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“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”
Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.
Biologically, we form habits to save energy, so anything we do regularly will become a habit.
This is how new habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop. Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.
“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”
Habits are hard-wired into our brains. So while it would be nice to be able to erase this hard-wiring, it’s not possible. So we have to be intentional about changing our bad habits into good ones, rather than focusing on eliminating the bad ones from our system.
Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. That’s the rule: If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same.
“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”
Improvement, motivation, health, fitness, science📚🧬
Why habits exist, how they work, and how you can change them - The foundational understanding required to create new habits that will drive your success and break old habits that are limiting your life.
Curious about different takes? Check out our The Power of Habit Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.
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