If you've been around for a bit, you know I talk a lot about building good habits, but that usually needs to go along with breaking some bad habits you've managed to collect along your travels in this life. And that can be pretty frigging tricky!
So, we're delving into the wild world of habit loops and, more importantly, how to break them!
Cracking the Habit Loop Code First things first, let's talk about how our brains got us into this mess in the first place. Meet the habit loop – cue, routine, reward. Your brain, being the clever little rascal it is, wires these loops to conserve energy and make your life a bit easier. So, when you reach for that bag of chips, it's not entirely your fault; it's just your brain trying to save some juice.
To break the habit loop, you've got to play detective. What's the cue that sets your habit in motion? Is it stress, boredom, or just the sight of that tempting bag of chips? Identifying the cue is the first step to taking back control.
Substituting the Routine Here's where it gets interesting. Instead of trying to eradicate the habit, we're going to replace it with something healthier. Why? Because your brain loves routines, and it'll freak out if you just leave a void. So, swap those chips for carrot sticks, or Netflix for a good book. It's like a little magic trick for your brain.
Next time you feel the urge to dive into your old habit, have a healthier alternative ready to go. When boredom strikes, replace that chip bowl with a bowl of mixed nuts. Make it as easy as possible to choose the better option.
Collect the Rewards Your brain is a sneaky pleasure-seeker. The old routine offered it rewards, and your brain's reward system went, "Oh, that's nice!" So, we're going to give it something even better – rewards that satisfy your cravings in a healthier way.
Every time you successfully complete your new routine, celebrate it! It might not be as grand as your old habit, but it's a step in the right direction. Over time, your brain will learn to associate your new habit with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
The Power of Consistency Just like how your brain loves routines, it's also a huge fan of consistency. You've got to stick to your new habit day in, day out, until it becomes second nature. No, it's not always easy, but your brain will eventually get the memo.
There will be days when you slip up, and that's perfectly fine! Don't throw in the towel just because you indulged in that bag of chips once. Keep going, stay consistent, and watch as your healthier habits become your new default.
Armed with a bit of neuroscience, you can start working on breaking those habit loops that have been holding you hostage. It's time to outsmart your own brain and reclaim the steering wheel of your life!
The Refire Your Mind program is exactly what I’ve created to walk clients through the process of taking back their brain power and developing healthier habits. It’s a module-based course that coaches you through video lessons, downloadable resources and worksheets. I’m opening this program up again in January 2024! Grab your spot here!
If you liked this read, I have another blog post about getting off the all or nothing ride so you can create stronger healthier habits!
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