Are you looking for the efficient way for improving your life and especially for the ones which will help you to stick to your plans? This article is the place to start your journey as here we will be talking about some exercises that you can do to build up and work your way up to the formation of habit.
The nature of habits
But first, let’s dive into what habit is? And how habit works?
Whether bad or good. Habit is something that gets automated over time. Think of the time you began to stand on your feet. Of course, in all likelihood, you do not have any recall of that time literally, but as an adult thinks of this, every time a child tries to walk, he or she falls down. Still, with the immense curiosity to walk, child had been keeping on trying until he or she learned to stand against the gravity and learned to walk. Eventually, this part of trial goes to the automation part of the brain and a kid no longer thinks of walking with effort. Even though in this example we have looked at a skill which is not exactly the same as what we perceive as a habit, yet, what is important for us is the fact any habit can be developed over time in a very similar manner.
Categories of habits
Habits can be grouped under two categories. The first one is called benevolent while another one is referred to as malignant. In both ways, these habits are developed under our observation or behind our back without us being aware of it. The one that is developed under our watchful awareness, tends to be a good one or the one that is not usually becomes the cause of destruction for us.
A habit as a cycle
How does a habit really works? There have been numerous experiments carried out by psychologists. One of the most prominent breakthroughs is the concept of a habitual cycle. A habit works as a cycle of a cue, a routine and a reward. This marvelous piece of discovery led to a deep dive into how our habits and behaviour work.
A cue is something that gives us a cue. This could be virtually anything and it is very subjective and individual. For instance, when you hear a notification popping up in the phone, this will lead you to the next phase of routine. You hear the sound of the notification and you instinctively reach out for the phone to check. Based on your ability to curb the impulse, you would reach out for it and the time it takes for you to reach it and check the notifications. Most of the time, people cannot focus properly without checking the phone. Now, when you checked the phone, this leads to the third stage of this cycle, the reward stage. A reward in this context could be anything based on what you got from the notifications. Even if nothing exciting happened in the notifications, you would still feel a good sense of relief. That feeling itself is a reward.
Start building your very first habit
Often a bad habit is formed when this kind of cyclic pattern goes unnoticed and something already builds up until the victim finds it is a hard habit to break. One of the best remedies is to keep a track of your bad habits and identify the cue, consciously substituting it with something healthy, be it a thought or healthy food. Remember to do this for 30 days straight.
If you are trying to start, for example, working out but somehow you cannot keep up with it, most likely, the reason is as simple as not sticking to your action for 30 days straight. Breaking it down and starting small can help you keep up with any plans and develop useful habits. Actually, this is the process allowing you to fulfil your plans by transferring actions you have to take regularly into habits.
Go ahead and test it out. For example, is the goal is regular physical activity, do it for 5 to 10 minutes without burnout and no heavy lifting. Keep your exercises light and small. Once you reach your milestone, or do it for the day, give yourself a reward with something. This is crucial to make it to the full cycle of habit building.