HOW TO FORM A HABIT AND MAKE IT STICK

-WHAT IS AN HABIT AND HOW DO THEY FORM?

Habits are a topic that has aroused a lot of interest in recent years because scientists understood that through them people can change and improve their lives. 

A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Habit formation is the process by which behaviors become automatic and can be modified or eliminated in several methods.

-HOW IS AN HABIT STRUCTURED?

Let‘s now see the process in which a habit is articulated.  

A habit is made up of 4 stages: the cue, the craving, the response and the reward according to James Clear (author of Atomic Habits). This is the passage that our brain goes through every time it performs a repetitive action that becomes a habit. 

The cue is that initial sensation that anticipates the dopamine rush that occurs with the reward. Our brain is always looking for a cue and to do so it analyzes the surrounding environment. 

The second part is called craving and consists of the motivational drive which sets your body in motion. It embodies the fundamental desire behind the habit of reaching for the prize. Obviously it changes from person to person as motivation is a very personal and abstract concept. 

The next step is the response, i.e. the actual action that is performed. It doesn’t get done if more effort is needed that you are willing to do. Finally, the habit ends with the reward, the coveted prize that we were striving for that satisfies us and teaches us. When we reach the reward, our brain releases dopamine, the desire and pleasure molecule, that makes us enjoy the experience and make us want to do it again.

Let’s look to an example to clarify the concept:

We can transform these four steps into a practical framework that we can use to design good habits and eliminate bad ones.

-THE 4 LAWS OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE

It provides a simple set of rules for creating good habits and breaking bad ones. You can think of each law as a lever that influences human behavior. When the levers are in the right positions, creating good habits is effortless. When they are in the wrong positions, it is nearly impossible.

Now it’s clear that the environment that surrounds us plays a big role in the levers system. In fact, if we modify our rooms or offices (if possible) making the cues of the good habits evident and visible and the cues of the bad ones invisible and difficult to reach, we will be able to pursue the life we always wanted. 

For example if you need to go to the gym in the morning, the evening of the previous day, prepare the bag and put the running shoes in front of the bed. 

In this way it’ll be a lot easier for you to actually be consistent with the gym because the cue will be evident and the decision of going or not to the gym easier because you will have already taken it the evening before. In the opposite way if you have a phone addiction, put the phone when you have to work away, in another room and switch it off so that the cue of the notification never triggers.

-TO REMEMBER!

These are great methods but never forget that the man who has no distraction will be the most focused and productive one. always.  So if you are sugar dependent, make the decision to not buy anything that is bad for you such as donuts, chocolate, ecc…. 

This covenant that you make with yourself is very important and can become very effective if you make it with a friend or a relative, by giving them money if you don’t fulfill the contract. This small punishment will be a great incentive not to fall into temptation.

 

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