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December 26, 2020
Human's are basically made up of a huge collation of HABITS. And as we all say but seem to forget, all habits can be broken.
We are just a system that can be hacked, and once you know this, you can ignore all the voices in your head telling you that you need or want something and trust that you won't once your habit is broken.
You probably haven't thought about all of the habits that make up your daily life. So if you've decided to make a change to something that isn't helpful or healthy, and you want to improve your lifestyle, you do this by breaking a habit.
It can take anywhere from 18 - 254 days to form a habit, and 66 days for a behaviour to become automatic. But what exactly makes up a habit?
CUE - CRAVING - RESPONSE - REWARD
Is the trigger that makes your brain initiate the behaviour. The behaviour is ultimately initiated because your brain is expecting a 'reward'. But it's only a reward in the sense that when you complete the task such as eating chocolate after work, your brain releases chemicals that make you happy. But because you don't actually want that chocolate anymore, it's not actually a reward.
Your brain is constantly looking for rewards that satisfy survival (such as food) and secondary needs (such as money). Thus, cues for rewards naturally lead to the craving of it.
Are the "motivational force" to your habits. The cravings and desire give us a reason to act on our inclinations. When you have formed a habit, you crave the state you are in, opposed to the actually action. For example, you crave the mind numbing entertainment of Netflix, opposed to watching Netflix. Or you crave the endorphin buzz of exercise opposed to working out. Cravings are linked to a change in your internal state.
This is the actual action of the habit, this can be a thought or an action. Whether or not you complete the response depends on the motivation toward or friction against the behaviour. If it takes more effort than you are willing or if your ability denotes that you can't do it, then the response does not happen.
The ultimate end goal. The satisfaction of the cigarette, the flavour and joy from the chocolate block... Rewards either satisfy us or teach us, and it all comes down to our halted evolution. Our brain is trying to keep us alive with cravings and rewards, but we need to learn that since most of us aren't actually in survival mode, they aren't always helpful.
Our brain loves rewards because they satisfy our cravings and come with benefits on their own. Just like how when you eat delicious food, not only are you getting the taste you desire, but its filling your body up with nutrients and energy.
Rewards also make a mark in your brain for something you should do in the future. If an experience was good, your brain will then crave it in the future so you'll seek out the reward again.
If either the cue, cravings, response or reward are insufficient, a habit won't form.
These are split into two phases again.
All behaviours are derived from the desire to solve a problem. The problem stage involves your habits cue and cravings. And the solution stage involves your responses and rewards. The purpose of every habit is to solve a problem you face.
Your brain is simpler than you are. So don't listen to it. It's there to keep you alive, and sticking to the habits that you've formed while you're alive, is one of its survival mechanisms.
Breaking and forming a habit is essentially the same thing. Except we tend to focus on either the addition or removal of something in our life depending on what is. We've collated the hacks and tips you to help you with both!
Let's say you want to quit eating dairy, your brain is going to be thinking it's deprived and sending signals of desire for what it's used to. But if you want start going to the gym, your brain will be sending signals that it's pointless and to keep doing what you normally do.
The easiest way to form a habit is by doing these things -
Just like your skincare routine, the more pedantic, the easier it is for the habit to form. For example, if you say you're going to work out more you most likely won't. But you're more likely to do it if you say you'll work out 3 times a week, but you could still do better. Plan what you're doing for your work, and when and where. Such as; "Every Monday, Wednesday, FridayBefore breakfast, I'll run then do a weight session".
Making sure your new habit is as easy to act out as possible drastically increases your success at forming it.
Just like the way your phone lights up and buzzes with every notification, when you have audio or visual cues, your brain sees that as a reward and becomes inclined to repeat that task. Something as simple as setting a reminder for your workout end time like "good job you did it!", is a great way to reward your brain.
Breaking a habit is simple but hard. Hard in the sense that you mentally need to ignore your urges to to do what you THINK you want to do. But if you have made the decision that your new habit is more of a priority, then you need to remember that.
- I want to exercise and be healthier MORE than I want to eat chocolate and feel unhealthy.
- I want to be productive and achieve something MORE than I want to sit in front of the TV and sleep.
Now that you know that the voice telling you you want something isn't ACTUALLY what you want, watch as it fades into the abyss of your new routine and new lifestyle.
And that should be enough proof that you shouldn't always listen to your brain. You know you'll never regret eating healthy after you've done it, so go and do it.
Ultimately, if you want to break or form a habit, you need to counteract or enhance the cue, craving, response and reward.
Cue - Make it obvious or take it way
Craving - Make it more enticing or repulsive
Response - Make it simple to do or very difficult
Reward - Make it pleasurable or displeasurable.
Now all you have to do is SMASH YOUR GOALS AND NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS THIS YEAR. Now you can guarantee yourself to achieve everything you set out to, because we are made of habits, and habits are made to be made AND broken. You got this.
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