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The Habit Loop: 5 Habit Triggers That Make New Behaviors Stick

https://jamesclear.com/habit-triggers

jamesclear.com

The Habit Loop: 5 Habit Triggers That Make New Behaviors Stick
In my book New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits, I explain that the process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward. The image below shows the habit loop and how these four factors work together to build new habits.

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The Habit Loop

The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response, reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits.

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5 primary ways that a new habit can be triggered

  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.

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Habit tracking

Is a simple and effective thing to do if you want to stick with a habit for good. No matter the format (calendar, journal, app), it provides immediate evidence whether you are making progress or...

The power of habit tracking:

  1. It creates a visual cue that can remind you to act.
  2. It is motivating to see the progress you are making. You don't want to break your streak.
  3. It feels satisfying to record your success in the moment.

To make habit tracking easier:

  1. Manual tracking should be limited to your most important habits
  2. Record each measurement immediately after the habit occurs

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Habit Ladder

This is a system that is automated by you. It is called a habit ladder because, from the time you wake up to finishing your first work task of the day, you're climbing up one rung at a t...

How Habits Work

A habit - a mini-system that once you create, becomes automatic to your body, with minimal interference from the brain.

The Habit Loop is a breakdown of a habit put it into three sections:

  • Cue: A certain trigger that awakens the habit
  • Routine: The action you perform without thinking.
  • Reward: The change you experience making you want to do more of the same.

Making a Habit Ladder

Keep a trigger cue ready and stack up the routine in such a way that your tasks become a habitual routine without any friction, each trigger cue and routine stacked over the next one.

Example: Put on running shoes instead of slippers in the morning and that's your cue to go out for a walk, then when you are back and feeling sweaty, that's your cue to take a bath.