Daily Choices

December 13, 2016

 

        We are creatures of habits, most of our day is consisted of habits,where we put the keys, what we have for breakfast, the route we drive to work. It all makes life easier and faster, we don't need to think too much about the things that we usually do. So it is up to us to decide what kind of habits we want to have. 

 

       In his book "The Power of Habit", Charles Duhigg presents a scheme of a basic habit:

Cue - Routine  - Reward. There is a cue, that triggers a specific routine and at the end there is an anticipated result. For example; we get to a red light in our car (cue), we stop and reach out to our smartphone to look through social media (routine), we weren't bored while we waited( reward).

 

Knowing what are the cues that lead to a specific routine, gives us the power to change it. According to Charles (the author), if you want to change a routine, all you need to do is to make sure that the cue and the reward are the same and change only the routine itself. For example, if every time you pass through the kitchen you take something to eat out of boredom, your cue is the kitchen, your routine  is taking a cookie and the reward is that you were occupied for couple of  minutes. How about this scenario:

you go through the kitchen (cue) you stop there and do 10 push-ups/ clear the dishwasher/ write a note on the shopping list, and your reward is the same, you were occupied for a few minutes and you achieved something along the way.

 

      When I was studying for my personal trainer certification in Israel, we talked about posture and I wanted to improve mine. so I decided that every time I'm going to the bathroom I'll squeeze my shoulder blades and stand taller. That happened 2-4 times a day, I later on did it every time I sat in the car, and then every red light so after a while I improved my posture because I attached a desired behavior to an existing one.

 

Choose something you want to change and "glue" it on something that you already do a few times a day without even thinking about it, and see what happens ...

 

 

 

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