Do You Have a Habit You Would Like to Change - Or Get Rid Of?
Watch or read this and I'll tell you how to do it.
I recently read a book on habits: “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. It's about recent knowledge of the neuroscience and psychology of habits.
It’s about habits of people, habits of organizations and even habits of whole societies. So much of what we do is controlled by habits. Some good and some bad.
They now know how habits emerge, how they change, and the science behind their mechanics, so to say. It is known how to take habits apart and rebuild them again according to specifications.
So, do you have a habit that you would like to get rid of?
In order to do it, you first have to understand what triggers that habit.
- Every habit has a trigger.
- The trigger triggers a behavior, an action, which is the habit.
- And that action leads to a reward of some kind.
So, if you want to change a habit, you need to recognize what is the trigger, and you have to change the behavior or action. And assure that you get a good reward after the modified action.
If you don't get a reward for changing your behavior, you are just not going to be able to change the habit.
Let’s take an example
You come home after work and you are tired. What do you do? Well, you grab a beer and a bag of chips. Drinking the beer and eating the chips make you relax, feel good.
The same thing happens tomorrow: You come home after work and you’re tired. What do you do? You grab a beer and a bag of chips. It makes you feel better.
Now if you do this daily for weeks, for months, you will have developed a habit. And it’s kind of a bad habit because it makes you fat and lazy.
And you decide one day that, ”No this is not good for me. I want to get healthy. I still want to feel good after work. But I want to do it really feeling good.”
So you decide to change your habit. You come home from work the next day and you're tired. But you have made up your mind - you are going for a jog or brisk walk. Something to give you energy and feel good.
So, you go for this brisk walk or this jog. And you come back and take a shower and you feel so good!
Now, it did take some determination. And it’s going to continue to take determination every day for some time to do it. But because it makes you feel good - probably even better than the beer and the bag of chips did - you will be able to acquire this new habit, to change the bad one into a good one.
Don't Set Yourself Up for Failure
However, if you go too hard at it, so to say, if you determine that, “Hey, I'm really going to change my life.” And you decide that the first day you're going to run ten miles! Then you come back, if you even make it back after those ten miles, and you are totally wasted. You are so tired you almost throw up. You feel bad! In other words, no reward.
If you don't get a reward but instead you feel bad, you are never going to be able to change into the type of life you want.
You need to:
- recognize the trigger,
- change the action,
- be sure that there is a reward for the new action which is at least as good to you as the old reward was.
Simple - But Not Easy
Put this way, it seems quite simple, doesn't it? And, in a sense, it is rather simple. But that doesn't mean that it's easy. And it doesn't mean that it's quick. You do have to work at it, continue to be at it.
And… You can do it!
As for me, I always work on my habits. Not all of them together. You can’t address too many at the same time.
Developing Your Business and Developing Yourself
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