I just finished a book called "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. The book presents a simple model of how our habits operate and how they define us on an individual level, but also how habits rule in companies and even societies. The book returns to one basic concept over and over. It is how our automatic reactions and routines occur in what is called the habit loop. This simple model brings awareness to how we operate.
Let's take a practical example:
Habit Loop 1
Cue: Alarm clock goes off. Routine: Press the snooze button. Reward: More sleep! My bed is so comfy..
Habit Loop 2
Cue: Alarm clock goes off. Routine: Put shoes on right away and start walking to the gym. Reward: Release of endorphins and pride for taking care of your body.
Which habit loop would you prefer to run on?
These habits have the same trigger, but depending on the routine response to the trigger, they will probably lead your life in very different directions.
This is an excellent tool to deconstruct a habit.
Our cues will remain the same. We will always have to get up in the mornings. However, if we become conscious of what reward we would like to achieve, we can start making conscious choices regarding what our routines should be.
I believe we all have habits we feel like we 'should' change.
Most neuroscientists and professionals in this field support the fact that it takes 18-22 days to rewire our brain to a new habit.
Choose one of your least like habits and deconstruct it. How would your life change if that loop took you in a different direction than it does today?