Updated: Aug 11
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Unconventional Book & Coaching Club
Charles Duhigg teaches us why habits exist and how we can change them.
How are some people able to successfully quit smoking, run a marathon, exercise daily, or finish challenging project. The pattern inside there brain, neurologists discovered, have fundamentally been changed.
What do all these people have in common? The achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspects of their lives. THEY SUCCEED BY TRANSFORMING HABITS!! and you can too. This book teaches us a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
The Habit Loop: How Habit Works
We rely on behaviour chunks and we have thousands through out the day. For example backing up your car. Think about that behaviour itself. It's efficient for our brain to chunk all that behaviour into one to conserve mental energy. With out habits our brains would shut down from overload.
The Process in our brain is called the 3-Step Look: First there is a CUE- trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Second there is the ROUTINE- which can be physical, mental or emotional. Third, there is a REWARD- which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. THE LOOP BECOMES MORE AND MORE AUTOMATIC- A habit is born!! Learning the habit loop makes habits easier to control. Patterns remain inside our heads that is why it is hard to change habits because they become automatic. We may not remember experiences that create our habits but once they are lodged within our brains they influence how we act and often with our our realization.
How to Create New Habits
New habits are created by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward- then cultivating a craving that drives the loop. Take for instance smoking. When a smoker sees a cue- say, a pack of cigarettes- her brain starts to anticipate a hit of nicotine. If it doesn't arrive, the craving grows until the smoker reaches for the cigarette. Cravings become ingrained. Wanting turns into cravings and that forces the brain to go on autopilot. Even when faced with strong disincentives.
To understand the power of cravings in creating habits, consider the exercise habit. Studies show that many of those who had started exercise and then continued to exercise- it became a habit- was because of a specific reward they started to crave. Eg. Feel good, accomplishment. Start noticing the rewards of a new habit you want to build. If you want to start running each morning, it's essential that you choose a simple cue (like always lacing up your sneakers before breakfast and leaving your running clothes next to the bed, AND have a clear reward (such as a midday treat, or any thing you feel a sense of accomplishment from). YOUR BRIAN HAS TO EXPECT REWARD- a craving for the reward to come is essential to creating automatic routine.
CRAVINGS are what drives habits!
The Golden Rule of Habit Change: Why Transformation Occurs
You can't extinguish a bad habit. You can only change it.
Use the same cue- Provide the same reward- Change the Routine. To change a habit you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. You can shift the routine and the habit.
Attempts to give up snacking, for instance will often fail unless there's a new routine to satisfy old cues and reward urges.
What cravings are driving your habit loop? For example alcoholics crave alcohol because it offers escape, relaxation, the blunting of anxiety, emotional release. AA offers system of meetings, companionship, to offer this craving for escape, and emotional release. AA forces you to create new routines for what to do each night instead of drinking. Same Cue, Same reward, different behaviour!! Prepare your behaviour for when cues come in! Identify cues and rewards and you can change the routine.
TIPS TO CHANGE HABITS: 1. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR WHAT CRAVING IS DRIVING BEHAVIOUR. 2. KEEP CUE AND REWARD CHANGE ROUTINE OR BEHAVIOUR 3. PLAN BEHAVIOUR OR FIND ANOTHER ROUTINE THAT CAN SUPPORT YOUR REWARD OR CRAVING. 4. IDENTIFY THE CUES AND REWARDS YOU ASSOCIATE WITH YOUR HABIT 5 CHOOSE A NEW ROUTINE WITH SIMILAR PAYOFFS. 6 For some habits, however, there's one other ingredient that's necessary: Belief! CHANGE CAN HAPPEN.
Keystone Habits: Which habits matter the most?
Keystone habits are habits that have the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits. Keystone habits start a process, that over time transform everything. Keystone habits relies on identifying a few key priorities and using them as powerful levers. The habits that matter the most are the ones that when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other patters as well. Eg. Wake up early- more energy, get more done, eat healthier, exercise, walk dogs in fresh air, feel healthier, increase confidence. SPILL OVER!!
What habits matter most to you? What are your personal keystone habits?
When Willpower Becomes Automatic
Sometimes it looks like people with great self-control aren't working hard, but that's because they've made it automatic. Angela Duckworth, one of University of Pennsylvania researchers says, "Their willpower occur without them having to think about it."Essential they have turned self-discipline into a habit.
Willpower is making Self-discipline a habit. How do we make self- discipline a habit- Self regulation. Will power is a learnable skill, something that can be taught. TURN SELF-DISCIPLINE INTO A HABIT
You can design will power habits to help you reach goals. Deliberately design willpower habits. Create clear directions when confronted with inflection points. Routines create truces that allow work to get done.
The framework of changing a habit: 1. Identify the routine- Notice the components of your habit, identify the Cue, Routine & Reward loop. 2. Experiment with rewards- Rewards are powerful because they satisfy cravings. Figure out which cravings are driving habits. Adjust routine to deliver a different reward. Test rewards. 3. Isolate the cue- Location, time, emotional state, other people, actions 4. Have a plan- You've identified the reward driving the behaviour, the cue triggering it, and the routine itself- you can begin to shift the behaviour with a plan for new behaviour.
Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.
Book Link: https://amzn.to/2ThnhxG