If you’re like me, you may feel like some days you have an abundance of willpower, and on other days you can barely drag yourself out of bed. Have you ever wondered why this happens? And more importantly, have you ever wondered how you can change your day so every day is highly productive. If so, the power of habit summary you are about to read will address these issues. And not only that, it will give you an effective way of setting habits that override willpower.
Before we really get into the topic of how to set effective habits is important to know that your brain is always looking for a way to save energy. And the biggest way that you can do this is by creating a habit or routines. In fact, your brain is so good at saving energy that up to 40% of daily actions are habits.
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The Power of Habit Summary Points
What is a Habit?
Habits can be broken down into a three-part loop. This consists of an external cue, a routine, and a reward.
- An external cue is something that happens in the environment, that causes your brain to decide which course of action it should take.
- After this, your brain will start a routine that it is used to doing, in order to save energy. For example, when you wake up in the morning a cue might go to your brain, which sets a routine for you to go take a shower and brush your teeth.
- After this happens, you will normally get a feeling of reward or success. For example, in this case, the feeling of being clean and smelling fresh is the reward.
The more this is done the more resilient the habit becomes. It’s important to realize that some habits, good or bad, become so resilient, that even when you kick them there is always a higher chance of you relapsing. Therefore it is always important for you to stay vigilant with all of your habits. If you know there is a habit that you have a higher chance of relapsing over then you should set an action plan which will help you fight that urge and overcome the relapse before it gets out of hand.
If you already have a habit that you wish to change, fortunately, there is a routine you can follow which will allow you to break the routine and replace your negative habit with more positive habits. Coming up, is arguably the most important part of the power of habit summary you’re reading and that is: how do you change a habit?
Step 1 – Understand What You Crave From The Bad Habit
This is the first step in replacing a negative habit with a positive one. You need to find out what rewards you get from your negative habit. For example when you smoke it is probably not the feeling of smoking that you enjoy, but instead the feeling of a nicotine rush. This is why patches and vapes are so popular when replacing cigarettes. Because rather than going cold turkey and losing the reward of a nicotine rush. Instead, you get to keep the nicotine rush and form a habit that is a bit more healthy.
What area of your life do you have a negative habit? For example, you might find yourself eating unhealthy food a lot. Perhaps this is because you find it comforting. Or perhaps it is because you like the taste of the unhealthy food.
These are just a couple of examples, which area of your life do you have a bad habit? And how can you replace the negative routine for a more positive one while still maintaining the same reward?
Step 2 – Substitute The Negative Habit With A Positive One
Now that you know the reason you engage in the negative habit, you need to begin substituting it for a positive one. I spoke briefly about how replacing a cigarette with a vape is taking a step towards a positive habit, But how else could you do that?
If you have the habit of eating junk food for the taste, then replace the action with eating an equally tasty healthy meal. If you find comfort in eating. Engage in a similarly comforting activity. But you have to understand the importance of replacing the negative habit. Not just trying to get rid of it. When you replace the habit but keep the reward you’re going to be well on your way.
Step 3 – Believe
Okay, so now you have an understanding of what’s causing your bad habit, the craving. And you’re also aware that you need to substitute the negative habit with a positive one while still receiving a reward. The next step in The Power of Habit Summary you’re reading is to BELIEVE that you can form a new more positive habit. If you don’t think belief is one of the important factors in creating a new habit or changing a negative one. Then just look at Alcoholics Anonymous. As Charles Duhigg says spirituality and God feature prominently in AA philosophy, but its not necessarily the religious component itself that helps people stay sober.” Therefore you don’t have to believe in God, you just need some form of belief. Maybe it’s belief in the system you are using. Belief in the fact that other people have done it and succeeded in the past. Or personally my favourite type of belief. And that is belief in yourself that you are capable to accomplish it.
A keystone habit is a habit that is used early on to provide a small win to help boost your belief in the habits you are going to form. For example if you wanted to go to the gym 5 times a week instead of focusing on your different gym workouts, what to eat, how often you should train for etc. You should focus on one keystone habit. Just showing up. By doing this you create a positive effect that overflows into the other areas of gym routine. Which in turn makes it more likely for you to stick to your new habits.
The Most Important Keystone Habit Of Them All
Out of all the keystone habits, there is one that is going to have a greater benefit than all the others. In any area of your life. And that one keystone habit is willpower. Because once you’ve cultivated willpower you can literally apply it to any area of your life with great result.
“But you said at the beginning of this article that habits can override willpower” I did say that and it’s true that you should always try to form habits to help you when your willpower fails. But at the same time you need to start by having the willpower to form those habits. And what better way than by making willpower a habit in itself?
The thing about will power is that it’s not something that is always there or always not there. It’s like a muscle. You can exhaust it if you spend too much time doing things that you don’t want to do. Or something that is incredibly tedious. And on the other end of the spectrum you can also improve it and make it stronger. Another way that will power will wane is when you are being forced to do something instead of doing it by choice.
I used to always tell myself I HAD to do stuff, even if I didn’t want too. And naturally this drained my will power and I wouldn’t get a lot of stuff done. Now, I always says I can do it but if it’s up to me whether I choose to or not. Doing this strengthens your willpower. Because you’ve given yourself the choice on whether you want to do something or not.
And Last But Not Least..
The last point in the power of habit summary is that if you really want to give your habit a good chance of being successful then you should sandwich it in between two already successful healthy habits. For example, I have a habit of getting out of bed the moment my alarm goes off and then straight afterwards having a shower. These are two positive habits. However, I recently sandwiched another positive habit in between the time I spent getting up and getting showering. Now, I do affirmations in the middle.
By doing this you are more likely to remember and engage with your positive habit!
Did you enjoy The Power Of Habit Summary?
I hope you enjoyed the power of habit summary I’ve written. Which habits are you going to change? There’s no point in learning something new without putting it into action. If you really want to make the most of this article and the power of habit summary you’ve just read, then I highly suggest thinking of one habit that you can change today.
And if you want to know more about habits, and how habits can affect the people around you and a more detailed guide on how to create habits then don’t forget to buy “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” and don’t forget to join the community for free!
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