I just recently read a great book about how we form habits in our businesses and life, and why we do the things we do as humans. The book was titled, “Habit” and was written by Charles Duhigg. One of the main takeaways I received from the book was that we succeed by transforming our habits. “We achieve success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.”
I’m sure most of you have a habit of doing things a certain way or maybe even have terrible habits that you are trying to get rid of. I want to share with you what I learned from this book, but also what I’ve applied in my life to change something in my current routine or form a habit that I want to stick with to better myself.
Overall, Duhigg talks about how we can create new habits. He says that “To create a new habit, put together a cue, a routine, and a reward, then cultivate a craving that drives the loop.” To break bad habits he says, “Identify the cues and rewards, then you can change the routine.” So what exactly does this all mean. Well, each of you could have a completely different perspective on this and respond to creating new habits/changing bad habits in a completely different way. For example, hitting the snooze button every morning/sleeping in is an example I wanted to discuss. Why do we do this? Well, it could be because of lack of sleep, you hate your life (lol) and don’t want to get out of bed and go to your terrible job, etc. It could be many things right, but over time you keep doing this, you’re creating a habit. A habit that tells your body and conscious part of your brain to hit the snooze button. A habit, that truthfully I think makes a human even more tired throughout their day. So, how can we fix something that seems so simple like this, but yet many people struggle with. I’ll share with you what worked for me, and maybe it will work for you. As I stated though, all of us are different. We form habits in different ways and respond to different cues and rewards. Real simple, to fix this sleep debacle, I put my work outfit next to my bed as well as shoes, so as soon as I open my eyes in the morning I look at that. It’s so simple, yet so many people don’t do it. The most successful people in this world wear the same outfit everyday. Why? Because when you really think about it and this goes for both men and women, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we are going to wear. Our energy and conscious thinking could definitely be put towards something of substance. Another example, putting your cell phone on silent. Most people have their cell phones on sound or vibrate. When someone texts or calls them it creates a trigger in their heads and they receive a reward from that. It’s essentially creating a shot of dopamine – a brain chemical that makes us extremely happy. Hence, why I put my phone on silent. We as humans are so addicted to our cell phones and truly fucked. I can write about this in another article, but something to definitely consider. Ask yourself, why am I looking at my phone right now. Have an intention and break the bad habit of constantly checking your phone.
I know this article was a little short, but like most of my articles I like getting the point across quickly and effectively. As Duhigg says, “Cue, routine, and reward.” It takes practice, but you will make it work.