What causes a habit?
Habits are built through learning and repetition. A person is thought to develop a habit while pursuing goals by beginning to associate certain actions with behavioural responses that help meet the goals. Over time, thoughts of the behaviour and ultimately the behaviour itself are likely to be triggered by these actions
Why do we have habits?
One likely reason people are creatures of habit is that habits are efficient: People can perform useful behaviours without wasting time and energy deliberating about what to do.
Building new habits
Old habits can be difficult to shake, and healthy habits are often harder to develop than one would like. But through repetition, it is possible to form—and maintain—new habits. Even long- time habits that are detrimental to one’s health and well-being can be broken with enough determination and a smart approach. Often the formation of new habits around our health can take more effort and concentration over a longer period of time.
It is the incentive and rewards of new habits that will allow us to focus on what new habits bring.
New habits can:
● Create success
● Override old habits
● The formation of one keystone habits can lead to others and great success
● Help personal development
● Build confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth
● Enable us to achieve and be responsible, increasing performance
● Allow personal growth and development
● Create a positive outcome for both the body and mind
● Enhance the power of new habits and become more productive
How to form healthy habits
Create that habit
1. Shaping your surroundings – for example, having healthy meals you have already prepared will help you eat better throughout the week and allows the new habit to form rather than returning to old ones of just eating anything that is available.
2. Repeat, repeat, repeat – an action that increases its adherence and an action that allows the habit to build if you are consistent. It is not enough to do it a few times, but evidence shows that often it may take six months to build a habit. This is where goals alongside habits can mean that over time, the habit has a greater chance of becoming rewarding. So, keep habits for the things you really want to structure into your life, and for the things you want to experience and to appreciate each time.
3. Reward the success – habits will smooth the way to that healthy you and as the repetition builds, other habits will form. Allowing even a minor reward for your efforts along the way will help cement that sense of achievement and help with the motivation as you continue. From a psychological point of view, the brain reads unexpected rewards and spurs the release of dopamine, imprinting the details of the rewarding experience into memory, and making it more likely that you’ll repeat the behaviour. This creates a habit that energizes and invigorates you to pursue actions that have positive
consequences and meet your goals.
Guest blog written by Daz Stephens, founder of Kinetic Energy. To find out more about
Daz’s work, please visit www.kineticenergynutritioncoach.com