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