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4 Unknown Stages of Habit Formation

HABITS! It is just a 5 letter words that control all your life. If someone asks me what’s that one thing that makes a Successful man different from Unsuccessful Man. My answer in one word will be Habits.

Yes, you read right Habits are the things that pull you back to stay in the comfort zone.

Year’s back I was also in the same situation of being in the comfort zone. But following the simple steps, I was able to make the habits that I want.

In this blog, you are going to find ways to change your Habits.

What’s in it for me.

1. What are Habits?
2. 4 Stages of Habits formation.
3. How you can apply it to your life?
4. Summary
5. FAQ

What are Habits?

You can’t control that you u don’t understand. Therefore, it becomes much necessary to understand what habits are.

Habits are the behavior that we perform automatically, it allows us to carry to ever essential activities such as brushing teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed for the work, and following the same routine every day.

Habits allow us to carry out activities without the aid of thinking.

The scientist has found that a certain part of the brain called basal ganglia, plays a crucial role in creating new habits and to persist with old ones.

We are going to learn the technique to decode the information in basal ganglia.

How habits are formed?

Habits

The process of building habits can be divided into 4 stages:

1. Cue

2. Craving

3. Response

4. Reward.

1.Cue:

It is a trigger that initiates the sense of reward for any action. Your senses every second try to perceive the cue from the surrounding.

Our ancestors were all-time searching for the cue in the form of food, sex, etc in order to satisfy the needs that use to bring a sense of reward.

As time changes human behaviors changes and their source of satisfaction also such as praise, appreciation, social acceptance , etc 

2. Craving:

It is the main source of motivation behind performing any behavior. Our mind is craving for the reward that it gets after any action.

And this craving of reward which makes the man to take action.

For example, if you initiate the habit of reading 10 pages of the book everyday. And supposedly, you read it for 6 days continuously.

On 7th day what makes you to take action is not the knowledge that you get through book but sense of accomplishment will let to you to take action.

This is the reward which our mind craves for.

Also Read : Science behind Craving for Food.

3.Response:

It is the action we take which eventually take the form of habits. Our response is based on the craving and we our craving is for rewards.

We don’t take the action which make unsatisfy or in other way which is unattractive and difficult to perform.

People make huge mistake by setting a difficult goal like in case of habit of reading book, motivation tends us to set the goals like reading 100 pages in a day. Which impossible at the initial stages of habit.

This makes habit like a work. Set the tiny goals and as you get into the momentum you can gradually make your task difficult, but don’t make massive difficult.

Remember,

     That which gets rewarded get repeated,

     That which punishes gets avoided.

So set the goal that excites you to take actions.

4.Reward:-

Rewards

Whatever we do we do for the purpose of reward. A student studies at night a day before exam for the reward in the form of marks. A monthly salary is rewarded to a man for his job.

Everything that we do there is always a intention behind it that could be positive or negative it depends on the nature of particular.

If there is no reward then there is no purpose to do anything.

Read more: Why should we rewad ourselves?

Here we complete the 4 stages habit formation.

Infact, it should be called ‘Habit Loop‘.

Why?

Because you can’t skip any of the steps. If even one of them is missing it will not form a loop and eventually not become a part of your life as a habit.

Cue creates the trigger for an initial reward.

Craving it motivates us to take the action.

The response makes the reward achievable.

And lastly Reward satisfies your craving.

In order to get more rewards, your mind will perform the loop again. In short, more the repetition of the loop the stronger the habits.

Example,
How a non-smoker gets into the addiction of smoking.
For the very first time he smokes it could be because of his friend who is already a smoker.

This is the first time he feels satisfied by smoking (relief of stress).
For the second time even if he does not consciously think about smoking his mind will search for the cue.

As a result, the cue could be a shop of cigarettes.

Cigarettes shop

In the second stage, his mind will crave a reward that he experienced at the first time of practice.

Then he takes the action and smokes for the second time, which will reward his mind by a feeling of satisfaction.

If you have to get rid of any bad habits, use the inversion of law. (Read full blog on: How to stop Bad Habits)

If this loop is repeated further it will form a habit. If a number of frequency reaches the level of addiction it will become difficult to break this loop.

CueCravingResponseReward
Your phone gots a notification. Craving for reading contents of the notification. • You grab your phone and read the text.• You satisfy your craving to read the message.
Answering emails.You begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed by work. You want to feel in control. Playing games. Satisfying your craving to reduce stress. Playing games becomes associated with answering emails.
You wake up.You want to feel alert. Drinking a cup of coffee.satisfy your craving to feel alert. Drinking coffee becomes associated with waking up.
The above examples are of how our actions become the habit and this habit becomes part of our routine.

Our ancestors mind also use to work in the same manner, current generations mind works in the same fashion only the difference is in the change in the reward.

Until now we have got to know about how habits are formed in our minds. The next question arises is how I can apply it to change my habits?
The solution is here…

Let’s apply the 4 law of habits

1st law Cue: Make it obvious

• Use the implementation intention technique: It is set of words that will train your mind to look for cue.

I will [ACTION] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

Example: I will read book at 6 p.m. in my room.

2nd law Craving: Make it Attractive.

• Use the habit stacking technique: It will remind your mind to perform the habit you want after the carrying out your current habit.

After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].

Example: When I see the stairs I will take them instead of elevator.

3rd law Response: Make it easy.

• Make your habit so easy that allow you to take the actions.

Reduce the friction. Reduce the number of steps between you and your good Habit.

• Use the 2 minutes rule: Take the commitment to perform the action only for just 2 minutes, not more than that.

• This will make your habit look very easy because it’s the matter of just 2 minutes. Don’t overdo the behavior. Do it for only 2 minutes.

4th law Reward: Make it satisfying.

• Keep this in mind

‘That which get rewarded gets repeated,
That which punishes gets avoided’.

• So always appreciate yourself each time you take action on your behavior.

Read more about : How to Control our Subconsious mind.

Summary.

1. Habits are behavior that you perform automatically.

2. 4 Laws of behavior:
1. Cue
2. Craving
3. Response
4. Reward

3. To form good habits make your behavior according to 4 Laws.
1. Make it obvious
2. Make it attractive
3. Make it easy
4. Make it satisfying.

4. You can predict your future on the basis of your current habits.

5. Stop 🚫 your bad habits and make good 🌟 habits part of your life.

FAQ

1. How many days it take to create Habits?

Study says that a new habit to be formed can take anywhere between 18 to 254 days. On average it takes more than two months before a new behaviour to form automatic- 66 days to be exact.

2. Why Habits are hard to change?

Habits become hard to change because many people try to change them using willpower, which is a very poor strategy for changing them. Habits have triggers, they have a thinking and feeling process. They need to be changed with a systematic plan, which we have learned before.

3. Best book to read on Habits?
Top 3 Books that I recommend.

1. THE POWER OF HABIT BY CHARLES DUHIGG
2. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP BY MARIE KONDO
3. ATOMIC HABITS BY JAMES CLEAR.

Omkar, is a Digital Marketer | Self-taught Programmer

Omkar Sudarshan Gujja
Omkar, is a Digital Marketer | Self-taught Programmer
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