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!).
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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.
First, stop relying on willpower and motivation. Both are finite and fickle resources that will abandon you when you need them most.
Use systems and outside forces to make the routine even easier to build.
Create rewards that reward you back! DON’T reward your routine (running!) with an unhealthy reward (cake!). That’s “one step forward, two steps back.”
DO reward your routine (running for 5 minutes every day for 30 days straight) with a reward that makes you want to keep running (a snazzy new pair of running shoes).
Do less. Do way less. Keep your goals SMALL and simple. Only build one habit at a time.Want to start exercising more? For that first week, ONLY go for a walk for just 5 minutes every morning. Literally 5 minutes.
Want to start cooking your own healthy meals? Just aim for one meal per day or one meal per week. Whatever works for you and your schedule.
Once you have made up your mind about taking on a new habit, you might as well start getting used to it. Just remember that we have, as humans, the tendency to work better without pressure and when taking one step at a time.
Therefore, start by creating small habits and get used to them and you will see how easy it is to build long-lasting routines that will make your life easier.
When trying to build new habits, be specific by thinking about ways to measure the evolution of your action: set clear targets that can help you, when the deadline previously decided on approaches, to evaluate your progress.