Transforming Decisions Into Habits
All of our unconscious habits started out as conscious decisions to take action. It is through repetition that those conscious decisions are transformed into unconscious habits. The process by which this occurs is called automaticity. Our brain does this to increase our response speed and reduce the amount of energy needed to trigger those responses. We perform tasks without consciously thinking about them most of the time.
It is important to understand this decision-habit handoff process and what is behind this activity because approximately 95% of our daily behaviors and results are habitual. That is to say that we are simply reacting to external triggers most of the time. Therefore the key to better results is better initial decisions that through practice are transformed into better habits. The actions we choose to repeatedly practice become the neural networks pathways that determine our results.
There are three components that make up a habit. They are a trigger, an action and a reward. A trigger may be or more of the following: people, places, emotions, times or even preceding actions. The action is the habitual response to the trigger. The reward strengthens our desire to repeat the action again when the trigger appears. The golden rule of habit change is that it is easiest to create new habits when you keep the trigger and reward the same but change the behavior.
Habits have been shown to be as strong as or stronger than any physical addiction. There is an ongoing battle within us, between our old and new habits. Our existing habits are fighting to maintain their dominance over the newer habits. Repetition of the new habits over time strengthens them and eventually they will become our dominate trigger response. If we want better results we need to decide on better habits.
Certain habits are referred to as keystone habits because they lead to the development of other positive habits. They start a chain effect that produces other positive outcomes. The following are examples of keystone habits. The following are examples of keystone habits.
Making Your Bed
Plan Your Day The Night Before
All of our unconscious habits started out as conscious decisions to
take action. It is through repetition
that those conscious decisions are transformed into unconscious habits.
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