Be a Habit Designer By: Erin Suarez
We all have them - habits, that is. Habits are often as simple as routine. They’re comfortable because we become so conditioned to them. I just sat and thought about some of my own habits and how and why they started... and I can’t even come up with a good reason for some of my habits - except - I just like it that way!
Thank goodness that lots of really intelligent people have studied habits and how they form. There are a few components of a habit that you can start to visualize as a loop that drives repeat behavior, or conditioning.
TRIGGER - starts the loop. ACTION - performed in response to the trigger. REWARD - result of the routine. CRAVING - drives the loop and reinforces it.
The habit cycle is quickly linked to the reward, which triggers the dopamine neurotransmitter in our brain and it helps us learn. The REWARD teaches us that the ACTION was the correct response to the TRIGGER, reinforcing the likelihood of performing that action the next time the trigger appears.
Our lives are filled with triggers every day. So, our challenge becomes picking positive actions to put into practice in our lives in response to our triggers, and modifying our mindset about what we interpret as a positive reward. Thus becoming intentional about designing your habits.
In short, if your goals are to exercise for 45 minutes daily, in order to intentionally design a new habit you will need to recognize the rewards of the action (exercise in this case). For example, the endorphin rush you experience from a workout, building strength, mental clarity, looking sexy with that #summerbod, 45 minutes of uninterrupted “me time,” feeling proud of your accomplishments... just to name a few rewards for your action!
You get it - change the way you think about positive rewards and you can begin to gain control over your habits. You’ll be a habit designer in no time.
We are nearing the finish line of 75 Hard, I hope you have developed new habits that have caused positive forward momentum in your life! Drop us a line and share with us!