The habit loop: Reshaping ‘bad’ habits
Great days start with great mornings.
Lets talk about reshaping bad habits! For many people, mornings are associated with chaos—running late, missing breakfast, and rushing.
Now I don’t know about you, but that is the type of morning I steer clear from. I can’t imagine starting my day like this…Chileeee, that’s a day ending before it even got started! That just isn’t my idea of a great morning. Granted, there may be situations beyond your control. However, having an established routine and positive habits helps process unforeseen moments.
That is to say, the goal is to find your morning rhythm!
More importantly, if you’re looking for a way to transform your morning, keep reading to receive tips on how to start your day off like a CHAMP!
Charless Duhigg is the best-selling author of “The power of habit”. In “The power of habit”, Charless shares the habits of individuals, how cravings for certain things affects our brain and the golden rule of habit change.
Here is Charless explaining how habits work, also known as The habit loop.
“First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: Over time, this loop— cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward— becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges. Eventually, whether in a chilly MIT laboratory or your driveway, a habit is born.”
Charless, then, goes on to explain a method of self-experimentation to break unwanted habits. Hopefully, you are all still locked in!!
Before I share this process, I would like to remind you all that change is not easy and will not always see fast results. But with time and effort, new habits can be adopted and old ways can be reshaped.
In order to help you all make sense of the framework; I want to provide a scenario to help navigate your understanding. Scenario: You have a habit of waking up in the morning and scrolling on social media. This has caused you to spring out of bed, race to the shower, miss breakfast, and now you’re running late for work— the third time this week. You’ve tried forcing yourself to not pick up the phone and scroll through social media as long as you have been. But every morning, you pick the phone up, go on FB, Snap, and Instagram. You’re loving it in the moment, but it also causes you so much stress.
The framework for reshaping bad habits
Step one: Identify the routine
This is the behavior you want to change.
Step two: Experiment the rewards
We all love being rewarded. We love satisfaction. This step is important to determine, which award from our habit, actually satisfies our craving.
Step three: Isolate the cue
What is in your environment that triggers your habit loop (routine, reward, cue).
Step four: Have a plan
Once your habit loop has been identified, behavior change can start to occur—better routine and decisions.
4 morning tips for success
What you choose to reshape your bad habits with is up to you. Here I am going to share with you some ideas to choose from that can help maximize you mornings and get you on the road to success and productiveness.
Make your bed
Starting your day off with a small win boosts your mood. Seriously, as minimal as this may sound, making up the bed starts you off with an accomplishment for the day.
It’s no secret that mediation is an amazing practice any time of day, especially in the morning. Zen shit is what I like to call it! We all need to be on a positive vibrational level moving forward.
Write it out
I am a huge fan of journaling! Many times, we wake up with a lot on our mind. Spill your thoughts on piece of paper and make room for what’s about to come. Also, planning and strategizing what your day will look like is key for success.
Wake up early
What’s even more important, is giving yourself enough time to engage in any of these activities. I know this isn’t for everyone, but who wouldn’t want more hours in the day?
Conclusion for reshaping bad habits
Remember, habits are powerful, and whatever habit you decide to adopt as part of your morning routine, it should the foundation for you to be productive. Take baby steps and be consistent!
Are you ready to change those bad habits?