Breaking Bad Habits: Recognize, Acknowledge, Control - Deepstash

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Breaking Bad Habits: Recognize, Acknowledge, Control

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.

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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 m...

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.

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'.

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.

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 foo...

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.

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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 proc...

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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.

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Set Better Goals

Be specific on how you’ll implement goals into your daily life. Examining how you’ve responded to the situation in the past and determining what you can do to avoid reverting to the old habit, might be all it takes to break the habit.

It’s easier to react based on something yo...

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