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40% of today's behaviors will be repeated tomorrow- How to break that cycle, then use it

Posted by Daniel Patrick on

CHANGING BEHAVIOR FAILS

As much as 40% of what we do gets repeated every day.

No wonder it's hard skipping the desserts, cutting back on coffee, going out less, leaving that beer in the fridge, drinking more water, or being more present.

HABITS WIN

Gretchen Rubin is the author of Better than Before. She says 'habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life.

If you focus on the single act of forming a habit, one habit at a time, you can make the changes necessary to achieve your goals.

HABIT BUILDING TOOLBOX

Building habits is a matter of doing the same thing in the same context repeatedly.

  1. Decide on a goal that you would like to achieve for your health.
  2. Choose a simple action brings you a step closer to your goal that can be repeated daily.
  3. Plan when and where you will take this action. Prepare to do this action at the same time and same place every day.
  4. When you are in the place at that time, do the action.
  5. It will get easier. Within about 10 weeks you may find yourself doing the action without having thought about it.
  6. Congrats. Your habit is now part of your invisible architecture of everyday life.

TIPS

  1. Track your activity each week. Rate it each time for how difficult it was to initiate the action.
  2. Set simple goals to begin with. 
  3. Keep in mind that it takes on average 66 days to form automatic actions.
  4. Remind yourself you need to find the drive for just 2-3 months to form life-changing habits.
  5. Create an awareness of your habits and look for the triggers.
  6. If habits are automatic actions triggered by external cues, then consider changing some people places and things that cue unhealthy behaviors.
  7. Make healthy choices easier choices. Give yourself a nudge. Move the water to the front of the fridge and put the sweets up on the top shelf in a cabinet rarely used.
  8. Vividly imagine future positive experiences and rewards for the habits you are forming.
  9. Be patient with yourself, but tell yourself there is nobody that is too old, too heavy, too far down the path of sickness to make healthy changes.

     

    References:

    http://science.unctv.org/content/reportersblog/choices

    https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/3/795/4633453

    https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/12/mindless-autopilot-drives-people-underestimate-food-decisions#

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505409/

    https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/03/creating-healthy-habits

    https://gretchenrubin.com/books/better-than-before/about-the-book/

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