Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Changing Old Habits

Old Habits Die Hard
They say "Old habits die hard."

That is why most people do not even bother changing them. However, it does not say that old habits never die. It just says that habits die but in a hard way.

So, changing those old habits is still possible right?

A few years back I have learned that it takes 21 days to form or change a habit. You have to at least establish a foundation of the new habit you are trying to form so it becomes automatic and will eventually grow on you.

I did try this a couple of times. Maybe numerous times. Although I did form a number of new habits using this principle, I've failed a lot of times.

It wasn't until recently that I've finished reading Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit that I was opened up to a vast understanding of how habits are formed and how they affect our behavior.

According to Charles, habits are composed of three parts: Cue, Routine and Reward.

When a certain cue is triggered, you automatically do the routine until you get the reward that satisfies you.

That is the basic framework of how habits work. And, the key to change old habits is by understanding this principle on a deeper level.

This habit loop was what made Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks), Claude Hopkins (advertising genius who made toothpaste a household name through Pepsodent) and Rick Warren (founder of Saddleback Church, one of the biggest churches in the US) all successful.

There were a lot of things I learned from the book. I highly recommend it to everyone.

By being aware of how your behavior is greatly affected by these three components, you gain total control of your life. You have the power to change and form new habits to your advantage. Imagine how drastic the improvement this could bring to your life.

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