Tips for goal setting, sticking to goals, habit reversal, self-management
coaching.care can help you reach your goals with clear, strategic step-by-step instructions.
To develop strong habit breaking skills, you need to be prepared to continually steer back on course so that you can build positive habits.
- Identify your goals and your reasons for aspiring to reach them;
- Different circumstances require different habits;
- Adapt your behavior to match your goals;
- Keep checking your behavior against your goals and modify as necessary;
- Encourage others to keep the goal as the key focus of behavior.
"What it lies in our power to do; it lies in our power not to do." ~ Aristotle
Many people will tell you that the way to create a positive and successful habit routine is to rise early. I am lucky enough to call many successful people among my friends, and yes, I do know people who rise as early as 3am. Rising super early doesn’t work for me because it just makes me burn out sooner and eliminates my most productive hour, between 11 pm and midnight.
Brain Structure involved in Habit Formation
Striatal neurons in the sensorimotor striatum of the basal ganglia, affect the formation of habits, spiking when new behaviours are learned.
Theories of Habit Control
You may have heard of highly effective and respective habit coaches such as Gretchen Rubin, or theories such as The Habit Loop.
The Habit Loop is a simple, three step analysis. Cue > Routine > Reward. The key concept being that a habit has a cue or a trigger (e.g. stress or a particular time of day) which can be created (such as a reminder) which would give a positive routine a kickstart. The routine is what follows the cue, for example Cue: Alexa reminds me to walk the dog; Routine: I get up from my desk, grab the dog’s lead, call the dog, pick up my keys, attach lead to collar, leave my house, walk the dog, pick up his poop, throw it away, etc. etc. Reward: The satisfying feeling that I have fulfilled my pet ownership obligations and the dog doesn’t mess in the house!!!
- To stop a bad habit using The Habit Loop , first ensure there is a positive cue, change your routine and make a point of affirming the reward of the new behaviour.
Some behaviours are so tiny that they are hard not to perform on cue.
- Formulate habits that require very little effort and last less than a minute. For example, every time you go to the bathroom, put away two items so that you spend less time when cleaning your house.
- Write one sentence of an assignment as soon as you receive it, because getting started can often be difficult but this isn’t.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Accept that if something has happened before it may well happen again. If you found it hard last time, make a rule which will make it easier next time. For example, I will not sit with anxiety. When I feel anxious I will get up and exercise.
Duhigg C (2012) The Power of Habit
Graybiel A M (1998) The Basal Ganglia and Chunking of Action Repertoires
Packard, MG & Knowlton B J (2002) Learning and Memory Functions of the Basal Ganglia
Ruben G (2016) Better than Before
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