We’re happy to see you here. Simply reading this every Monday is a habit in itself. Keep it up.
Why We Do What We Do
If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent countless hours staring back at yourself in the mirror disappointingly thinking, ‘why do you do the things that you do’ (re: Michael Scott). Why did I finish that entire cake, why did I stay up till 2am watching Tiger King, why did I take eight tequila shots last night. WHY? Here’s why.
Let’s get the fundamentals down. Introducing The Habit Loop: the neurological process that dictates your behaviour. Simply being aware of this process allows you to bring consciousness to your decision-making to help you hack your environment and set yourself up for success. That was a mouthful.
Cue: the trigger for your brain to initiate a behaviour. For example, a whiff of your favourite french fries is signalling your brain to chow down.
Craving: the motivational force behind every habit. Once you smell the french fries, you are motivated to eat them. Duh.
Response: the actual habit you perform. You eat the french fries (and probably a lot of them).
Reward: the end goal of every habit. You feel full and satisfy your craving for french fries.
Here is how you can get started today.
To implement a good habit:
1. Choose the habit (yoga)
2. Add a cue (place your yoga mat on the floor)
3. Reward yourself for good behaviour (a cup of coffee after completing yoga)
To break a bad habit:
1. Choose the habit (eating dessert after dinner)
2. Eliminate the cue (hide the dessert or throw it away)
3. Reward yourself for good behaviour (watch an episode of your favourite TV show)
“If you pick the right small behaviour and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.”
– BJ Fogg
If you want to dive deeper into The Habit Loop, have a listen to the episode ‘Behaviour Change and Building Habits’ on the podcast ‘TFC Audio Project’. They break each component down and focus on operant and classical conditioning. It’s a casual, yet informative listen.