Habits are very important
Habits shape your life far more than you probably realize. Habits are very strong. In fact, our brains cling to them at the exclusion of all else - including common sense.
More than 40 percent of the actions you perform each day aren’t actual decisions, but habits.
Not only are habits important. They grow stronger and stronger over time and become more and more automatic. So make sure you have the right ones!
Habits are so powerful because they create neurological cravings: A certain behavior is rewarded by the release of “pleasure” chemicals in the brain.
Habits works through the habit loop
- Cue / trigger: A location, a time of day, certain people, an emotional state,
- Routine: Watching TV, smoking a cigarette, eating chocolate, biting your nails
- Reward: The pleasure chemicals released in the brain because of the routine.
Because of the reward the habit loop is reinforced.
The loop is a self-reinforcing mechanism that over time becomes automatic.
When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making.
Understanding how habits work through the habit loop makes it easier to take control over them. Breaking a habit down into its components makes it possible to change the “logic of the loop” so to speak.
Habits are encoded in the structures of our brain and save us a lot of effort because we don’t have to relearn everything we do.
Make sure you have the right habits
The automatization of your actions free up energy that can be used focus to other tasks. This can work to your advantage! But if a bad habit is created you need to change it - to interrupt it and “install” a new one.
Unless you intentionally fight a bad habit and replace it with new routines, the pattern will unfold automatically over and over again every time the habit is activated by the trigger (or cue).
Your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits. You have to do that.
Decide what actions / routines you would like to have and use the habit loop to your advantage. The key to creating positive change for yourself is to make your desired actions into habits.
The good news is that habits aren’t destiny. All habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced. But it’s not easy because a habit never truly disappears - it is merely replaced by new habits.
The Golden Rule of Habit Change
Habits never really disappear. You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.
How the Golden Rule works:
- Use the same cue
- CHANGE THE ROUTINE!
- Provide the same reward
To sum up the importance of good habits
- Almost half of the actions you perform each day are habits.
- Habits are powerful because of neurological cravings.
- Habits works through the habit loop: 1: Cue, 2: Routine, 3: Reward.
- When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making
- The automatization of your actions free up energy that can be used focus to other tasks.
- Take control over your habits: Your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits.
- Use The Golden Rule to produce the right changes: 1: Use the same cue 2: CHANGE THE ROUTINE! 3: Provide the same reward.
More about habits:
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Do you want to know the secrets of how to use habits to create positive change in your life? Read "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg.
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