If you're curious as to why habits exist, what triggers these routines, and how we can develop new habits or reshape bad ones, then the best-selling book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is for you.
Here are my 3 Takeaways:
1. REPETITION AND AUTOMATION
If you pause and examine all your actions in a day, you'll find that remarkably most of what you do are results of months or years of repetition. As humans, we don't think about these trivial habits anymore because we've done them so many times.
Remember the first time you tied your shoelaces? Rode a bike? Drove your car out of the driveway? At first, it might have taken a few minutes (or a few days for some) but now, you don't even think about it. That's because they've become automated or habitual.
So does this mean we're doomed to repeat the same actions forever? How can we reinforce the good habits and reshape the bad ones? Read on.
2. THE HABIT LOOP
Duhigg says habits consist of three components: the cue, the routine, and the reward.
The cue can be anything from your emotional state to the time of day—basically anything that triggers your habit. The routine is the habit itself, whether it's beneficial like regular exercise or detrimental like smoking. The reward is whatever convinces your mind to remember the previous components as part of a habit worth keeping.
In order to change a habit, you'll need to recognize the old cue and keep the reward, but insert a new routine.
3. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
It's worth noting that the author's findings stated in the book are to be used as a framework, and not as a one-step solution. Since each person has their own cues, routines, and rewards, you'll have to experiment and find out what works for you. He adds, "Once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom — and the responsibility — to remake them."
Want to put these takeaways into action?
Since one of the best ways to improve ourselves is to commit to continuous learning, this post is part of the blog mini-series called 3 Takeaways where I discuss three insights from thought-provoking leaders, books, and podcasts.
My purpose initially was to simply read more books, but the learnings were too valuable to keep to myself. My goal has since been to share the vital lessons that will help you be productive and free.
Want to read this book yourself?
*Disclosure: These are affiliate links which means if you click and purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.