Do you have habits you want to change? Do you want to break some bad habits? Or perhaps you have new habits you would like to establish into a routine, but just haven’t been able to make it a regular habit yet. I’m going to show you how and share with you an amazing book I read about habits.
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The Habit Forming Cycle: Why is it hard to change our habits?
7am My alarm goes off as usual. I hit the snooze button. 10 more minutes I tell myself. 7:10 I hear the alarm once again. I open my eyes reach for my phone and check my schedule for the day. Now let’s see what emails I have. Ok maybe check my social media notifications. By the time that’s over with, 20 minutes go by. Oh man, time to get up.
The next day again my alarm goes off at 7am. However something is different today. No snooze setting today. I get out of bed, leaving my phone on the dresser. I have a cup of tea and do a couple stretches. My day is starting off right, I think to myself. After and only after I get ready for the day, do I pick up my phone and check my notifications.
What changed? A long time habit I had, snooze my alarm lay in bed for 20 more minutes, browse my phone and slowly get up changed. Why? Partially because I wanted to change this habit, but also after reading a book about habits, I wanted to test out the theories in the book to see if it worked. And it did.
Habits can be hard to change especially if we’ve been doing something for so long that it becomes a subconscious act. That’s really why it is hard to change because we don’t even really think about what we’re doing. But when you study about the brain and how our mind works to form and process habits, it’s so interesting and I read a book that gives us clues how we can change a habit for good.
The Power of Habit
I recently read the book: The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and in business by Charles Duhigg. I was fascinated with the book and unable to put it down. The author breaks down habits into 3 sections:
- The habits of individuals
- The habits of successful organizations
- The habits of societies
The book provides some really interesting facts and studies on the brain and how habits are formed and what happens when we try to change them. Also, it talks about how companies can change their culture by changing individual habits. The author gives examples of companies we know like Starbucks and Target and others on how they continue to be successful by keying into what the book calls “the habit loop”. In addition the author provides examples of how entire communities and groups of people change using the habit theories described in this book.
This one is a must read so be sure to get this book here:
As for me, based on my little experiment on getting up and starting my day right away instead of snoozing all morning, I will use the theory in the book to change more bad habits and create new ones. I realize when you consciously decide to make real changes and follow through with this theory, you can make a difference. It does take a lot of effort and commitment though. You can easily slip back into old habits because they don’t really go away, you just create new ones to replace the old but they’re still there. Our brain has an amazing ability to store these habits for a very long time.Habits can be easily and subconsciously formed, but we can also choose to consciously change them for the better. Click To Tweet
My tips on how to change your habits
Here is a summary of things you can apply today to change your habits:
- Review your goals and see if your life is aligning with your goals. If not, identify the areas you need to change. Most likely, you are just repeating daily habits that are ingrained in your mind and thus have not made changes to your daily routine. (Start planning your goals with the FREE Goal Planner worksheet!)
- Identify what triggers you to perform a habit you want to change or what stops you from performing a habit that you want to establish. If you know what makes you tick, you can be more aware of how you can change old habits and establish new ones.
- Make small changes in your routine. Perhaps deny yourself the reward you’re seeking until you actually perform your task. For example, if you want to exercise more but love to spend time browsing your social media, create a routine of only allowing yourself that time on social media after you have completed your workout. If you practice this enough times, you will start to form that habit of wanting to exercise in order to seek that reward of browsing your phone.
- Change one habit at a time. Have you ever been so motivated to make changes in your life and you try to do everything at once and fail? It’s probably because it’s really hard to change everything at once. It’s too restrictive and too much change. Instead, change one habit at a time and give it your all. Once that habit becomes second nature work on another one and so on.
I challenge you to look at some habits you want to change. Ask yourself why you do the things you do. Really take time to analyze your habits and what makes you tick. You may just find some really interesting findings about yourself that you never knew where even there.
What habits do you want to change? How will changing them help you reach your goals? Comment below.
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