What is a habit?
When I think of the word “habit,” I think of an automatic action that does not demand conscious thought. Like getting up in the morning and switching on the kettle to make coffee.
Scientists who study the concept define 3 separate stages that make up a habit. And let me tell you what a powerful tool this can be! Used to form new habits and to eliminate bad habits; you can address each stage of a habit and tweak it to your advantage, rather than simply trying the same methods over and over again in an attempt to break a bad habit and always ending up with the same results. Research has proven that these 3 simple steps can help you make or break any habit.
Use this to your advantage
If you work to master each of these stages you will find that it’s much easier to break the cycle when taking on little tasks rather than one big goal.
It’s all about the cue
Where possible, seek to eliminate cues that lead you to bad habits. This might not always be possible as our environment and surroundings are ever-changing, so if you can’t eliminate them reduce your exposure to these cues as best as possible.
When you find yourself unable to control the environment to eliminate the cue, use the Hot Blooded / Cold Blooded premeditation method. It’s really more simple than it sounds; Decide beforehand (cold blooded state) on how you will react when you meet with a cue to a habit (hot blooded state), then stick to your decision. Deciding on a response while you are removed from the situation allows you to think more clearly and make better informed choices.
Remember, you’re not going to unlearn a habit that took months or years to form within a day. Once you’ve found a way that works for you to beat the cue and a reward that offers enough incentive, it’s all about repetition. Repeat the process enough times and soon it will set in and become automatic.
Have patience with yourself and don’t give up if you slip. The human brain is biologically engineered to dislike change; it’s your job to guide it through to the other side.