Forming a Habit
Habits dictate our experiences in life and can embody our identity
Habits can be helpful or unhelpful. How do we develop the ones that bring us closer towards our highest and most authentic self?
I was recently inspired by James Clear, author of Atomic Habits and interview on the Rich Roll podcast, take a listen for the full details and inspiration
As humans we experience problems big and small, and when we do, we look for solutions to those issues. These solutions can become behaviours; which when repeated enough times can become a habit; sometimes these habits might work for a while and sometimes they do not work over the long haul. By the time we realize a habit is no longer serving us it might be hard to break and develop new ones to replace it; but it is not impossible. The fantastic thing about our human brain is that we can change the way it fires and wires. Creating and establishing new habits are the foundation for self-mastery, and can dictate new life experiences.
Developing new habits and keeping them small and manageable helps with their success. Additionally, treating ourselves, and our attempts to develop new habits with gentleness and non-judgment is key when we slip up; as we will slip up from time to time. James Clear shares his 4-laws for habit and behavioural change in his book and on this podcast, they include:
1. Making the new habit obvious (the cue)
2. Making the new habit attractive(the craving)
3. Making the new habit easy (the response)
4. Making the new habit satisfying (the reward)
Like wise breaking unhelpful habits and behaviours, the opposite factors apply:
1. Make it invisible (the cue)
2. Make it unattractive (the craving)
3. Make it difficult (the response)
4. Make it unsatisfying (the reward)
For example if you have a desire to drink more water in a day or week; to make it obvious could mean to have several bottles of water (the cue)available everywhere you spend time, a bottle in the car, office, home, by your desk and/or couch etc. Making it attractive (the craving) might be having it in bottles you feel good to drink from, i.e.: glass bottles. Making it easy is similar to the first point making it readily available (the response) vs. having the other more unhealthy options such as juice or pop invisible. Finally making it satisfying could mean having the water tasty, infused with fresh fruit or vegetables such as cucumbers etc. Satisfying also means being aware of the rewards, such as feeling more satiated, being more hydrated, having more energy, experiencing less achy joints, noticing better skin complexion and the flushing out of toxins from our bodies, and better stress management overall. Enjoy setting a new habit today, focus on the starting line vs. the finishing line, and keep an eye on the path vs. the mountain peak. Enjoying the vistas along the way.