Habits – a love/hate relationship

Habits – a love/hate relationship

How habits are formed

Ok, let’s talk habits, and not just the nasty ones that we deeply dislike in our partner or friends, but the nitty, gritty details behind forming great habits. 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg was the inaugural book for MY BOOK CLUB. Why did we choose it?

Firstly, his insights and research into the science and neurology of habits is impressive and extensive. The premise for his book was understanding how habits are formed so that this knowledge can be leveraged in many ways such as building better businesses, improving our diet, creating amazing exercise regimes, and becoming more productive. 

MY BOOK CLUB is a club where habits are welcomed, with open arms. Reading, learning and developing requires patience, commitment and (you guessed it) forming a habit. So how do we form habits that stick?

Repeat and Reward

There are 3 core steps involved in forming a new habit: 

1: Cue – the trigger that tells your brain which habit to use

2: Routine – a familiar and repetitive activity, behaviour or emotion

3: Reward – the end goal of every habit. When we are rewarded the brain releases dopamine which affirms for us the need or desire to continue this habit. 

Once we become aware that something needs to change a chain of events occurs which ignites this habit-forming process. If we break it down to its simplest form, the cue can look like this: 

We wake up, we want to feel alert and ready for the day, the coffee pot goes on, we enjoy a warm cuppa and voila, the habit of coffee drinking becomes associated with waking up and our morning routine.

See how easy that was?

Good and Bad habits – where do I begin

Breaking a bad habit can be just as easy as forming a new one.

Studies show that stress plays a major role in the development of bad habits – smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating etc. So how can we cut out the bad habits and form better ones? Start by reverse analysing the core habit forming steps: 

Cue – What is triggering my bad habit? Stress, anxiety, worry? 

Routine – What behaviour do we want to change? Why am I doing this in the first place? 

Reward - Understanding why you do something makes it easier to discover a better habit that gives the same reward.

Habit motivation

Did you know that good habits also form easier and are proven to stick when we experience positive affirmation and feel motivated? 

Here are some great ways to stay positive, reduce anxiety and get in the habit of forming good habits: 

  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try something new, join a club and embrace the unknown
  • Mistakes happen – get over it. Be prolific not perfect. 
  • Commit to a goal or project and see it through
  • Never stop educating yourself
  • Embrace failure and never give up.

THE HABIT CLUB

A key concept in the creation of MY BOOK CLUB was forming great habits through reading that will result in personal learning and development. So, rather than sitting at home consumed by the latest binge-watching series, or scrolling through reels on social media, we are replacing old habits with new, exciting, rewarding ones. 

We know it’s a pain in the habitual ass, but with enough repetition and commitment our brains will begin to crave positive routine and personal rewards. Time to get stuck in!

Blog by Genie O'Dowd

Our team and guest speakers hope you enjoy our Blog posts and articles covering everything from personal development to symbolism.
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