Let’s talk about the topic of changing habits. If you didn’t know already, it’s kind of a big deal, especially if wanting to take your life and your health to the next level.
Change is the one thing that remains constant in our lives. But changing HABITS, from bad to good, well…that’s not always so easy.
Changing habits from bad to good can be the difference between surviving and thriving in life. And even though it’s pretty important, a large majority of people really don’t pay much attention to their habits. Some chalk it up to circumstance (“it is what it is!”) while some choose to ignore them altogether (“What ‘choo talkin ’bout, Willis?”).
But you’re not like that, because if you were, you wouldn’t even be reading this right now.
Before we talk about how to change a habit, I want to give you some info on how a habit is formed. It’s a simple 3-step formula that continues in a loop ( aka a “habit loop”):
The Habit Loop: CUE + ROUTINE = REWARD
Cue: when a trigger alerts the brain to slip into an automatic mode to perform a routine.
Routine: a mental, physical or emotional behavior that comes after the cue.
Reward: the outcome result of the cue/routine combination. Afterward, a signal is sent to the brain saying that the routine is worth remembering since it’s working well, resulting in the perpetual loop.
So the question is how do you change a bad habit into a good one? It’s not easy to change a habit, but you can cheat a bit by changing things in the cue/reward routine.
Let’s use sugar cravings as an example.
If you crave and overeat sugar often, you don’t necessarily do it because you yearn for the sugar itself. You do it because after eating sugar, the elevation of serotonin provides feelings of relaxation, calm and emotional release. That’s what you’re craving. The reward of eating sugar.
But if you focus on changing the ROUTINE (finding that relaxation through other means) but manage to keep the cue and reward the same, it’s possible to change your sugar habit over time.
Here are a few examples of how you can do that:
Stress (cue) + apples w/peanut butter sprinkled with cinnamon (routine) = emotional release (reward)
Stress (cue) + 30 minute walk outdoors (routine) = emotional release (reward)
Stress (cue) + call a girlfriend (routine) = emotional release
Belief is the most important factor here. If you believe it’s possible for you to change your habit, you’ll be able to retrain your brain and stop your bad habits for good.
So if changing a habit is just a matter of believing you can change and then changing your routine, then why is it so hard? Because part of the change process is remaining consistent while you’re retraining your brain. And most of us have a difficult time being accountable to ourselves.
Do you have any habits you’d like to change? Sugar habit? Salt? Exercise? SELF-CARE?? We’ll be working on all of that, and more, in my upcoming program Healer Heal Thyself.
Wanna learn more? I’d love to connect with you and give you all the deets. It’s a private coaching program by invitation only, so if you’re interested click the image below to fill out a short form and we’ll get you on the calendar for a Clarity Call.