Kicking The Habit
As we pass through the middle of October, the end of 2022 is only ten weeks away.
Where does the time go?
Now is a time to reflect on accomplishments, the challenges conquered, and the new skills or knowledge learned. We start looking forward to the perceived bad habits we want to change as the dreaded new year's resolutions are just around the corner. And in many cases, they focus on building new personal habits, eating healthier, getting fitter, or quitting smoking.
But how often do you think about your professional bad habits?
The behaviours that have a positive impact on your business if changed. While many of us will be knee-deep in personal development books, attending weekly seminars, or learning at work, it is a fruitless exercise if our core routines prevent change.
The most successful people, sports teams, and businesses constantly evolve, replacing old, obsolete, and bad routines with new, exciting, and good habits. The easiest way to unlearn a bad habit is to learn a new one using this simple process: The Habit Loop.
THE HABIT LOOP
There are numerous approaches to creating or changing habits. The length of time or number of repetitions varies with everyone, but the key lies in the habit loop, made up of three distinct parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward. By breaking an old cycle, new habits are formed through better decision-making.
When choosing the habit, you want to break, make the cue invisible. Next, force the routine to be complicated or unattractive, and the reward becomes unsatisfying. Flipping the logic creates a new habit, where an obvious cue, with an easy, attractive routine, naturally develops a satisfying reward.
To illustrate this point, consider this scenario.
Your morning alarm sounds, you feel tired, and the snooze button becomes your new best friend. An everyday occurrence. Another hour in bed. Amazing!
Do you get up feeling amazing?
Do you feel rewarded?
The reality is you end up scrambling around getting ready for work, rushing to grab everything to get the kids to school, and your work commute turns into a disaster. You miss your usual train or rush hour traffic derails your journey. Life is not going to plan.
Now, take a different view, breaking it down to the three constituent parts of the habit loop. You will see it’s easier to form a new habit than you think.
The alarm is sounding, and that triggers the start of the habit. Do you change the time? You could, but to what end? Making it earlier reduces the time you are sleeping. You are already tired when you wake up. Depriving yourself of further shut-eye isn’t going to help.
A simple change here. You get up and start the day as you mean to go on, take control, and attack your tasks. Grab some water to kick-start your metabolism, and the energy begins to flow.
There is no rushing around by taking straightforward action, resulting in less stress and a better mood. You could use the additional time to instil a new habit, perhaps cook a healthier breakfast or read that business book sitting on your nightstand. Both provide energy to fire you up for the day ahead.
Just one simple change has turned the situation on its head. Taking positive action has created attractive rewards, with this new outcome creating an opportunity to compound benefits as you embed your new habit.
What habit are you going to kick this week?
Have a brilliant week!
David Rogers, Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd