What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Is it the same thing you did yesterday and the day before? For that matter, is this pretty much the same thing you do every day, with a bit of deviation on your days off?
According to 19th century psychologist, William James, “All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” It’s true. When you really think about it the choices we make day after day aren’t the product of careful consideration. They aren’t the result of motivation to improve our lives or level of happiness. Instead, we do them because they are a habit.
Unfortunately, our natural inclination to do pretty much the same thing over and over again can significantly impact our happiness, financial security, health, and productivity. Fortunately, we can do something about it. There is a simple three steps process you can follow to put an end to bad habits or create good habits that stick.
The Components of the Three Steps
1. The cue: This triggers your brain and tells it which habit to use.
2. The routine, which can be emotional, mental, or physical: How a habit impacts what you do, feel, or think.
3. The reward:This helps you decide how valuable the habit really is, and whether or not it is worth remembering in the future.
Putting the Components Together to Form a Habit
The secret to developing better habits in your life involves finding a cue and clearly defining the rewards. Here’s a simple formula to follow.
Cue + Routine + Reward = Habit
To make this easy to understand, let’s use the example of going to the gym to workout after you get off from work four evenings a week.
• You start by choosing acue. In this case, let’s say putting your gym bag in the passenger seat the night before.
• This cue should automatically trigger theroutineyou are trying to develop. In this instance, working out at the gym after you get off from work in the evening.
• Now, it is time to select areward, such as enjoying a low fat smoothie after you have finished your workout.
• Finally, you give yourself the chance to crave the reward, by thinking about the yummy smoothie you will be able to enjoy after you finish your workout.
By adding the opportunity to enjoy a smoothie after you have completed a workout,which creates a craving,you increase the chances that you will actually go to the gym instead of simply driving home after a long day at work.
Habits are driven by cravings. This reason why habits are so powerful is because they create neurological cravings. It is up to you to figure out what ignites your craving and use it to make creating a habit easier for you.
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