supports habit formation in general, and not necessarily have you take on any particular habit. Specific habits will be recommended, but that’s mainly in the context of supporting overall habit formation. For example, you will learn new ways of reflecting and managing your time and energy.

The main intention for the course is that you walk away being able to take on any habit of your choosing and understand the support systems you need in place to be successful.

Will I be required to purchase textbooks and/or other materials?

No purchase of textbooks or additional materials are required for the Habit Course. You will be sent handouts in a PDF format that we recommend printing before each session. The handout will have space to complete exercises during the class.

About the Instructor

Cole Nakatani, BCom’11

Cole Nakatani, BCom’11, 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.
Cole is also a frequent guest lecturer with the UBC Sauder School of Business. He co-founded Commerce 486M in 2014, an integrative capstone course for senior students, and played a key role in piloting and scaling Commerce 101, as a senior student, to be an innovative ‘big picture’ course designed to illustrate the importance of diverse topics in Commerce. Both courses continue to thrive to this day.

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 BCs old growth forest.

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