A habit is a choice we deliberately make at some point and then stop thinking about but continue making every day.
A habit is a formula our brain automatically follows: when I see a Cue, I will do a Routine in order to get a Reward.
We all have habits….good and bad.
How can you begin to identify and modify those habits you want to change and improve your health and happiness?
The core of all habits have been found to be three parts of a loop:
- a cue
- a routine
- a reward
An Example: I take a break from work every day to go to the break room and eat something (cookie or candy) and talk to coworkers.
The framework to changing this habit has these steps:
- Identify the routine: you get up from the desk, walk to the break room, grab a snack, eat it and talk.
- Experiment with the reward: mix it up by doing something different when you get to the break room, or even go somewhere else.
- Isolate the cue: identify this by asking five simple questions 1. where are you 2. what time is it 3. what is your emotional state 4. who else is around 5. what action preceded the urge.
- Have a plan: write it out. Now that you have identified the reward triggering the behavior, the cue triggering it, and the routine itself, shift the behavior with a plan that eliminates the undesirable behavior in the loop.
This technique can be used to help reduce overeating, smoking cessation, drinking too much alcohol, improve exercise routines or stop watching too much television or too much time playing video games.
Try it and see how you can change bad health habits.
Be patient with this system as you may find yourself occasionally falling back into the old habit, but with time, you can change that bad health habit into one that is not only healthy but will make you a happier person!