• Cues can be almost anything, from a visual trigger to a time of day, an emotion, a sequence of thoughts, the company of particular people, etc.
• Routines can be incredibly complex or fantastically simple.
• Rewards can range from food or drugs that cause physical sensations, to emotional payoffs, such as the feelings of pride that accompany praise or self-congratulation.
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• We know that a habit cannot be eradicated. Instead, it must be replaced. Most habits are most malleable when the golden rule is applied:
• To change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward...
• There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is wa...
Obviously, changing some habits is more difficult than this, but the framework is a good place to start.
Once you understand how a habit operates — once you diagnose the cue, routine and rewards — you gain power over it.
• 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.
• To create a new habit (such as running each morning), you need to choose a simple cue (e.g. leaving your gym clothes out,...
• To understand your own habits, you need to identify the components of your habit loops. Once you’ve diagnosed the habit loop of a particular behaviour, you can look for ways to supplant old vices with new routines.
There are four steps to doing this:
1. Identify the rout...
So, if you’re trying to figure out the cue for a habit, write down five things the moment the urge hits:
1. Where are you?
2. What time is it?
3. What’s your emotional state?
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