Knowledge is not Enough When It Comes To Bad Habits

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.

Gian Dara (@gianrad) - Profile Photo

@gianrad

🌻

Self Improvement

newyorker.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Junk Food Habits

McDonald's, for example, uses brain science to create habits by:

  • Asking 'Would you like some fries with that?'
  • Keeping the restaurants' look and the food taste/color standardized to trigger habitual eating patterns.
  • The salt and sugar in the food are making the brain feel good and happy, creating a sort of addiction.
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 make the required change seep into us, turning it into a machine-like, habitual behavior.

A Strategy to break away from a habitual activity is to:

  • Recognize your dependency
  • Acknowledge how the bad habit affects your life
  • Control the Cues to minimize triggers.
Adding Friction To Bad Habits

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 Toothpaste Tingle Strategy

Toothpaste companies heavily advertise scary messages of tooth decay (a cue) ensuring people buy their product.

The taste was designed to produce a certain tingle in the mouth, a fresh, irritant taste that provided a 'reward'.

Companies and Habits

Companies make us habitual. Companies like Facebook, NetFlix, and Uber spend millions on R&D of better tools to minimize friction, to get people to use their services more and more and form a habit.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Focus On Keystone Habits

Keystone habits lead to the development of multiple good habits. 

Exercise is a good example of this. Once you start to change your exercise habits, it sets off a chain reaction that changes other habits as well: you start feeling good about your body, you eat healthy foods, you procrastinate less, etc.

When planning on building new habits, one easy way to integrate them into your everyday routine is by actually adding them to an already existing habit. 

Therefore, choose one habit you have had for quite a while now and associate a new routine to it. You might be surprised by how fast you will get used to doing both at the same time, without feeling the most recent one as a burden.

Willpower is like a muscle

Just like going to the gym and building up strength, the more you train your willpower by accomplishing tasks on a consistent basis, the more you’ll have of it.

❤️ Brainstash Inc.