Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. Your habits account for about 40 percent of your behaviors on every day. How happy or unhappy you are is a result of your habits. The little small daily things we do that day in day out, week in week out and then a month in month out, go into making the person we are, how we think, feel and act. In other words, we and our lives are the sum and result of our habits.
It takes 21 days to form a new habit. (Maxwell Maltz). It takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic-66 days exactly. It is hard to break old habits and new habits are hard to form. That’s because the behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neutral pathways. The good news is that, through repetition, it is possible to form and maintain new habits.
Why is it so difficult to change habits?
In his book, the power of habit Charles Duhigg describes that we can’t erase/delete old patterns.
Habits help us manage our minds. Habits also save us brain power or free up our brains to do creative thinking.
How habits are formed?
Imagine for a moment that you have a habit that you really want to change. Let’s say every time you have a lunch break at work you go outside to buy an energy drink and something to eat. Everyday you get there exactly at lunchtime. Because of this habit you could gain for instance exactly eight pounds. This was my habit at work. And what would it take to change my habit i had to learn how habits work. According to Charles Duhigg, who wrote a book about habits, every habit functions the same way. At first there is a cue a trigger that starts the behaviour. Studies tell us that a cue can be a location, time, place, emotion or patters of behavior that triggers a certain routine.To figure out the cue. I spend a few days to know exactly when i had a cue. It was exactly at twelve o’clock during the lunch time.The next part of the habit is the routine, the behaviour. For me it was easy. Every day at twelve o’clock i went outside to buy something to eat and an energy drink. I would eat it while talking to my colleague. The last part of the habit is the reward. The reward is the most important part of the habit. Because that is why habits exist. To change my habit i went outside but stopped buying an energy drink. I just bought something to eat. The next time i bought nothing. I had brought bread ant water to drink
and i just went outside to have my lunch and to walk for a couple of minutes. I was testing different ways to know what reward i was actually craving. And what i had figured out was that it had nothing to do with the energy drink and food but a lot to do with socializing and being with other people. What i now do on lunchtime is, i go to a friend and ask if we can walk outside while having our lunch. I don’t buy my lunch every day, but i prepare it at home. I have lost all the extra weight. What habit do you want to change. Studies have shown if you can diagnose your habits you can change them in whatever way you want.
My keystone habit
After having my child i was overweight. I had gained a lot of extra weight during my pregnancy. I really wanted to lose the extra weight. The first thing i did was searching on youtube how to lose weight as soon as possible. I read and listened a lot about losing weight. Following some advices i started with my excersise routine. I did 7 minute cardio every morning. When i workout, i wanted to eat better. I started to eat healthy food. I also slept better. I was more productive when i was awake. In other words, fitness is the keystone habit the puts the rest of life in place. When i workout, the other things naturally fall into place by creating just one new habit. What is your keystone habit? What is that one habit that could change your life?