There’s no denying that we are, indeed, creatures of habit. Our minds and bodies are dependent on stimulations, actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Our habits are our security blankets, enveloping us in their consistent presence and comfort of familiarity.
We do them unconsciously, for example, sticking fingers and cigarettes in our mouths and cracking our knuckles. Usually, we can’t even remember when the habit began.
According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” habits are not born, but created. Every bad, good or insignificant habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop.” Duhigg says that the “habit loop” is a three-part process.
- The first step is the trigger that tells your brain to let a certain behavior unfold.
- The second step is the behavior itself, or the routine it creates.
- The third step is the reward, or “something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future.”
Once we’ve formed habits, they are hard to break because, many times, we forget we’re doing them. Because of the habit loop, we are able to do other things without thinking about our habit. We will be working on something else while simultaneously biting our nails, not realizing the moment when we put them in our mouths.
We become slaves to our habits. They become inhibitors and some have the power to control our lives. Though some substances we use have addictive qualities that make the habits almost impossible to break, there are ways to replace those bad habits with good ones… and all it takes is 66 days.
If a habit does not include addictive additives or stimulants, which make the withdrawal and brain processes different, who’s to say it won’t take you 66 days to cut out all those addictive habits that have been keeping you from reaching your goals?
If you take the habit out of your life, the same way you put into your life, you will find yourself free of the unconscious and, many times, the detrimental patterns that habits cause. You can replace those old bad ones with new good ones.
For example, instead of watching Netflix before bed, involve yourself in a good book. Maybe instead of soda with dinner, challenge yourself to drink water for 66 days. Maybe instead of experiencing the instant gratification of buying a not really needed expensive new outfit, you start cultivating mindfulness in order to look beautiful inward.
Whatever your motives, Inlight Coaching is the catalyst you need to kick those bad habits and start picking up some good ones. Because there is no better time to turn over a new leaf (or habit) than in the summer, contact your coach today.
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