How to Create a Habit in 3 Easy Steps – An Expert Approach
One of the well-known life injustices: bad habits strive to attach themselves to us. But good and useful ones have to be patiently “packed" into the head for weeks. The right habits make us healthy, wealthy. And more attractive to those who we would like to like. Therefore, you need to think in time how to create a habit.
And then you can achieve what you want faster. Or at least find out in what terms it is possible to do this. About useful skills, routines and automatisms – in our article.
Zero in number, but not in importance, step before creating a habit. Realizing the benefits of a new skill.
Explain to yourself why you need it. Understanding will help patience and perseverance at first. Until the skill is “signed up” in the subconscious. And the development of a habit goes with a creak due to the inertia of thinking.
But you can “record” the action through the game. For example, through a challenge to the weak, thrown by other people or by you. Or through a promise. Or using the Duhigg loop (more on that below). In any case, realize that you set out to achieve the goal for yourself, and not for abstract people.
Is it hard to figure out how to create a habit?
Skills, habits and automatisms are not something ethereal. These are neural pathways inside our brain. The more often nerve impulses run through them, the stronger the neural pathways become. And the deeper they take root in our head.
Making new neural connections is never easy. How difficult it is to get rid of the existing ones. Building a good road is a noble but tedious task. And for the destruction of the road, too, will have to try.
For those who decide to get rid of the habit or change it, it will take about 2 months. For the most part, to abandon what managed to create not only a neural connection, but also a chemical addiction. But those who plan to build a skill from scratch need 21 days.
3 weeks you will repeat what you want to get used to. And the brain will not have a chance – it will create the necessary neural connections, and you will achieve your goal.
Invented a way to form a habit Charles Duhigg. He is a journalist, science fiction writer and Pulitzer Prize winner. This person singled out 3 immutable components and combined them into a loop:
Before you can create a new habit, you need to understand exactly how the repetition of these components affects our brain and behavior.
Before performing a habitual action, our consciousness picks up a certain signal, also called a trigger or trigger. The ringing of an alarm clock, a bad mood, the smell of coffee or eight in the morning on the clock – anything can be a trigger. It is he who commands the brain to perform an action.
A pattern, in fact, is a habit. When it plays, you light up a cigarette, eat a hamburger instead of a diet salad, or dive into social media instead of work.
After the template is played, the reward comes. For example, you lose a sense of tension, a feeling of satisfaction from life appears, stress disappears. The reward can be anything, the only thing that matters is that it reinforces this or that desire. The “reward stage” stabilizes the Duhigg loop, because it is the reward that drives you to take action on a signal every time, starting the loop again and again.
To form a good habit or useful automatism, you need to create a new loop in yourself by consciously creating and subsequently reproducing three components for 3 weeks.
How to Create a Habit with the Duhigg Loop
- We create a signal. How to quickly create a habit? Come up with the right trigger. When X appears, I will do Y. Observe yourself and find what prompts you to do the desired action – this is how the pattern is formed.
- We simplify the execution of the template. The golden rule of conscious skill formation is a smooth start. The simpler the action that you want to “include in the firmware”, the faster the template will be fixed. If you decide to run in the morning, run at an average pace for 20-30 minutes for the first few days, without aiming for an hour-long session, otherwise the unprepared body will overwork, and the useful action will receive negative reinforcement. Developing skills – even the simplest ones – should be done slowly and with respect for yourself.
- We care about rewards. Without a "cookie" to get used to the new will not work. Most good habits are associated with work, and the brain does not immediately release hormones of joy and satisfaction from work – this is how we are arranged. How to form a habit? Cunning and giving the brain an immediate reward after performing the targeted action. Running and tired? Rest immediately. Turn on your favorite blogger if you’re tired of reading an English textbook. Treat yourself to a healthy fitness bar after an intense morning workout. But think over the reward in advance so that a bad habit is not formed or reinforced on top of a new good habit: do not smoke if you are tired of cleaning the house.
How to create a habit – summary
Becoming a disciplined person with a lot of useful skills and automatisms without becoming a bore is not an easy process. But the one who competently educated himself and became so, made the best investment in the strength of the spirit and personality, turned into a stable, self-confident and purposeful person, whose wishes come true. Sometimes the most incredible.