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Habits are a regular tendency

They can be especially hard to give up and change.

First let’s define habits.  Habits are the small decisions people make everyday.  Each decision has an action and a consequence. Some habits are ingrained. Some are not. Some are healthy. Some are detrimental to our health.  Some habits are good ones.  Some are bad.  Let’s look at all of these.

Habits can be broken down into three core groups:

 

Ingrained Habits

Ingrained habits are the small ones, such as tying our shoelaces, or brushing our teeth, feeding ourselves, and brushing our hair.  They have been apart of who we are for so long, that we don’t notice them anymore.

 

Healthy Habits

The second type of habit are the healthy ones that we work hard at to maintain.  These are habits such as exercise, eating healthy and getting a full night’s sleep.  These ones are hard to start, difficult to maintain and pay off really well once you have a handle on how to manage them.  

Bad Habits

Bad habits are probably the hardest to break. The can be defined by things such as procrastination, smoking and overspending.  The good thing is that they can be changed.  With a commitment and a bit of willpower it is possible to turn these around.

 

Habits are broken down into three part process which is shown in the diagram below:

For example, the routine could be going to the gym.  The cue for this would be collecting your gym bag and the reward would be feeling good afterwards.

Another example would be the routine of calling your wife to avoid working. The cue for this would be seeing an email that requires you to work.  The reward would be successfully avoiding the work and feeling as though you have achieved something.

The first example would be the habit you would want to keep up.  The second example would be the habit you would want to break.  In order to break the habit you would need to successfully create a new habit to put in place of the old one.  

Creating new neurological pathways in the brain is the best way to keep up the new habit.

There are two main principles that can assist with creating new habits.  One is the belief that you can actually do it.  The second is accountability.  You need to be held accountable for your actions.

So… what habits do you have that you are looking to change?