Hey all! Sorry about the skipped week last week. I had to present a big project to one of our biggest accounts and it kinda took over my week. But in case you were wondering, it went very well.
In the last article I talked about habits and their purpose in life, or their necessity. And as I said it’s one of my favorite topics. So I had to split this article into 2 articles. And to be honest, I could -and probably will write a lot more on this topic.
So I left you hanging with the habit circle and how we can use it to our advantage to help fill our habit pockets with a more meaningful and useful habit. So remember the circle? See the pic below.
Once we understand this, we can use it to our advantage. First, figure out which habit you want to create or change. Then figure out the cue that is triggering the craving. This step can be a little hard sometimes. But just pay attention next time you are going through the routine. Maybe take notes about the things that you did before you engaged in the routine. Once you figure out your cue, you can start making a conscious effort to do the more meaningful routine that better fulfills your goals.
This is a great start, but nothing will change without the key step. The reward! If you don’t get the reward then the circle isn’t complete and therefore you aren’t actually using that habit pocket.
Let me give you an example. There once was a guy who worked in an office, at a desk. He had a habit of getting up from his desk and going to the vending machine and getting a treat everyday. This took it’s toll on his physique. So he started to take notes on what he was doing in the minutes before he would feel that urge coming on.
The conclusion he came to was that he would feel the need for a treat after he had to barrel through a bunch of emails. Once he thought he had figured out his cue he started to test out the idea of implementing a better routine that would have a better affect on his body. So he kept an apple in his desk. When he felt the urge he would eat the apple.
Well… it didn’t work! He was still filling the urge to go to the vending machine and get a treat. At least that is what he thought. With the apple in the cogs of his circle he was able to get more feedback from habit and see that it wasn’t the need to eat something that gave him the craving.
Naturally his next guess was, the sugar, because of course sugar is addictive. But that just lead to him figuring out that it wasn’t necessarily the emailing that triggered the cue. It was actually the time. 2 o’clock it always happened around 2!
It wasn’t till he really looked at the reward that he figured out why he had this urge to eat something around 2 o’clock. The reward wasn’t the sugar high or the satisfied tummy. The reward was the break room, where he would get a little bit of time to stretch his legs, get his mind of the mundane and most importantly he got to socialize.
Once he figured this out. It was easy to get rid of the fatty treats. And in fact eventually he was able to take preventative measures. He would just take a walk around the office and socialize for a couple minutes around the 2 o’clock time. This filled his urge before it even came on. Because the most important part to your mind is the reward.
Now from here, if he wants he can do anything with his habit. He could create a routine that gets closer to his goals. Maybe he wants to get more done in a day. Well, now he can tell himself that if he gets this particular job done then he will go to the break room and hang out for a bit. If he does this enough times the circle will kick in. When that happens he will, not only be able get his goal amount of work done but, once it’s a habit it will be that much easier and therefore he can add more to the amount he is getting done. All in the same amount of time. This could lead to raises and promotions. Which might be his ultimate goals.
Looks like this will indeed be a three part article.
Until next week!