Post

Forming Healthy Habits

Check out this quick guide to building healthier habits!

Post Image

A habit is defined as “a learned behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.” Research has shown that 40% of people’s daily activities are performed each day in almost the exact same way. In “The Power of Habit,” the author, Peter Duhigg, describes a 3-step process to forming habits:

Cue -> Routine -> Reward = Habit

The cue is used as a prompt for your brain that tells you what habit to use.

The routine is how a habit influences what you do, think or feel.

The reward helps you place a value on the habit and determine whether it is worth remembering or not.

Peter Duhigg writes that since habits are simply how we respond to cues, they are neither bad nor good – instead, how we see a habit is based on the reward that comes from it. The good news is that we can change a habit if we do not like the reward or the side effects that we receive.

So how do we develop or change a habit? The answer lies with cravings! Once our habits become well practiced, our brains begin to expect the reward. Then, if we see a cue and do not receive the reward, we develop a craving. However, if a habit is not well practiced and we see a cue without receiving a reward, we will not develop the same craving. Cravings can be powerful tools that we can use to build (and keep) healthy habits or change unhealthy ones. For example, if we notice that we crave sugary treats throughout the workday, this may give us an idea that we have practiced a habit of eating unhealthy foods at the workplace and can work to change this habit!

Now, let’s say you want to create an exercise-focused habit of going to the gym in the morning. You might try this:

              CUE: Keep your gym clothes by the door.

              ROUTINE: This is the response you want to develop by seeing your cue, such as grabbing your gym clothes and heading straight to the gym.

              REWARD: Feel rewarded with a refreshed, energetic, and mood boosting feeling or treat yourself to a green smoothie after each workout.    

Once this habit becomes well-practiced, you will begin to crave exercise (and/or the reward after), which will help keep you on track with your exercise goals! To help you practice habits that lead to better health, be sure to choose a healthy reward that you really want. This will keep you motivated.

Regardless of what healthy habit you may be working toward, scheduling time in your day to purposefully work on it will be helpful. Whether exercise, nutrition, mental health, or sleep-related, it is important to try to perform your new habit on a consistent basis. This will increase the likelihood that it will become a part of your daily routine.

Good luck!

You May Also Like

Post Lifestyle

Forming Habits: It's All About Routine

Post Lifestyle

Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle

Post Lifestyle

Bad Breath Cures

Post Lifestyle

International Self-Care Day

Post Lifestyle

Are Our Cell Phones Making Us Sick?

Post Lifestyle

Backpacks Are a Pain in the Neck... And Back.

Post Lifestyle

Breathe Easier with Houseplants

Post Lifestyle

The 5210 Rule for Childhood Obesity

Post Lifestyle

Meditation Strengthens the Brain

Post Lifestyle

Wrinkle Remedies

Post Lifestyle

Halloween Safety Tips

Post Lifestyle

How to Keep your Back Safe at Work

Post Lifestyle

Combat Stress with Meditation

Post Lifestyle

The Power of Self-Talk

Post Lifestyle

The Do's and Don'ts of Napping

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Smoking

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Stress

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Beverages

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Carbs

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Salt

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Sugar

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: All About Exercise

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Habits: Tracking

Post Lifestyle

Magna's Guide to Mindfulness

Post Lifestyle

Exercising in Cooler Weather

Post Lifestyle

Holiday Spending Survival Tips

Post Lifestyle

DIY Skin Scrub

Post Lifestyle

Forming Healthy Habits

Post Lifestyle

National Picnic Month

Post Lifestyle

Pick-Your-Own Berries

Post Lifestyle

'Experience' Gift Guide: 2019 Edition

Post Lifestyle

Holiday Stress Less List

Post Lifestyle

Posture Fix

Post Lifestyle

Diet Change = Clear Complexion

Post Lifestyle

The Power of Positive Thinking

Post Lifestyle

Choosing Tricks over Treats

Post Lifestyle

Give Back This Holiday Season

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Grilling

Post Lifestyle

The Power of Giving Back

Post Lifestyle

Improve Your Mental Health Today with One Act!

Post Lifestyle

Social Media Healthy Habits

Post Lifestyle

Getting Outdoors: The Science of Nature

Post Lifestyle

All About Aromatherapy

Post Lifestyle

Meditation for Beginners

Post Lifestyle

Practice Gratefulness with a Gratitude Journal

Post Lifestyle

Mental Health Activities

Post Lifestyle

Physical Activity for Self-Care

Post Lifestyle

How to be More Sustainable

Post Lifestyle

Wellness Goes Green: Reducing Food Waste

Post Lifestyle

Facts on water

Post Lifestyle

Healthy Joints Matter

Post Lifestyle

Tips for Back-To-School Routines for Parents

Post Lifestyle

Fall Activities For The Whole Family

Categories