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Want to Break a Bad Habit? Science Says Do These 4 Things

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https://www.inc.com/melody-wilding/psychology-says-this-is-how-you-change-a-bad-habit-for-good.html

inc.com

Want to Break a Bad Habit? Science Says Do These 4 Things
It's 3 p.m., and you're knee-deep in an afternoon energy slump. You head towards the office kitchen to grab a glass of water where you're encountered by a box of treats that seems to be calling your name. "Just one," you swear. But that's the third time you've given in to your sweet tooth this week.

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Anticipate Setbacks

Behavior change is hard. Slip-ups are common, so when they happen, don't beat yourself up or retreat into negative self-talk. Instead, anticipate your failures and plan for them.

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Commit To Change And Tweak as You Go

Make achievable commitments to test new routines and approach it as a series of experiments.

Try your new routine for a while and tweak it or switch to a new one if it doesn’t suit you.

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Explore Alternatives

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 alte...

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Identify The Stages

First identify the cue, routine, and reward that lead to your habit. Look at the circumstances surrounding the behavior including the time of day, who you're with, and what emotions you're f...

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The Psychology Of Bad Habits

Habits are comprised of cue, routine and reward. The cue triggers a routine, and the routine generates a reward.

The habit loop is power...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Chunking - The Root of Habits

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.

Habits emerge...

...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. 

The 3 Step Loop of Habit Formation:

  • First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
  • Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional.
  • Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

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Willpower is Limited

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 m...

Knowledge is not Enough

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.

Friction

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.

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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 fo...

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.