“The Habit Loop” explains exactly what a habit is. According to the author, habits make up 40% of our daily routine. The process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which behavior to use. Second, there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is the reward.
Your daily habits create the foundation of your life–your health, wealth, happiness, productivity, quality of relationships, and energy level. You can become more mindful creating the intention to interrupt patterns that don’t serve you. Establish positive habits that lead to a happy and prosperous life.
You create habits as an efficiency mechanism. Neuroscience research tells us that the brain quickly transforms as many tasks and behaviors as possible into habits so that we can do them without thinking. This frees up the brain to deal with new challenges. But first, we have to integrate the new habit and that can feel challenging.
Think about when you start a new activity. Your brain works hard to integrate it into your life, processing huge amounts of new information as you progress through the activity. As soon as you understand how it works, your behavior starts becoming automatic and the amount of mental effort required to perform the activity decreases.
Positive new habits
The best way to approach creating positive new habits that will last is to take baby steps bringing them into your life one at a time. This gives you the opportunity to repeat the habit over and over until it is a part of your automatic behavior, and also allows you to focus the extra brainpower required for the habit on one or few activities so you aren’t overwhelmed. Then when your habit is automatic, you can add another one.
It might seem counter-intuitive, and that this approach will bring slow results. But, when you consider that studies show most people only make changes for a short amount of time before giving up, this approach actually brings results fast. Plus, you can say goodbye to that discouraging yo-yo cycle of starting and then breaking habits! Dieting is a good example of an intention that often goes awry, and demotivates people.
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“It wasn’t the trip to Cairo that had caused the shift, scientists were convinced, or the divorce or desert trek. It was that Lisa had focused on changing just one habit—smoking—at first. Everyone in the study had gone through a similar process. By focusing on one pattern—what is known as a “keystone habit”—Lisa had taught herself how to reprogram the other routines in her life, as well.” ~ Charles Duhigg in “The Power of Habit”Download Article 1K Club