The Power of Habit

“Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.” –Brian Tracy

Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement and habits are formed! Eating your veggies, brushing your teeth, waking up early to workout…these are sometimes hard habits but when  we find out HOW we do them, the process becomes more rewarding to stick with!

This post gets into another great book called, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

Charles notes that about 45% of our ‘decisions’ that we make everyday aren’t actually decisions, they are HABITS.

Charles leads his TedX talk HERE by explaining a simple experiment done on a rats and a maze with a piece of chocolate as a reward. He explains that at first the rat wonders up and down several minutes until he indulges, but overtime what they found was that the rat used less and less brain to achieve his goal. By utilizing sensors implanted in the rat’s brain, they were able to measure its neurological activity  showing that it made sense that as the rat knew its route it would ‘think’ less.

Charles goes on to note that there are three categories for each of our habits:

  1. Cue
  2. Routine
  3. Reward

For a long time researchers thought that it was the routine that was causing issues but after much more digging, they were able to find that the trouble lies in our trigger and reward! Multiple other studies like the famous ‘marshmallow’ test with 4-year old’s went on to prove that those kids that resisted the temptation were statistically more successful in school and in life as they grew older.

Give yourself a chance. Set out triggers for yourself, reward yourself and practice willpower to achieve healthier habits. Make a decision ahead of time…pre-meditate your actions.

Example-“No, I am not going to have that cookie at lunch because I will make a tasty recipe tonight that is healthier and tastes just as good.”

Check out the book and watch the Tedx talk HERE. Good luck and have fun!