By Veronica Vidal
James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, a New York Times bestselling book, says:
“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.
- How in shape or out of shape you are? …A result of your habits.
- How happy or unhappy you are? …A result of your habits.
- How successful or unsuccessful you are? …A result of your habits.
- What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about, and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.”
The question is, what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?”
Every habit is based on a simple loop: cue — response — reward.
The cue is the craving, the urge that triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. Based on the cue (craving or urge), your brain shifts, into autopilot and initiates and creates the routine (habit). The routine is the habit, that has been created by repetition, to get to a reward.
1) Determine the CUE: It is a bit of information that predicts a reward. Your mind is continuously analyzing your internal and external environment for hints of where rewards are located. Because the cue is the first indication that we’re close to a reward, it naturally leads to a craving. To determine the cue just observe yourself anytime you feel an urge or a craving that leads to a habit.
2) Determine the RESPONSE: The response is about obtaining the reward, which can take the form of a thought or an action. The response delivers the reward. When we respond repeatedly to the same cue, in the same way, we develop the actual habit.
3) Determine the REWARD: The first purpose of rewards is to satisfy your craving. Yes, rewards provide benefits on their own. Rewards teach us which actions are worth remembering in the future. Your brain is a reward detector. Feelings of pleasure and disappointment are part of the feedback mechanism that helps your brain distinguish useful actions from useless ones. Rewards close the feedback loop and complete the habit cycle. At least for a moment, rewards deliver contentment and relief from craving. Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The reward isn’t always so easy to determine. Maybe the reward you get from your habit is a feeling of control.
TAKE ACTION BY TRYING THIS:
Please think which self-limiting/harmful/self-defeating habits you want to eradicate from your life, AND which new ones you would like to implement.
According to Charles Duhigg, the author of the bestselling book “The Power of Habit“, studies show that the easiest way to implement a new habit is to write a plan.
The format to build a new habit is simply writing the following statement for each different habit:
When (cue), I will (respond, because it provides me with (reward)
Do that enough times, and eventually, your new good habit will be automatic.
FURTHER, according to James Clear, in order to create a new habit you must:
3 LAWS TO MAKE A NEW HABIT:
- NEW CUE: Make it obvious and attractive
- NEW RESPONSE: Make it easy
- NEW REWARD: Make it satisfying
3 LAWS TO BRAKE A BAD HABIT:
- OLD CUE: Make it invisible or unattractive
- OLD RESPONSE: Make it difficult
- OLD REWARD: Make it unsatisfying
The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your specifications. Every goal is doomed to fail if it goes against the grain of human nature.
Which habits you are going to change?
Once you conquer one new good habit, move on to another one!
Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.
Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.
With Infinite Love