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Once you have a clear breakdown of what's happening at each stage of your habit loop, brainstorm healthier routines that will produce the results you want.
Create a list of options of alternatives that might provide comparable reward to the one you are trying to eliminate. Focus on new routines that will help you decompress after a stressful day (the cue) and leave you in a positive frame of mind to get freelance work done (reward).
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As you’re determining the habits or resolutions you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.
You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again.
There are 3 parts to a good or bad habit: Cue (what triggers the action), Routine (the action itself), Reward (the positive result because of the action).You have trained your brain to take a cue (you see a doughnut), anticipate a reward (a sugar high), and make the behavior automatic (nom that donut).
Compare that to a cue (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner’s high), and make the behavior automatic (go for a run!).
Though companies like Nike try to ignite our willpower with their slogans, ultimately willpower cannot squash our subconscious and unconscious behavior.
Repetition of action and thought can...
Just merely knowing something is good or bad for you is not going to give you any benefit, unless the implementation is done. Conscious knowledge cannot change your behavior, one has to make necessary changes to successfully act in self-control.
If you know that you will eat junk food because your refrigerator is filled with it, remove all the junk food.
Just as removing friction aids in doing the activity more often, adding friction can aid to remove the bad habit, by making it difficult or cumbersome to do so.
Example: Cigarette smoking declined due to adding taxes, banning in public places and removing from vending machines.
The process in which the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine is known as ‘chunking,’ and it’s at the root of how habits form.
...because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.
It will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often. This effort-saving instinct is a huge advantage.