032: Building Healthy Habits With A Proven System That Works!
Building Healthy Habits…
In this episode of The Plant Based Hero Podcast, we are talking habits.
Habits make up 40-50% of our daily actions.
That means that almost half the time we are on complete auto-pilot. We are just taking the steps to make it to the next thing in our life.
Some habits are destructive to our body, mind, and spirit. Others are healthy and growth oriented.
But how do we replace bad habits with good ones or build habits from scratch?
This proven system made popular by Charles Duhigg in his book "The Power of Habit" will show you exactly what a habit is, and how to build one.
First, we have to understand the parts that make a habit.
The trigger is the thing that starts the chain of events. "I was finished with my meal, so I went to smoke a cigarette." The trigger in this case was finishing the meal.
In today's modern society where everything is very connected with the numbers on the clock, time, many triggers are just simply the time of day.
Other common triggers can be emotional experiences, finishing a task, or seeing a specific person.
It's important to know our triggers so we know why we do what we do on auto-pilot. Without ever looking at our triggers, we may never be able to change a habit.
Routine, Ritual, or Habit
When referring to habits, most of the time we are talking about this part of the habit. We are talking about the actual habit itself, the action, ritual, or routine that is said to be positive or negative for our bodies or lives.
This part is actually not as important as you might think.
Charles Duhigg explains that we cannot destroy a habit, only replace them. This same logic would go on to prove that there is no good use in terming our habitual behaviors as either "good" or "bad".
All habits can be thought of as created equally. That way, we will see that we can replace an unwanted habit with a more healthy and uplifting one.
Therefore, it doesn't actually matter what the habit is...just that you want to keep or change it.
Our habits have reward systems, even if you don't realize it.
Some rewards are just chemicals that rush through our bodies and brains when we complete a certain task or do something that our body likes.
For example, smoking cigarettes is terrible for our bodies in the long term, however the nicotine rush that our body experiences is the reward for the unwanted behavior that addicts millions.
When we drink coffee, we get a caffeine buzz. When we drive a car, we get where we want to go.
The reward doesn't have to be thought of as outstanding in order for our minds to fall prey to habit.
The reward is the most important part when it comes to changing habits. You must find a way to reward yourself for the wanted habit that you desire to keep.
This one is not a part of Charles Duhigg's book, but I figured I would add my own flare to this post by sharing this.
Identity is the 4th and final step to making a healthy habit stick.
If you can identify yourself with the habit, it will stick whether there is a reward or not.
If you want to set a habit of going to the gym, see yourself as an athlete. See yourself as a healthy, growth oriented, and passionate individual who wants to live forever.
This is the best way to ween yourself off of the reward that kept you coming back before.
Once you identify with the habit which you wish to keep, you will no longer need the external reward in order to continue, because you will be aligned with the habit on another level...it's who you are.