February 05, 2014

The Habit Cycle

Are there any new habits that you would like to develop? Maybe you have some bad habits that you would like to break? Good and bad habits are both made up of the same parts. Take a moment to analyze your habits using the following information and make some change for the better.

The Habit Cycle

The Habit Cycle | Breaking Old Habits & Building New Habits


Every habit has a cue. It can be a place, time of day, time of month, emotion, a success, a failure, being in the company of a specific person or simply waking up in the morning. For example, a smokers craving for cigarettes can be activated by anything as simple as getting into their car or eating breakfast. Take note of the common cues that set off your bad habits. By recognizing the cues that activate your bad habits you can then begin the process of changing the action that follows.


Developing a new habit can require setting up new potential cues like leaving your gym bag and shoes by your front door and planning to meet a friend at the park for a morning walk. However, using old cues, but replacing the old action, is also a great way to make positive change. If you wake up with a craving for cigarettes, maybe going outside for a :20 minute walk will give you that mental boost that you're really craving. Now, instead of waking up, smoking, and feeling relieved, you will wake up, exercise and feel relieved as well as have a new feeling of accomplishment and ultimately a healthy body and mind.


The third part of the habit loop is the reward. That's the feeling of relief you get from smoking or jogging, the strength you gain from exercise or the feeling of comfort you feel from cheating on a healthy diet by eating cake or cookies. In the initial stage of building a new habit you can either create a new cue or use an existing cue to set off an action. In the beginning of habit change that action will probably have to be a very conscious, deliberate action. Your most important job however is to recognize the reward. If you made the effort to change that action to a positive one then cherish ALL of the rewards. Realizing success in every part of positive habit change will help to keep you on track. Before you know it, you'll crave that morning walk and expect that feeling of relief.


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